Steph (Reviewer X)'s Reviews > Bliss

Bliss by Lauren Myracle
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Jan 28, 09

bookshelves: blog-already-read
Recommended to Steph by: Book Chic
Recommended for: people who don’t like/are too scared of category horror novels
Read in October, 2008, read count: 1

It must be said I’ve never been much of a Lauren Myracle fan. The Internet Girls series (trilogy?) may be revolutionary to some, but it bugs me on a conceptual level. I did try to read the first book and couldn’t get past the first page. Then I tried one of her full length novels, Rhymes With Witches, and while the premise intrigued me, the novel felt like a countdown to self-implode by the last page. Which, I mean, it did. The resolution left me pretty devoid of emotion.

(Trust me, there’s a point to all my negativity.)

Given as this is the prequel to Rhymes With Witches, I didn’t think I’d request it. So why did I? Well, I’d read some encouraging reviews that piqued my interest. Moreover, my friend Book Chic assured me this is Lauren’s best work. It sounded like a new direction for her, too, so why not?

Blah, blah, blah, bottom line, did I like it?

Yup, this worked for me. It worked and then some. I loved the fluidity of the writing, the suspense, and the swift but lingering pace. The way Ms Myracle incorporated the plot within real-life events of ’69 (oo la la, nice number*), I thought, was very convincing. All the pop culture and political references of that time period, like the Charles Manson Family murders, didn’t alienate me and in fact set the scene very competently.

Oh, and I was a big Bliss (title character) fan. She was likable from the get-go and had a very sympathetic voice. I also marveled at the “bad guy” character’s—Sandy’s—development. That sinister work-up was awesome.

Now, to state the obvious: This book is creepy! It’s the exact thing I’d recommend as “horror for people who don’t like/are too scared of category horror novels”. Now, I wouldn’t say it’s horror in the literal sense of the word—genre fanatics might be disappointed—but it’s definitely chilling and gripping. Each chapter is prefaced with a two-page black spread with a quote from a popular show at the time, a Charles Manson Family trial quote, or a Richard Nixon quote—very well packaged and kept the novel moving on and on and on.

Me likey.

For a dose of reality... I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. It was too abrupt, too open ended, and felt like a weak conclusion to such a powerful book. I still have many questions (Did Sarah Lynn have some sort of power? Was the fact she had the same initials as Sandy supposed to make the reader draw conclusions about the two?), and I suppose that’s what the sequel Rhymes With Witches is for, but having read that almost three years ago, I can’t recall much. It would’ve been nice if this could’ve stood alone.

Some of the other reviews complain that there is too much going on here, racism, occultism, murder, etc, etc, etc, and to be honest I didn’t even notice it until someone pointed it out. Frankly, this is something that would usually bother me, but in this novel, the only logical response I can muster up for this assessment is, “Who the fuck cares?! Weren’t you caught up in the suspense anyway??”

So, yeah, I’d recommend this one. I was not expecting this at all when I began this book, and this book alone ensures Lauren Myracle is, for the time being, on my radar. I hope she chooses to continue in this path because I for one think it’s a worthwhile one to pursue. It’s definitely one I can work with and get excited about.

While I haven’t read all of Lauren’s work to date, I don’t think Book Chic was exaggerating when he said this is her at her best. Well done, Ms Myracle. Well done.

* I never said I wasn’t perverted.

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Reading Progress

10/26/2008 page 215
48.42%
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Ronni Thanks for the heads-up that this is a prequel. I bought RWW years ago and now I'm going to go ahead and read it again! :)


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