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Book review: ‘Bliss’ a spooky teen read

March 21, 2011

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When I first received my copy of “Bliss” by Lauren Myracle, I was a little nervous. All the reviews by the professional critics said that the book was scary (in a very nice and complimentary way), and I do not like scary books.

Fortunately, the book was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, although I would not recommend reading this book before bed.

“Bliss” takes place in 1969 in Atlanta. There are several mentions in this book of real things from the ’60s, such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” the Tate-LaBianca murder and bobby soxers.

Bliss starts school at Crestview High School, which used to be a convent. On her first day, she hears a voice in her head whispering morbid things. She is scared at first but decides to ignore it.

Soon, Bliss befriends a girl named Sandy, whom nobody likes. Sandy is quite a strange person and has some unnerving secrets.

One day, Sandy invites Bliss to go along with her to a nursing home, where Sandy plays the harp for residents. She takes Bliss to the room of one of her favorites, Agnes.

Agnes, with Sandy’s assistance, tells the story of Liliana, a nearly invincible girl who lived at Crestview when it was a convent. Liliana was punished and forced to stay in a very small, dark room all day long. After a while, she killed herself there, but her spirit lives on. Agnes has been serving it, and soon Sandy will, too.

“Bliss” is not an extremely scary book, except for a small part at the end (which does not end in a scary way). However, because of the content, I would recommend this book only to mature teenage readers.

— Naomi Grant is an eighth-grader at Southwest Junior High School.

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