Author: Lauren Myracle
Genre/Audience: Young adult
Publication: Amulet, 2008
Okay, so I finished Lauren Myracle‘s new-ish YA novel Bliss last night and I am sort of at a loss for words at the moment because it was basically . . . freaking weird. I know, so eloquent, right? Well, I don’t know what else to say at the moment. I loved Lauren’s TTYL trilogy so I was really excited for this book. It definitley wasn’t bad – I read the entire thing (450 pages) in almost one day, but it was just so bizarre and not what I was expecting!
It’s 1969. Bliss is a 14 year old who has jaust been left at her rich grandmother’s home by her hippie parents, after growing up in a commune. She is enrolled in the prestigious Crestview Academy and soon begins making friends. One of her new friends is Sandy, a loner who has always been picked on. Around this time, Bliss starts hearing a frightening “blood voice” every time she nears the building Hamilton Hall. Someone seems to be speaking to her. Sandy is also growing increasingly stranger and making Bliss grow very uncomfortable. Bliss soon realizes the voice is likely connected to the suicide that occurred in Hamilton Hall many years before (no, this is not a spoiler, this is revealed very early on). Bliss realizes she has a special “power,” and though fascinated by the occult, she is beginning to grow very scared.
The book is also interspliced by really creepy journal entries by another character, also interested in the occult and the “blood voice.” The story also references the Vietnam War and the Charles Manson case quite a bit, as both were occurring at the time this story took place.
Well, this is certainly unlike any other book I have ever read. It’s creepy and disturbing without going too far. I really didn’t like the book at first, but at the same time I was completely hooked as I sped right through the book in a single day. The characters were well developed, particularly Bliss, who I really liked. The writing was unique. The story line was interesting and certainly one-of-a-kind. Yet, I still don’t entirely know how I felt about it. I was expecting something less creepy (though don’t get me wrong – I love scary books), especially coming from this particular author. At first, I was sure this book was going to get a 2/5 from me, yet there was just something about it that kept me intrigued, so with that said, the score will be much highter, to my own surprise.
The Bottom Line: Recommended if you’re looking for a creepy, quick YA read.
Currently Reading: Crossing the Bridge by Michael Baron.