Today, we are posting her excellent review of Bliss by Lauren Myracle. This is a fantastic example of a young adult paranormal mystery and Jaimie has done yet another fantastic job of summarizing the story in a way that does not spoil the ending, as well has sharing her insight.
Please enjoy today's review and we'll see you again tomorrow.
If you haven’t heard of Lauren Myracle, then where is your childhood at? I remember reading several of her popular novels throughout elementary school, including Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, and the Internet Girls/ Flower Power series. So, when I discovered she had written a novel directed towards young adults, I was thrilled. This novel is Bliss, a paranormal horror piece set in the late sixties. It certainly seemed like the whole package: favourite childhood writer, favourite genre, and favourite era of time. Right?
For the most part, yes. Bliss does a spectacular job in the first few chapters. We are introduced to Bliss In the morning dew, the child of two hippies. After her parents move to Canada due to their frustration with President Nixon and his governing, Bliss is left to live with her old-fashioned grandmother in Atlanta, Georgia. She starts to attend Crestview Academy, a very reputable private school. There, she befriends two very different girls due to her individualism and beliefs of standing out in a crowd. One is the bullied, overweight, and lonely Sandy. The other is rich, popular, and seemingly kind Sarah Lynn.
The friends of Bliss have their secrets, however. The seemingly innocent Crestview has a deadly past that involves a suicide of an insane young girl. . . one that connects with the present. Thanks to Bliss’ gift, she can hear a demand from blood coming from the walls of the academy, specifically from room 313 on the third floor.
The paranormal mystery in the novel did its part well. It took me quite some time to figure out who was behind what. The diary sequences in between chapters, which were signed by the unknown S.L.L, made me guess several times who the person behind the initials really was. I also loved the old references that were tied in, such as the Manson case, which I researched prior to reading Bliss.
However, I did have some criticisms towards the end of Bliss’ heart pounding story. The ending had so much potential to be climactic and satisfying, but, it fell flat in my opinion. There was so much that could have been resolved or even mentioned again, such as Flying V’s vision. Flying V was a friend of Bliss at her old commune. She warned Bliss of two girls and a thirst for blood in preparation for her life in Atlanta. Although the reader can figure out what the strange hippie’s vision symbolized at the resolution, they are more likely to forget about the warning due to it not being brought up even halfway through Bliss.
Asides from the few plot holes and disappointing wrap up, Bliss was an amazing reintroduction to one of my past favourite authors. Myracle really can develop insane, blood-loving outcasts just as well as she can write about bubbly youngsters relatable to preteens. There certainly is a book out there written by Myracle for everyone, which is why she is such a hit.