Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons’ plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king. – Goodreads
Despite the huge pile of books I have waiting to be read, I’ve been in a reading funk for about a week now with nothing being what I was in the mood for. Possess arrived in my mailbox, and it stood out from everything else I currently had, so I decided to give it a go. I ended up loving it!
Creepy and suspenseful would be two words to describe it. Prior to reading it myself, I had read a few reviews that warned that there were some spooky moments in the book. I obviously didn’t take them too seriously since I decided to start reading this late at night… I soon found myself feeling paranoid in my own room, afraid that something/someone was lurking in the shadows. While no moments were terrifying, there was definitely enough to get some goosebumps on my arms. Needless to say, Gretchen McNeil created a haunting atmosphere (in San Francisco! AKA one of my favorite places ever!) that made me feel that I was right there along with the main character, Bridget Liu.
I really loved Bridget. She was the right amount of snarky, prickly, tough, vulnerable, and loyal. Her dynamic with her family was interesting; she’s still grieving over her father’s murder, trying to figure out how to deal with her mom dating, and watching over her younger brother, Sammy. Her scenes with her best friend, Hector, were a highlight for me and I wish we had gotten more of them. And then there’s Matt. What a sweet little romance! Their relationship never took over the story, but there was enough to get attached to them together. I thought Bridget dealt with her abilities in a believable way: uncertain, nervous, and all sorts of freaked out. It was great to see her grow more confident, though, and that, too, felt natural for her character.
There was only one issue I had with Possess and it was how it glossed over one event that I don’t even want to hint at for fear of spoiling it somehow. While it was meant to move the mystery along, I think it lost some of its impact when the characters — as well as myself — seemed to forget all about it. Still, I can’t say that the book suffered too much because of this. As I said, I did forget about it and that’s due to the fact that McNeil kept her story going at such an excellent pace.
From what I understand, a sequel to Possess is in the works, but here’s an awesome bit of info: this could easily be a standalone. Yay! There’s a very clear beginning, middle, and end, with enough resolution that I wasn’t left wanting to yank my hair out. However, I’m left wanting more! There’s still a lot left to explore and I eagerly look forward to it.