Guess what? Gretchen and I (we’re on a first name basis) both have the same favourite Curious George book. Curious George Goes to the Hospital.

This isn’t important to the story or this review at all. I just really love that book and was overjoyed to see it mentioned in Possess.

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.

I think my favourite thing about this book was how we didn’t start quite at the beginning. Most YA paranormals recently take us through the main characters discovery of the supernatural thingum. Possess starts after that. Weird things have already happened. Bridget has already done an exorcism. Now she hates how they seem to be following her around.

I liked that this book took a classic approach to demons and ghosts and possession and exorcism. It was very different from anything else that I’d been reading recently. And being thrown right into the action was nice as well. There was no slow build, or trying to figure out what’s going on. It was just, “So, I exorcise demons with my touch. Yep.”

Briget had an ecclectic group of friends that I enjoyed getting to know and watch how their stories, one in particular, unfolded throughout the novel. I especially loved Briget’s little brother, Sammy. He was adorable but not for the sake of being adorable, you know? He had an integral portion of the plot dependant upon him and I liked that he felt like a real kid who idolized his awesome older sister.

Briget was definitely awesome. Strong and snarky and able to take care of herself without being to standoffish or difficult to relate to. I especially enjoyed her interactions with Matt, the love interest. Matt was adorable as well, though in a completely different way than Sammy. If Briget was standoffish with anyone it was with Matt. Sweet, persistent Matt. It was always fun when the two of them were in the same place.

Plot-wise, I highly enjoyed the mystery and the building tension and slow reveal of everything. And the no-cliffhanger thing. That was nice. There’s plenty of room for more story after this, if the author so chooses, but this was a complete story in and of itself and for that alone, I enjoyed. But I also enjoyed that Briget didn’t really know who to trust and how things kept changing and having more depth. Especially with Briget’s friend Peter. I really liked where his story went.

So, yeah, a good paranormal mystery with a great cast of quirky characters and a complete story. I highly recommend.

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