Sunday, August 21, 2011


Lauren Myracle
444 pages
Publisher: Amulet
Source: library book sale

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Bliss has been left with her Grandmother in Atlanta in 1969 as her hippie parents journey to Canada.  Life in Atlanta is a huge adjustment to Bliss who has thus far spent most of her life in a commune, but she's looking forward to making friends.  On her first day at Crestview she gets a very creepy feeling from one of the buildings, where a student from long ago committed suicide.  She befriends a girl named Sandy and soon realizes that Sandy is into something very dark and Bliss is getting sucked into it unwillingly...

I was so impressed with Myracle's Shine, which I read earlier this summer, that I was looking forward to reading another book by her.  Bliss takes on serious issues just like Shine did, but this book was so different from Shine.  Whatever Myracle did to make this book, let me tell you it worked.

OMGOMGOMG.  This book was so good.  It sucked me in from the beginning because of the very creepy things that happen.  The book starts with Bliss learning about the Manson killings, followed by those ominous feelings she got when she started school.  I loved how all the dark magic elements came together in such a tumultuous time period, they went together perfectly.  The dark magic at school, the Manson killings, as well as racism in the south... everything melded together so well.

I enjoyed the set up of the book as well.  Bliss's first person point of view is interspersed with someones diary entries (it took me to the halfway point of the book to realize who it really was) and quotes from the Manson trials, popular culture in 1969, and The Andy Griffith Show.  All these elements came together to really give the reader the full story.

And I, of course, have to mention how great the characters were, particularly Sandy.  If ever there was a tragic figure in YA lit to feel sorry for, it's her.  And I don't feel sorry for her in the "bad things happen to her, how sad" way, I mean I feel sorry that she is what she is and that she's oblivious to real life.

Five stars to this simply amazing piece of work.  I highly recommend this novel, which I fear has been overlooked by the masses.

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