BLISS
Author: Lauren Myracle
Originally Published: September 2008
Genre: Horror
Set in somewhere in 1969, when hippies were hated and the gruesome Charles Manson trial was on going, Bliss Inthemorningdew (as her ‘hippie’ parents named her), a fourteen year old girl who had to leave the commune and stay with her traditional grandmother because of her parents’ trip for Canada. As she moves to one of the biggest school, as a proper start for education, she started to fall into thorns of twisted friendship and mysteries. She also started to hear a voice of the dead asking her to find ‘the key’. Bliss started to grow a new friendship with Sandy, who appears to be bullied by Sarah Lynn – the sweetheart of the school. What happens when Bliss follows the voice to get the key? Did she make a right choice by befriending Sandy, who appears to be different in a weird way, but pleasing her at the same time? Is Sarah Lynn is who she appears to be? Do Bliss really having it all right in her mind? – The rest of the story reveals the answers.

The genre of the novel is labeled ‘horror’ but Bliss is a mixture of gruesome terror with suspenseful nights rather than a horrific ghost novel. The author vividly shows the 1969 time period by the reference of real time television shows of that time and covering true crimes of Charles Manson and his family. Bliss also touches the line of racism and the struggles of coloured people at that time.

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The novel is not led by a ghost, demon or a spirit, like any other old school horror novels. It is lead by dynamics of twisted teen friendship. The ending of the novel is close to reality and the author is appreciated for giving a realistic ending rather than a ‘happy ever after’ dramatic ending. So one can say it is one of unique and different try in fictional novels. Myracle’s writing and those Andy Griffith Show quotations made readers dive into 1969 and to travel with Bliss, which is a success of the novel.

The story is lead in eyes of Bliss and diary notes of a girl who only wrote her initials in it. The characters are well written for a suspense novel, slowly revealing their other sides and their motives. Good writing, strong characters, realistic end. Bliss is an old school thriller to be read if one’s a lover of suspense.

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