by Nancy Holder
pub: Sept 2009
New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black.
It doesn’t help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago.
What Lindsay doesn’t yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead...And that someone is Lindsay.
Lindsay and Julie are both sympathetic and believeable. Mean girl Mandy is realistic and doesn't go into cliche territory. However, there is the whole other crowd of Mandy's minions that I had a hard time keeping track of because...there were just so many. And since most of them didn't have much to do with the plot, I wasn't sure why they were there and why we had to know so much about them.
Lots of parties and pranks took up pages and quite frankly I kept wondering when the paranormal aspect was coming in. When if finally did, it was great. But I need more paranormal in my plot, and please give it to me sooner.
The book blurb tells us that Mandy and her clique are possessed by deadly spirits who have haunted Marlwood for two hundred years, but Lindsay doesn't have any ghostly confrontations until after page 230. I kept skimming, waiting for the urban fantastical excitement to start and became hooked at page 262. Unfortunately, the book ended about 40 pages later.
Holder writes well and readers who like a generous dose of teenage drama and high school angst will be happy to possess Possessions. I know it will find a good home with one of our lucky winners. It just isn't for me. The paranormal situations that Lindsay found herself in were very interesting, but there weren't enough of them for those who prefer a stronger dollop of supernatural in the plot.
My thoughts on the cover:
I'm not a fan of seeing a character's actual face, but she's cute. Overall the cover seems a bit Photo Shopped to me also. I do like the creepy haunted house in the background and the idea of the girl-in-peril, I just would have preferred to have most of her face shrouded in shadows.
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