by Lauren Myracle
When Bliss’s hippie parents leave the commune and dump her at the home of her aloof grandmother in a tony Atlanta neighborhood, it’s like being set down on an alien planet. The only guide naive Bliss has to her new environment is what she’s seen on The Andy Griffith Show. But Mayberry is poor preparation for Crestview Academy, an elite school where the tensions of the present and the dark secrets of the past threaten to simmer into violence. Openhearted Bliss desperately wants new friends, making her the perfect prey of a troubled girl whose obsession with a long-ago death puts Bliss, and anyone she’s kind to, in mortal danger.
I've read the TTYL series and really enjoyed it. When I saw this book I picked it up because of the author and the front cover. I'm glad I did because it was a very creepy read. The story setting is during the 1960's and while Bliss is going to school the country is riveted by the Manson murders. What really added to the scare factor was that Myracle used transcripts from the Charles Manson murder trial as chapter dividers!! So you would read these horrific snippets and then dive back into the story. Then the next chapter divider might be a short passage from The Andy Griffith Show. Which shows such a quaint and picturesque state of America. The one that Bliss is aware of, not the dirty, dark, murderous part of society that Bliss has been sheltered from all of her life. I quit reading real scary books a while ago because my husband works a swing shift and I just don't like reading that stuff knowing that I'm home alone, because I have a very imaginative mind!! But this book didn't scare me like that, it was just one of those books that can give you the willies. I always have kids that want a scary or creepy book and this one would be right up their alley. The book has 444 pages but the pacing is fast and the story is just hard to put down. I will leave you with two my favorite passages in the entire book:
"I had to honor her," Agnes says. "Don't you see?"
"What is it?" Sandy asks. "A piece of her scalp?"
Agnes's eyes blaze. "It's what came free. I wasn't.....I didn't have time to be picky."
"Agnes, that's disgusting," Sandy says gleefully.
As for me,I'm slogging through the horror of my thoughts. Liliana died...she jumped from the window and her skull smacked the ground...and Agnes kept a piece of her?
My tears make everything waver, but I'm perfectly capable of seeing what Sandy does. She dips her finger in Staci's blood and, looking straight at me, puts it in her mouth. When she pulls it out, she smiles..
**I changed the name to mine so I wouldn't spoil anything for a future reader!!