3.79 (3,626 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.79 (3,626 ratings by Goodreads)

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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 31mm | 465g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0062060716
  • 9780062060716
  • 439,695

Review Text

"A fantastic YA debut .... the humor and occasional twists will keep fans of the genre hooked and wanting to finish this book in one sitting." School Library Journal
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Review quote

"A fantastic YA debut .... the humor and occasional twists will keep fans of the genre hooked and wanting to finish this book in one sitting."--School Library Journal
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About Gretchen McNeil

Gretchen McNeil is the author of several young adult horror/suspense novels for Balzer + Bray, including Possess, 3:59, Relic, Get Even, Get Dirty, and the award-winning Ten. In 2016, Gretchen published her first YA comedy, I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and her next novel will be the horror-comedy #MurderTrending for Disney/Freeform. The film adaptation of Ten starring China Anne McClain (Descendants 2, Black Lightning) and Rome Flynn (The Bold and the Beautiful) premiered on Lifetime on September 16, 2017. Visit Gretchen online at www.gretchenmcneil.com.
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Rating details

3,626 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 34% (1,228)
4 30% (1,072)
3 24% (861)
2 8% (281)
1 5% (184)

Our customer reviews

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!show more
by Pretty Little Reader
Also reviewed on my blog, The Vintage Bookworm. (www.vintagebookworm.blogspot.com) I'm so glad I was finally able to read this. I added it to my TBR list last year before it had a cover and I remember getting goosebumps when I saw the cover finally. It's beautiful and creepy and fits very well, I think! But anyway, I won a giveaway last year for an awesome bottlecap necklace (You can see a pic of it I found on the net here.). After I got it I fell in love more and knew I needed to read it ASAP. But that didn't happen, sadly. Ha! This book was so unique and enjoyable! I'm so mad I waited so long to read it, but at the same time I'm glad I waited because I've been in such a reading slump and this really made me want to read. And not only was it unique and enjoyable, but it was suspenseful and creepy as HELL! It made me SO paranoid while reading it at night. I kept waiting to hear whispers from the demons in my room. There was also one scene that was SO creepy that made me thankful I don't have porcelain dolls anymore. My mom used to buy them all the time (She loves them...*shudders*) and have them in a glass cabinet and she would also buy some for me to put up in my room and I always had trouble falling asleep. Knowing those dead, glassy eyes were staring at me. Watching me. *shudders* I've always been creeped out by them, but this scene in this book REALLY made it that much worse. The ghost kitty also kind of freaked me out. I was on edge for hours after reading that, ha! Bridget. The main character. OMG. She was snarky, sarcastic, strong, doesn't need anyone to help her, and just so freaking kick ass. She was hilarious at times and other times I would feel bad for her for having this gift. She's definitely a great character and super fun to read about. And Matt Quinn, oh God. At first I was kind of iffy about him but it didn't take me long to start talking to Bridget and telling her how stupid she was being with him. I wanted to smack her so many times and tell her to just give in to her feelings for him. He was a jock, yes, but oh so sweet and just...hot. *drools* There is one guy who creeped me out from the start and I suspected him long before Bridget found anything out. Not going to name his name, though, don't want to give it away. But he was always weird to me. Glad my gut feeling was right! The writing was amazing as well. I was hooked from the first page. I love how it basically launches right into things. Sometimes its a great thing when that happens. With some back story thrown in there so you can learn about the main character. Loved it. Overall, this was a great book. The only thing I had a problem with was some parts were just weird to me....Can't really explain them. But other than that this book is amazing and I really hope they make a sequel. I've heard different things about that. Some people say there is a sequel planned, and others say there aren't. Does anyone know if there will be? It could be a standalone, but it does leave a few things left out there where a sequel could be added. I really hope there is, I want to see more Bridget and Matt. <3 I highly recommend this to fantasy lovers! I have never read a book about possession and this one was amazing!show more
by Amanda
Find Full Review at http://www.readingangel.com/2011/09/possess-by-gretchen-mcneil-review.html I admit, was originally drawn to Possess by the cover. What can I say, that cover is so beautiful! Luckily for me, what was between the covers was even more eery and amazing than what the cover lead me to believe! Possess, took all my expectation and threw them out the window because there was no need for them, it was completely different than what I thought it was going to be and I'm glad it was, because I loved it!show more
by Reading Angel
Let me just start this review by saying that I wasn't expecting to like this book. I don't know why. I just wasn't. I think it might have something to do with "the cute son of a local police sergeant" in the summary. That made me think that the story was going to be all about her and the perfect love interest. And I hate perfect. Now that I have actually read the book, reading the summary doesn't put me off as it once did, so I don't know what I was thinking. I just thought I'd mention that just in case there's anyone else out there who shares my distaste in perfect love interests (because I remember high school...perfection does not exist there) and thought "the cute son of a local police sergeant" raised a red flag. Trust me, Matt, the love interest, is actually a really nice guy who actually genuinely likes Bridget, and the evolution of their relationship is slow and adorable. I liked it a lot. But unlike a lot of the paranormal YA out there, the romance isn't the point. Bridget is the point. She's gifted. She has the power to banish demons and detect ghosts and all sorts of amazing stuff. And she's getting pretty sick of it. Because, really, that's a lot to take on while she's still reeling from the death of her father and her mother's dual new love interests. Not to mention the fact that her little brother starts seeing ghosts too. So Bridget's had about enough, and is ready to give up demon-banishing when she finds out that there might be a connection between the demons and her father's death, and her entire world gets turned upside down, and she's left trying to figure everything out while not knowing who to trust. This book is part horror, part mystery, and part romance and all good. I enjoyed it so much! Does anyone know if there's going to be a sequel? I need to know! -geekgirlshow more
by geekgirl @ geekgirl\'s book blog
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