Friday, January 24, 2014


Gretchen McNeil
384 pp.
Ages 13-17

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her over-protective mom, by Matt Quinn, the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, the voices are demons—and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Literally.

Terrified to tell her friends or family about this new power, Bridget confides in San Francisco’s senior exorcist, Monsignor Renault. The monsignor enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession, but just as she is starting to come to terms with her freakish new role, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. And when one of her oldest friends is killed, Bridget realizes she’s in deeper than she ever thought possible. Now she must unlock the secret to the demons’ plan before someone else close to her winds up dead—or worse, the human vessel for a demon king.


I honestly didn't know what to expect when I started reading Possess by Gretchen McNeil. Really? A teenage girl who can talk to demons? Yes!!!

From the very first page, Possess grabbed me by the throat and hurled me through the story of Bridgett Liu, high school geek by day and exorcist by night. The possession scenes are creepy and nightmarish, but McNeil's spot on adolescent snarky humor keeps it all just out of reach of "terrifying." The doll shop scene scent deliciously disturbing chills up my spine, and Bridgett's final showdown with the ultimate demonic bad boy had my stomach in knots. Plus, the make-out scenes between Bridget and Matt were hot, but did not cross the line into offensive territory.

I quite literally could not put this book down, which is rare for me. Most books, even ones I like, take me a month to get through. I read this in a matter of days, and the last hundred pages in a single night. Possess is a highly entertaining story with edge-of-your-seat thrills.  I give it a whopping:


Profanity:  High
Sexuality:  Moderate
Violence:   High

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