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Be Not Afraid

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Marin spends a lot of time avoiding things. She avoids thinking about her mother's suicide and what she could have done to prevent it. She avoids looking at people directly-because she can see their pain as bright, colorful shapes. And she avoids Cassie Jackson, who used her in a sinister ritual months ago, although Marin's not exactly sure why.

When Cassie stan
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  224 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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2.5 stars generously rounded up to 3 stars.

Be Not Afraid is, simultaneously, a strangely original novel as well as a very familiar one. Galante took the bones of your typical YA PN novel, - the special girl with the secret power, the sad past and the seemingly unattainable crush, attending a school she doesn't fit in and suddenly becoming entangled in a horrifying situation that appears to be beyond her capabilities -, and breathed new life into it with a weirdly fascinating new concept a
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror-romance
Now this was one confusing story.

The Summary: Marin is a troubled teen living with her father and grandmother after the death of her mother, who committed suicide. After days of living in her room after the bizarre incident, Marin begins to see certain shapes and colors that others can't. Pain.
Now Marin goes to a Catholic school, where she meets Cassie Jackson, a popular girl who has already set her eye on her, and for particular reasons. So when Cassie invites her over, Marin
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
My Thoughts:

I love horror stories, and it has been way too long since I've read one. Be Not Afraid reeled me in, and hooked me. I devoured this story. I hadn't read anything written by Cecilia Galante, but after this story, I am looking forward to reading more of her work. Let me tell you why! For one, I love Ms. Galante's writing style. Her prose are hauntingly beautiful, and there's almost a poetic feel to her writing. The way she describes everything is perfect! She doesn't over d
Molly Dettmann
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Ugh, this one was terrible. Could have been about 100 pages shorter and they could have really tightened up the teen drama and it might have been a passable YA horror. The seeing shapes and colors for pain bit was just too much for me. Really pointless.
J. Taylor
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I would class this as a supernatural book, not a horror because there was zero scares in it although it had the elements of one. Also didn't like the way that religion was brought into this, I believe god can combat the devil when it comes to possession but as for god besotting gifts on people, nada.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshelf
This book was awesome! Definitely original and kept my attention the whole time. It was actually a bit annoying how engrossing it was because I have a 2 year old, I can't read all damn day! I kept waiting for it to get to a boring part so I could put it down and.. you know.. "adult" but nope! I had to tell myself, hey put this damn book down and get your kid lol. It was totally believable as well with the magical realism. And my copy is 337 pages, but the story happened over the coarse of 3 or 4 ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, supernatural, horror
Oddly, I found the horror/supernatural elements of this book the least satisfying — which is not to say poorly done, but just that I found the characterizations and narrative voice so very strong and satisfying that some of the “spooky” elements (ex: possession, exorcism) seemed almost a distraction to me, not as well developed nor interesting as the characters, their relationships, and psychological backdrop. Overall, I’d say that’s more a tribute to the strengths of the writing than a criticis ...more
Ale96_CalS Paola

