Tag Archives: Gretchen McNeil

Possess – Gretchen McNeil

Possess – Gretchen McNeilTitle: Possess by Gretchen McNeil
Publishing Info: August 23, 2011 by HarperCollins
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 27, 2013
Related Posts: Ten

    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.

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Many thanks to Amy who bought this book for me for All Hallow’s Read! I’d heard a lot of positive reactions to the book and having only read one other book by Gretchen McNeil, I had high hopes that I would enjoy it too! I’m actually really glad she got it for me because I probably wouldn’t have ever picked it up for myself. We’ve talked several times how I’m a big, big chicken and I do NOT read books about ghosts or demons. And what does POSSESS have? Ghosts and demons. But I put my faith in Amy and rest assured that all turned out well! She just knows! 🙂

At first, I was just a tiiiiny bit skeptical. I’m not big on books who focus a lot on religion and right away we meet Bridget who goes to a Catholic school and meets with Monsignor Renault and Father Santos. Priests? I was worried. But I carried on through the first few chapters and once we started getting into the meat and potatoes of the religious history and the mythology surrounding angels and demons, I immediately became sucked in! Things really started coming together and I saw that as much as I wasn’t a huge fan, religion definitely needed to be involved in this story and everything really fell into place.

I loved how delightfully creepy POSSESS was! I was a little scared that possessions, demons, and the like would be a little too much for me, but it was just the perfect amount to creep me out and not have me sticking the book in the freezer. (Points for understanding the reference!) What really made it enjoyable for a scaredy cat like me was the combination of creepy, funny, and yes, even romance! I can definitely say that without the humor and sarcasm that I love from Gretchen McNeil, it might not have been enjoyable and I really liked those moments when I was pulled out of the fear and given time to shake it off.

I had some minor issues here and there with characters but this was one of those books where I didn’t read too far into it. I was definitely reading for fun and for the horror factor so it was a really enjoyable book for me! There were definitely some SUPER creepy moments (don’t worry, it’s not clowns, but it was worse than that for me haha) and some really great sort of religious mythology. I really liked how the book came together and it was a really fun read!

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Bridget // Character Obsessions: Taming her “gift”, protecting her family, fighting demons.
Bridget just exorcises demons, NBD. Except that she doesn’t consider her “gift” a gift at all. I liked her tough as nails attitude, but at times it was juuuust a bit much for me. I really enjoy seeing un-girly girls (I guess tomboys?) but silly things like steel-toed boots were a bit over the top for my taste. I took well to her sarcasm though (I usually do!) which is good because I did have a couple moments where I feared it was going to cross over the line and become irritating. I did like her character overall and I think her tough attitude was definitely necessary to battle these demons!
Matt // Character Obsessions: Sports, his family, typical teenager things.
You know what… Looking back at Matt, he wasn’t as memorable after finishing as he was while reading. I really liked his relationship with Bridget, their back and forth and banter (I always enjoy banter) and how he genuinely seemed to care about her… But after finishing, I just can’t pick out things that I really liked about his character. I appreciated that they had history, but I think I would have liked just a little bit more from him. Hard to say what though.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Horror. I am not a horror person but this book totally worked for me! I think it’s a fun read and if you’re looking for a mild (or a good) scare, this could be a really great choice!
Left Me Wanting More: Connection. I enjoyed reading POSSESS, but it didn’t quite blow me out of the water. I think I wanted to connect with the characters just a bit more but there was really more focus on the developing story line than personal connections, which seems entirely appropriate and natural! It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly was missing but there was just a little something I didn’t connect with. Very minor though!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

POSSESS was a fun paranormal/horror read! It had me shaking in my boots when I was reading at home. Alone. In the dark. (Not smart, huh?) It was perfect for reading around Halloween and I’m glad I got this from Amy so I could give a book about demons a shot!

