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Groovy, Man, If Blood Rituals Are Your Sort of Thing

Jenny finds a bosom buddy in Bliss by Lauren Myracle.

Groovy, Man, If Blood Rituals Are Your Sort of Thing

BOOK REPORT for Bliss by Lauren Myracle

BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factors: Blood Rituals, Charles Manson
Relationship Status: 9th Grade BFFs, Before She Switched Schools And Left Me

The Deal:

Bliss Inthemorningdew is starting a new school. She is 14-years old, and her hippie parents (hence her name) have had to flee the country to avoid the draft, leaving Bliss with her very straight-laced Grandmother in Atlanta.

Bliss wants to fit in at her new school, but she also wants to be a good person, and her upbringing on the commune has also instilled in her the spirit of individualism. You can imagine the conflict she experiences in the southern private school Crestview Academy.

The prettiest girl in school, Sara-Lynn, is supposed to be her mentor, but dumps Bliss on Thelma, who's one of Sara-Lynn's biggest fans. Then Bliss sees everyone making fun of Sandy, the plump girl in school, so she befriends her. It's the right thing to do, right? But is anything as it seems, as things take a sinister turn at Crestview?

BFF Charm: Yay!

I loved Bliss. She and I would be bosom buddies. She was an outsider, yet she was nice, and she got along with people without compromising herself along the way. It's an attribute I strive for. She was so sweet and cared so much about everybody, trying not to judge even the mean people; or at least the people who seemed mean. And I wished I could have been there to look out for her, because you know when you make friends with the weird kid, because nobody else will, and that's not right, but then your new bestie kind of gets all possessive of you and doesn't let you be friends with anybody else, and suddenly being their friend is a job, and not something fun anymore...

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

The budding romance between Mitchell and Bliss is so cute and charming! Mitchell is perfectly dreamy in that mid- 19- hundreds- carrying- around- Jack- Kerouac- books- way. I only gave it a 3 because the romance takes a back seat to the other parts of the story.

Talky Talk: Straight Up

This is my first foray into the world of Lauren Myracle. Color me satisfied. This book was fluid in a lovely meandering way that reflected the time period in which it was set. It was truly and thoroughly spine tingly in spots, both with the mystical and the real- blood rituals and the bigotry of the times.

However, I still feel a bit abandoned by the ending.

Bonus Factor: Blood Rituals

(On a side note, I REALLY just ooked myself out. Whatever you do, do NOT do a Google image search for 'blood ritual')

This book had some scary shizz in it, however the blood ritual was only PART of the scary (see below).

Bonus Factor: Charles Manson

The way the author uses excerpts from the Manson trial- as well as The Andy Griffith Show- is genius. She encapsulates the time period Bliss is growing up in with the good and the terrible with ongoing news, and then allows Bliss and her friends to react to it.

Casting Call:

A little help, here? I really didn't visualize anybody famous for these kids!

Relationship Status: 9th Grade BFFs, Until She Switched Schools And Left Me

This book and I had such a cozy friendship, even though it stressed me out, and there were times I found it difficult, what friendship doesn't have its bumps? I would have kept it as my BFF for a very long time, but it left me, and I'm still feeling kind of depressed, and hopeless- like there isn't any real justice in the world; evil deeds go unpunished, the innocent are victims, and racism abounds.

P.S. I still miss you, Bliss.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.