I honestly think it fulfilled its purpose, it wasn't boring and the main character was really likeable. The whole exorcism arch was a bit too much like all exorcism/supernatural movies or tv shows, and the romance was like something pulled out of Wattpad but overall I enjoyed the plotline. I guess it managed to keep my attention, which is one the greatest accomplishments a book of this caliber can achieve; I guess it had what it tak
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I read this purely for the Halloween season. It wasn't the greatest book of all time, and the main schtick (the female protagonist can see pain in other people) was somewhat confusing in its consistency and application. Once I got over trying to actually pin that down and figure out what the deal was it was much easier to just read along and enjoy the story. There were some definite creepy parts and it served its purpose of being a fun Halloween addition to my normally scheduled reading.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This book wasn't too bad. There were some drawn out parts that could have been shortened, but nothing a little skim reading couldn't conquer. I'm really not into exorcism books or movies because they all have the same storyline and it doesn't really pique my interest, but I still continued to read this book to the end. I did like the style of writing and the other parts of the story that weren't about the possession.
Summer Athey
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marissa Foust
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd give this book more of a 4.5 but that's not an option. I would have given it a five but it was somewhat predictable, but that might just be cause of how much I read. Either way I really liked this book as a horror book. Even though it was really that scary but it still classifies as supernatural to me.
Felicia Allen
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
this book was pretty good. Followed a predictable storyline and wasn't very scary for me but it was a good story.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Good story but needed to be written by some one eles.cause I was rather bored with it even though I liked it go figure
all good things must come to an end
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie Bencomo
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
It was an alright book, it was kinda slow and Had a relatively predictable ending. wasn't an entire waste of time reading this, but definitely would not read again
Blake Norby
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm having a hard time with this one. It's one of my review books and I was excited when I got it because by the cover and the book jacket it seemed like it was going to be a super freaky supernatural story. It was not. There were some supernatural elements, Marin could see people's pain as colors and shapes and Cassie is possessed by some sort of spirit, but for the most part it seems more like a story about a girl struggling with her mother's death and her family relationships. The book mostly ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Whose spirit was it? Was it grandmas or someone else’s, because if it was grandmas, she sure was a wicked woman? I loved the cover of this novel and that is why I grabbed it while volunteering one Friday morning at the library. There was some creepiness inside the pages but not what I was initially hoping for, I wanted more! I wanted more horror and less drama, hold off on the drama people and give me the willies, the OMG, I can’t read the words on this page fast enough willies. T
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, age-ya, horror
Ever since her mother committed suicide, Marin has been able to see people's pain, manifested in brightly colored shapes under their skin. Marin is just trying to deal with all that when a girl in her class at Catholic school, Cassie, has a fit in the middle of Mass. As if Cassie's fit isn't disturbing enough, she points at Marin as she's being carried out and screams, "You! It's you!"

Soon Marin is being forced to remember the time six months ago when Cassie invited her to her house.
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it
I'd say 3.5 is a proper score to match how I felt about this book.

I was honestly hoping it would be scary - which it wasn't at all.

That doesn't mean it was bad - it wasn't - but I was still disappointed. It wasn't what I expected.

The dust jacket described it as if it were a horror novel.

It had a lot of interesting points that were technically connected but the different parts felt kind of disassociated (for lack of a better word).

It could have just been me because I took so many breaks whil
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked it, though I wasn't actually that creeped out by it. Maybe I'm getting too hard to scare...I don't know. But I was hoping to be scared and it didn't really worked. That being said though, it did have some good creepy stuff that I appreciated, and I did like it. But I kind of wonder...who's spirit was it inside of her? There were a couple other things like that that did not get explained, but I've started just assuming most horror books have loose ends.
Kelly Sierra
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, 2015
Mmmm, nope. I didn't like it. I did like the concept that the main character could see pain in colors, but it wasn't really a great story. I fear that perhaps there was too much that the author wanted to convey with the story, but not enough time or space. I didn't actually buy into any of the characters, or their plights. There was also a lot of religious undertones, which I don't know if it helped the story much.

2 out of 5 stars. Thanks Edelweiss.
Staecia Foglia
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I recommend this book to people who enjoy horror and/or mystery. Galante did a fantastic job on sending chills up my spine and leaving me thirsty for more. Not only does the novel have a unique story but it has many unexpected twists and builds suspense on every page you read. I highly recommend this book and I'm sure many people would enjoy it.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
The first YA book that I have read like this....a true horror! Although at times I felt as though some of it was taken from movies (esp at the end) still kept me glued right here...turning the pages. I wish there was a little more information about what happened though. Some more answers and I think that is why I only gave it 4 stars.
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I really liked the idea of being different, learning to accept it. On top of that religion was another big part of this story with a bit of spooky paranormal/demon stuff going on. Overall, I found myself really enjoying this book. Very good read for me.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. Reading the back of this book I wouldn't have ever guessed it was about possession. It actually kind of freaked me out while I was reading it. I still liked it though.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was a mix of a creepy mystery with a touch of religion. It does deal with the occult, suicide, and death. Not exactly light reading material, but I also did not find it to be scarey. It was a good read in the end.
May 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Had more potential, didn't really live up to my expectation. Even though it is a supernatural genre, some of the things that happen, simple actions or occurrences, seemed far-fetched or just ridiculous.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, horror
Started out promisingly - good conversational writing style, no clunky dialogue, smart and sarcastic protagonist. Devolved into a simpering, sentimental stew of platitudes and insta-love. Wholly unsatisfying.
Jai Rahim
May 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
reminded me of the exorcist (without the impact, though).
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Cecilia Galante is the author of several middle grade, young adult and adult novels. She also teaches 8th grade English at Wyoming Seminary Prep School, and teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Wilkes University.
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