Review Detail

3.4 4
Young Adult Fiction 469
Mostly Enjoyable
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Murder, demonic possession and exorcism? Possess had all of the ingredients for something I should have really enjoyed. And while I did enjoy it’s fast-paced plot and smooth writing, a glaringly obvious inconsistency, flat secondary characters and a somewhat forced romance did have me scratching my head.

As a heroine, Bridget kind of sucked. She was constantly guilted into using her new-found power, and if she had had it her way, she would have found a way to rid herself of her new power to go back to “normal”. That being said, she was full of snappy one-liners and enough sarcasm to keep me entertained and mostly able to ignore her more whiney, angsty teen side. And, as Possess’ plot developed, we did see some character growth as she began to accept her abilities and the responsibilities they came with.

Unfortunately, the same can not be said for any of the secondary characters. Bridget’s mother was portrayed as some heartless floozie, so caught up in her relationships with two different men (only nine months after the murder of her husband), that she barely noticed her daughter was acting different. Matt almost forced himself into Bridget’s life, and their relationship developed too quickly for it to be believable Bridget’s relationships with her best friends were really awkward because I couldn’t figure out why they were friends. Bridget was an awful friend to both of them – berating Hector for being overweight and completely ignoring Peter (and to be honest, I can’t even remember if that’s his name…) even though he was obviously very mentally unbalanced in regards to his feelings for her. By the end of Possess his behaviour was actually more frightening than anything else that had happened – excessive texts, threats of hurting himself, demanding that she answer him or that she tell him where she was and who she was with…and it escalated so quickly! I just didn’t understand his obsession or Bridget’s reasons for completely ignoring the warning signs.

The other thing that kind of had me baffled in Possess was the inconsistencies surrounding Bridget’s race. Bridget was constantly described as a person-of-color, and her heritage was used to explain her abilities. But other than her Chinese name, Bridget was never physically described as having any Chinese features. In fact, the only things that were mentioned were her freckles, bright blue eyes and curly brown hair. I just didn’t understand McNeil’s insistence on making her heroine a POC if she was just going to be whitewashed.

The ending was cliche and if you’ve read any kind of murder-mystery before, you’ll know who the villain is early on. But even with those issues, I found myself enjoying Possess. While not terribly original, the plot was a page-turner and the scene in the doll store was a nightmare brought to life! I even caught myself laughing out loud a couple times, thanks to a sarcastic comment from Bridget. So while Possess is not one of my favourite reads, it was at least a mostly enjoyable one!
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November 10, 2013
I'm disappointed to hear this wasn't better. I enjoyed Ten and since I was at a signing with Gretchen McNeal I bought this. Now I'm not so sure that was a good idea.
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