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BOOKS LIKE POSSESS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Sweet Evil   First Grave on the Right

Ten – Gretchen McNeil

Ten – Gretchen McNeilTitle: Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Publishing Info: September 18, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Horror, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 13, 2012

    It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
    But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
    Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

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I really enjoyed reading TEN It was the perfect amount of creepy, just a bit of ghost story, and I definitely felt like I needed to read it in the daylight and not the dark. I know it’s a retelling of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None, but since I hadn’t read it, I didn’t really know what I was in for.

TEN played out pretty much like an old 90s slasher film for me — and I loved it. So Meg and her friends are on the an island. It’s the worst storm of the century. The power’s been cut. They find a creepy DVD (the Ring?? Ahhh! There was another reference to that later on too). Oh, and there’s a killer among them, picking off their friends one by one and marking it with red slashes of paint on the wall each time one of them is killed. Pretty freakin’ creepy.

Despite the fact that I’m not a horror fan (seriously — I had to stop a ghost story earlier in the week because ghosts flat out terrify me), I really enjoyed reading this. It was the perfect amount of freaking me out because I could put the book down and not feel like I was going to get attacked or anything. I contemplated putting the book in the freezer (10 points if you get the reference) but I kept on reading and was quite surprised with the ending! In true slasher film form, it was a nice twist the way everything played out. I felt like there was a twist coming, but I couldn’t figure it out until the reveal.

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Meg: Meg seemed like a pretty normal character. I liked the writer-geek in her and she just seemed very low-key and (despite the almost calm while dealing with killers and dead bodies) it seems like she and I would handle situations similarly, especially with her friendship with Minnie. Minnie seems like a tough one to deal with, and in all honesty, I probably would have ditched my Homecoming date to spare my best friend too.
Minnie: Minnie really threw me for a loop. We find out that she’s on medication for anxiety/depression (sorry, I think I was mixing them up in the book), but I kept wondering the whole time how it was playing into our murder story. Was she the killer and went crazy off of her meds? Was she going to create some kind of dangerous situation? Was her mental illness more than what we believed it to be? Lots of interesting questions that came up with that aspect of the story.

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Try it

This book was so much fun! It totally reminded me of 90s slasher films. I wouldn’t say it was amazing or anything but a really fun horror/mystery, especially for Halloween-time!

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A Sunday Compilation

It’s Sunday! That’s not exciting, really so I’m not sure why the exclamation point… But before work claims us all again tomorrow, here’s a whole mess of bloggy updates and news points I want to remind you of before the weekend comes to a close!

1. DEGREES OF WRONG GIVEAWAY closing tomorrow!!
That’s right, folks! If you haven’t checked out my post from the Degrees of Wrong blog tour, I highly suggest you do! This is a new book from Anna Scarlett (or you may know her better as Anna Banks who wrote Of Poseidon) and I absolutely adored it! It’s love story, snark, sci-fi, thrills – the whole package for me really! There’s a giveaway for an egalley of the ARC and I think you won’t want to miss it! Only one more day to enter!!

2. THE DEJA VU REVIEW second post is up!
Guys… I’m a little sad. And desperate. No one wants to participate in the Deja Vu Review! They’re only mini-reviews and you only have to say a few words to participate! I thought it would be fun for us to talk about some books we read before we started our blogs (because I know mine isn’t that old and I’ve been reading my whole life – That’s a lot of books gone un-reviewed!), so if you want to link up, please do so soon! You can post any time throughout the week although I put the feature up on Sundays, but if I don’t get any takers soon, it may go in the garbage pile next to Freaky Friday 🙁 Or just better yet, it’ll be read only and I’ll stop trying to have people join in haha. Either way, I hope to see you there!

3. ARMY OF TEN buzz!
The Army of TEN

The awesome Gretchen McNeil has a new book coming out called TEN and it sounds MAJORly awesome! It’s not a PRIVATE secret or anything… I mean, it’s GENERAL knowledge but we need to create some buzz for the book! Oh, and she’s got a great contest going on here!!

(please just pretend like you enjoyed those puns… THANKS!)