Possess – Gretchen McNeil

Possess – Gretchen McNeilTitle: Possess by Gretchen McNeil
Publishing Info: August 23, 2011 by HarperCollins
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 27, 2013
Related Posts: Ten

    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.


Many thanks to Amy who bought this book for me for All Hallow’s Read! I’d heard a lot of positive reactions to the book and having only read one other book by Gretchen McNeil, I had high hopes that I would enjoy it too! I’m actually really glad she got it for me because I probably wouldn’t have ever picked it up for myself. We’ve talked several times how I’m a big, big chicken and I do NOT read books about ghosts or demons. And what does POSSESS have? Ghosts and demons. But I put my faith in Amy and rest assured that all turned out well! She just knows! 🙂

At first, I was just a tiiiiny bit skeptical. I’m not big on books who focus a lot on religion and right away we meet Bridget who goes to a Catholic school and meets with Monsignor Renault and Father Santos. Priests? I was worried. But I carried on through the first few chapters and once we started getting into the meat and potatoes of the religious history and the mythology surrounding angels and demons, I immediately became sucked in! Things really started coming together and I saw that as much as I wasn’t a huge fan, religion definitely needed to be involved in this story and everything really fell into place.

I loved how delightfully creepy POSSESS was! I was a little scared that possessions, demons, and the like would be a little too much for me, but it was just the perfect amount to creep me out and not have me sticking the book in the freezer. (Points for understanding the reference!) What really made it enjoyable for a scaredy cat like me was the combination of creepy, funny, and yes, even romance! I can definitely say that without the humor and sarcasm that I love from Gretchen McNeil, it might not have been enjoyable and I really liked those moments when I was pulled out of the fear and given time to shake it off.

I had some minor issues here and there with characters but this was one of those books where I didn’t read too far into it. I was definitely reading for fun and for the horror factor so it was a really enjoyable book for me! There were definitely some SUPER creepy moments (don’t worry, it’s not clowns, but it was worse than that for me haha) and some really great sort of religious mythology. I really liked how the book came together and it was a really fun read!


Bridget // Character Obsessions: Taming her “gift”, protecting her family, fighting demons.
Bridget just exorcises demons, NBD. Except that she doesn’t consider her “gift” a gift at all. I liked her tough as nails attitude, but at times it was juuuust a bit much for me. I really enjoy seeing un-girly girls (I guess tomboys?) but silly things like steel-toed boots were a bit over the top for my taste. I took well to her sarcasm though (I usually do!) which is good because I did have a couple moments where I feared it was going to cross over the line and become irritating. I did like her character overall and I think her tough attitude was definitely necessary to battle these demons!
Matt // Character Obsessions: Sports, his family, typical teenager things.
You know what… Looking back at Matt, he wasn’t as memorable after finishing as he was while reading. I really liked his relationship with Bridget, their back and forth and banter (I always enjoy banter) and how he genuinely seemed to care about her… But after finishing, I just can’t pick out things that I really liked about his character. I appreciated that they had history, but I think I would have liked just a little bit more from him. Hard to say what though.


Kept Me Hooked On: Horror. I am not a horror person but this book totally worked for me! I think it’s a fun read and if you’re looking for a mild (or a good) scare, this could be a really great choice!
Left Me Wanting More: Connection. I enjoyed reading POSSESS, but it didn’t quite blow me out of the water. I think I wanted to connect with the characters just a bit more but there was really more focus on the developing story line than personal connections, which seems entirely appropriate and natural! It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly was missing but there was just a little something I didn’t connect with. Very minor though!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

POSSESS was a fun paranormal/horror read! It had me shaking in my boots when I was reading at home. Alone. In the dark. (Not smart, huh?) It was perfect for reading around Halloween and I’m glad I got this from Amy so I could give a book about demons a shot!



(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Sweet Evil   First Grave on the Right

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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7 thoughts on “Possess – Gretchen McNeil

  1. Alexa Y.

    Demon possessions, or possession stories of any kind, tend to freak me out. I’m willing to bet that would be the case with this book, but I find myself highly intrigued by it anyway! Consider it train wreck curiosity — I know I’ll be freaked out, but I want to be anyway. Glad you ended up liking this one!

  2. Kay @ It's a Book Life

    So here is the deal. I enjoyed Gretchen McNeil’s “Ten” and I’m currently reading “3:59” and enjoying that as well, BUT I don’t do demons and possessions. (Seriously I’m scarred for life after watching The Exorcist when I was young.) I know you say you are not that big of a horror fan either but I just don’t know if I can read this! Oh and I may have put Ten in the freezer when I was getting a little creeped out. It definitely helps! 😉 So be honest, do you think I would be able to read this or no?

    1. Brittany Post author

      Same here!! I NEVER read books with demons and possessions. I was kind of scared when I started haha. But with the backstory and the breaks of humor in there, it was really enjoyable and actually pretty interesting! I think you could totally read it and not be totally freaked out. If I wasn’t, most people won’t haha! 🙂

  3. Pamela

    Although I read a lot of SF&F, I don’t read a lot of books with demons. This book sounds interesting and creepy. I will have to keep it in mind for next Halloween. 🙂

    1. Brittany Post author

      It was fun! I don’t read a lot of books with demons either, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one 🙂

  4. Jan

    I’m not usually a fan of stories where there’s possession in them – which is probably weird considering how much I like supernatural type stories – but this one sounds really good! I was reassured by your comment that it wasn’t clown level scary as well – those things just freak me out! 😉

    1. Brittany Post author

      I was hesitant at first, but it really was not bad at all! It was actually interesting once the story got going so with the backstory and Gretchen McNeil’s humor, it was totally fun for a scaredy cat like me 🙂


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