The Compulsive Reader: Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Raised by her hippie parents, Bliss is unaccustomed to the wealth and opulence of the many amenities that her grandmother's home provides. Now living with her grandmother after her parents took off for Canada, Bliss is given the chance not only to live in a healthier environment, but also to attend school and make friends her own age. But at Crestview Academy, Bliss finds that making friends isn't all sunshine and smiles—there's jealousy, alliances, and social statuses to deal with as well. But Bliss refuses to get sucked in, and makes friends with Sandy, the outcast. Bliss is happy maintaining balance between Sandy and her more popular friends, but then sinister occurrences begin to affect her. Bliss hears a voice that hungers for blood, and discovers that beneath the sunny facade her new friends and peers put up, dark secrets lurk.

Foreboding, dark, and mysterious, Bliss is one chilling read that will keep you up at night. Set in the heart of the counterculture movement, the difference of the times from life now offers a very interesting perspective to dark deeds going on. Myracle cleverly uses the Tate-LaBianca murder case as backdrop throughout the novel, which contributes to the air of unease and darkness of the book. Bliss herself is an admirable character—her discomfort at the shifting politics that goes hand in hand with her new social life make readers examine the way our own social structure is set up and the flaws within in, and then her struggles to retain her ideals are relatable and human.

Though the build up of the supernatural events is a bit slow at first and is shadowed by the wonder of Bliss's new life, entries from the journal of a S.L.L punctuate the plot and keep the sinister air to it. The feeling only builds as the supernatural elements take over the book and a startling twist is revealed with an unforgettable ending. The only dissatisfying piece of the conclusion is that Bliss doesn't do anything with her so-called "great power" she is said to possess, but readers will be able to overlook it in light of the bold way Myracle wraps Bliss up, proving herself a fearless author. Bliss is a perfectly creepy and frightening novel certainly not for the faint of heart.


Staci said...

Love your review. I've read her TTYL series and enjoyed them. I was wondering about this book and now after reading your review I will certainly read it in 2009!!

Tabitha said...

I have been going back and forth over reading this book, but thanks to your fabulous review I'm going to pick it up this week. Thanks!

robin_titan said...

I have got to read this book!

Heather said...

One of my step-daughters loved the TTYL series, and I think she will like this one to. I'm going to suggest it to her.