by Gretchen McNeil
Plot Summary: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.
Review:I'm just realizing how much I adore Gretchen McNeil's storytelling. This is only the second book I've read by her (the first was Ten) but the way she spins suspenseful yarns is beautiful! This story deals with demons and in tone this book was not what I was expecting. With demons you'd think it would be pretty dark, but thanks to the snarky, spunky Bridget Liu, just when you think you might be grossed out by the exorcisms, Bridget is just as grossed out and knows how to take the seriousness out of the situation with just a few words. The story is not all light-hearted though. Bridget is just coming to terms with the loss of her father when she realizes her gift, and she must deal with the trauma while also being the social outcast at school and trying to figure out who is behind the demon's plan. It's a lot for her to deal with. There are many touching, realistic interactions between Bridget and her family and friends, and although Bridget tries to be very closed off emotionally, there were times when her vulnerability peeked through, and I found her character arc to be very engaging.
The story grabbed me immediately, and while the demon aspect is already intriguing, the author adds more dimension with the nature of the demons and their past, and the mystery of why some demons act differently. The romance in the story is sweet, but I didn't feel very much invested in it from the beginning. It's a great addition to the story, but definitely the focus for me was on the suspense and the paranormal mystery. The mystery of which priest could not be trusted, was a bit easy to guess, but thankfully there are multiple mysterious threads that weave this plot, and I absolutely could not put this book down until I finished the last page!