Sunday, September 27, 2009

Possessions: Nancy Holder

SUMMARY (Courtesy of New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. What Lindsay doesn't yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits.


First off, this ending was maddening! A perfect cliff hanger that will almost guarantee the readers will return- I know I will be. Even with the vast number and kinds of possession and ghost stories, this one was well done and exhilarating. Clues were planted throughout the book of what was happening but never enough for the reader to easily put together the final thing if at all- I admit that I didn’t see some of that stuff coming.

The setting is somewhat typical, particularly with the history of Marlwood but at the same time, things play out in a unique way that makes everything about this story and setting something different. The asylums of the past and the common practice of lobotomies are a lovely addition to this story, even if I have read many haunting type stories related to it. It still gets to me every time because of the very nature of those activities and the ways in which they were done. Having an actual operating theatre where people could watch was an even more brilliant addition into this story.

Lindsay’s character is a perfectly developed on for this plot and for what is to come. She is haunted by things in her past and fighting to keep her breakdown hidden even after it seems like everyone else knows. Things that normal people would worry about sends her into overdrive, making her fear she is having another breakdown. She fights to remain strong, even when it would be alright for her to show weakness. Her desperation to have friends even when she doesn’t know who to trust carries through all age groups but with the way Holder wrote the story, I only found myself once or twice yelling at the book, telling Lindsay she was an idiot. The outcome of her decisions was not often transparent and I many times found myself feeling like I was creeping through the woods with Lindsay or gripped in fear as I made my way through a pitch dark, unknown area.

I look forward to the next installment coming Summer 2010- not only is the ending itself a huge and obvious cliff hanger but there are also a few other events that happened in the book that were never fully explained or answers- including more about Miles as well as the significance of the book in the headmistresses’ office. Even the reasons why the white head that haunts Lindsay from the start appeared- and why it was taken so easily into her room- race through my head and I am eager to find out more about the entire set up.

*Note: This book was an ARC recieved from Razor bill publishers.*

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