Book Review : Possessions by Nancy Holder

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Possessions (Possessions, #1)
Possessions (Possessions, #1) by Nancy Holder

Product Details
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; 1 edition (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781595142559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595142559
  • Available on: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black. It doesn't help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago.

What Lindsay doesn't yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead...

And that someone is Lindsay.


Lindsay got herself into an impressive boarding school called Marlwood Academy for Girls on a scholarship. Once there, she spotted a group of girls having a strange ritual beside a lake. Later, she discovered that the leader of the group, Mandy was an estranged, rich girl who loved to play crazy games to spook her friends.

The story was well-written, but not much happened in the first half of the book. The words used were rich and descriptive, and these provided a clear image of the places in Marlwood, giving it a menacing atmosphere. The girls' characters were well-developed and we could observe their personalities easily.

The leader of the "mean girls" - Amanda Winters, or Mandy in short really unnerved me. She felt strange, and maybe a tad bit psychopathic but I could not pinpoint my exact feeling towards her character. She loved her brother, Miles (who was in rehab) a little more than she should. She's someone her friends love and hate at the same time, with the exception of Lindsay who had only negative feelings for her.

At times, I couldn't help but question Lindsay's sanity. I wanted to trust her but I found it hard because she was haunted by her own past, and only she alone experience "paranormal disturbance"(but she turned out fine every time). I wondered if she was actually scaring herself, but then she didn't look like the scaredy-cat type.

It was creepy at times, and I could feel myself in Lindsay's shoes, looking at the mean girls' all-black eyes and the otherworldly apparition hanging on their bodies, talking in a Southern accent. The plot was interesting and full of twists and turns, but I wished the author had inserted more eerie and bone-chilling moments.

The ending is left hanging there without a conclusion, so I'm expecting an explanation in the sequel, The Evil Within. I would like it better if the whole story was not summed up in the synopsis, but rather scattered between the pages to be discovered piece by piece by the reader. Nonetheless, Possessions has reached a certain standard to be labeled as a successful ghost story. If you like reading supernatural stories, Possessions is the perfect book for you!

Note: There is mention of sex and a kissing scene.

Rating: 4.000

My deepest gratitude to author Nancy Holder and her assistant Erin for sending me a review copy of Possessions by Nancy Holder. A great thank you to both wonderful ladies!



Image of "Nancy Holder"
New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Holder was born in Los Altos, California, and her family settled for a time in Walnut Creek. Her father, who taught at Stanford, joined the navy and the family traveled throughout California and lived in Japan for three years. When she was sixteen, she dropped out of high school to become a ballet dancer in Cologne, Germany, and later relocated to Frankfurt Am Main. Her books include the Wicked series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes.

{Nancy Holder's Online Connections}

6 creative remarks:

The Slowest Bookworm said...

I agree with you about the ending. It just kind of ... stopped. I was expecting much more.

I did like that it was totally creepy though and those mean girls really freaked me out, especially when they were in the old crumbling buildings.

Great review. I think you managed to say what I wanted to say much better than I did :-)

Jessica said...

Great review as well! The ending was rather abrupt. But I did like the eerieness to the story. Love a good creep factor!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Jessica@a GREAT read

Vivien said...

I've been interested in reading this for a while. I have read Nancy Holder before and found it enjoyable. Thanks for your honest opinion.

Moonlight Gleam said...

I have not yet read this novel, but I am truly looking forward to getting a copy to read! Thank you for sharing your honest opinion about the novel!

Eli Squared said...

I have been scoping out all the reviews for this book, because I do NOT do creepy well. Like scary creepy/possessed creepy. I wanted to know if it had a strong plot-line to distract me.

After reading your review I think, while obviously the creepy is a big component that isn't all there is.

Adding to my TBR pile, thank you!

FairyWhispers said...

souns creepyyyy,


it seems like a powerful book!

=]