Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Possess - Gretchen McNeil If there are two books my daughter picked as favorite 2011 releases, one of them would be Gretchen McNeil's Possess. Unlike the predominant trend of paranormal romance in young adult fiction, McNeil's book is a teen horror novel, for those who might not be quite ready for Koontz and King.::: The Plot :::Bridget Liu is a teen at a Catholic high school with a special talent: She can banish demons. Once her talent is discovered, she's enlisted to help the parish priest with exorcisms, which seem to be occurring at an alarming rate. When another priest comes in to assist, Bridget has to determine which priest she can trust, while at the same time, trying to solve the mystery of how her father died, with maybe the tiniest confusion thrown in from the demons.:: Kick-butt Main Character :::Possess features one of the most assertive and kick-butt female characters I've read in young adult fiction. Unlike your Bella Swan-type character, Bridget goes out and kicks butt without needing a boy to help her, although if one is wiling, that's okay, too. Still, she's at the forefront of every scene, and the onus is always on her to get through everything using her own talents and powers.The only thing that kept me from giving this five stars was the romance angle: I know that it seems like every teen novel has to have a romance angle in it, but this one felt too much like it was taking away from the real plot, and was too rushed as a result. My daughter, however, disagrees with me, so that might just be my desire to see one book where they don't need boys at all.P.S. If you have a cat, read this during the day.This review originally appeared at

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