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The Blessed by Tonya Hurley
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Aug 24, 12

Read from July 29 to August 11, 2012

Review:

I have to admit that the theme of this book got me extremely excited to read it. After I did, regarding the premise, it delivered tenfold and I was quite satisfied. It was different and I haven’t really come across anything like this in YA – sinister and not sugar coated or safe like many. It just feels out of the ordinary, beginning with the writing style and ending with having four main characters and how they were handled. Each one of them was equally important and similarly on the foreground.

I liked how religion and God played a huge role and created the whole atmosphere of the book, but at the same time managed to stay on the background and as a reader I didn’t feel that this was a religion oriented book. This topic was dealt with very masterfully.

The unexpected and open-for-anything ending was also something I found interestingly staged and something I didn’t see coming. It’s difficult to guess where the three girls end up and, overall, this book was anything but predictable. The mysterious “bad guys” were the sort that left me hanging to know more. Who, why, how – answers were scarcely given and they simply raised the bar of excitement.

Next to the positive aspects there were many things I wasn’t very fond of in the story. I felt that the romance was lacking, even though, the focus was on other parts and there might have not been any intention of romance at all, but the relationship between the three girls and one boy was vague and out of the blue at most. With no actual purpose, Sebastian came across as a minor unintentional Casanova since there was no specific paring to root for but then again there were hints and possibilities for every option.

The text was at parts difficult to read, although simple, it occasionally flowed unnaturally. At times it was also very challenging to understand where the plot was going or what exactly is the purpose of all the events. This, however, can be viewed as a pro or a con, since it provide the story with slight suspense but then again left me confused sometimes since the anticipation for some answers was extended quite long. Despite this, when the twist in the middle did arrive, it was quite intriguing and promising.

Characters:


The characters were on a basic level quite hard to relate to since they were quite extreme in their way of life and too rebellious. Everything doesn’t necessarily always have to be simple but I felt that the girls were too jaded, desperate and lost. In addition, suicide isn’t a topic I’m very comfortable reading about.

Lucy – Confused, desperate for attention with which she basically identifies herself, shallow, self-centered but had more than enough “nice” moments where here true self can be glanced and just frantically needs love. I actually see her developing into an interesting and good individual with the right people’s guidance and experience. She was the most gripping amongst the girls.

Cecilia – Most likable from all the girls. Went after her dreams even after setbacks but was impulsive and irrational at times.

Agnes – Weak, too dreamy, idealistic, naïve but also innocent, serene, calm and collected. I immensely disliked her could-have-been fatal stunt because of a useless boy, at least she realized that herself after the deed. In addition, her extreme ways to make her mother take her seriously or give her independence seemed more like a bratty whiney child than a reasonable girl.

Sebastian – He was mysterious and slightly creepy, but this is something that made him compelling. After reading the book I still don’t completely understand him and find him very intriguing.

Overall:

This book has a lot going for it, but the outcome wasn’t executed to its full potential. Despite this, I enjoyed reading it because it was really different, just like Sebastian – I didn’t fully grasp this book but still I was compelled and hooked.
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