October 21, 2011
Possess by Gretchen McNeil
by Gretchen McNeil
Balzar & Bray
When the Monsignor Renault brings a note to Bridget Liu, her classmates wonder what’s up. Could she be in trouble? Bridget only wishes it was that easy. All the note has written on it is an address and a time. Her next assignment.
In recent months, Bridgett has developed a gift. She can hear voices. Sometimes she sees shadowy figures. It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does, it means trouble. Bridgett not only sees and hears demons, she can banish them as well.
There are five basic rules when it comes to banishing demons (exorcism is such an ugly word):
- Do not show fear.
- Do not show pity.
- Do not engage.
- Do not let your guard down.
- They lie.
Then a horde of demons warn Bridget not to trust the priest. She’d normally ignore the warning (see rule #5), but there’s a new priest at St. Michael’s. He’s been questioning what Renault is teaching her but also seems to be holding something back. Who is he really?
If only Bridget had someone she could talk to but her father was murdered a year ago. Sure, she has friends, and even a boyfriend, but how do you break it to someone who thinks they know you that you can hear voices?
But Demonic activity in the area is on the rise and soon Bridget is hearing voices in places that should be forbidden to them. Unless, of course, there’s something going on that Bridget doesn’t know about.
Her secret gets out when the demon’s start chattering at the big winter dance. They’re talking about a human sacrifice and Bridget knows that someone is going to die if she doesn’t figure things out right this minute. With no time to wait, Bridget lets her guard down. Will it be the biggest mistake of her life? Or will she finally have someone she can trust at her back?
The first thing that caught my attention with this book was the awesomely creepy cover. I picked it up one evening and had it finished by the next.
In spite of her rough, gruff ways, Bridget is a character readers will love. She’s equal parts insecure and confident, quirky and white-bread normal. Otherwise, she ‘s just like a real person (except for the talking to demons bit).
With a strong romantic subplot, this book will probably appeal more to teen girls than boys, but Bridget is no shrinking violet. She isn’t the one that gets knocked out cold in the final battle!
Still, some adults will no doubt object to this book. The grown ups, for the most part, are pretty clueless. But then so are most of the teens — they can’t see or hear the demons. And the whole bit about the demons themselves as well as the roll played by one of the priests (don’t make me spoil the plot!), will definitely raise some eyebrows.
But instead of telling your teen not to read it, why not read it yourself, do some research into church lore, and have a rousing talk about the battle between good and evil? After all, you never know just when the knowledge might come in handy…