Crestview holds secrets in its stones, ghostly hints of a long-ago death. Sensitive Bliss hears a voice that speaks of terrible things...and blood. Always blood. Her fellow students, with their sunny smiles and talk of makeup and dances, seem untouched by this darkness. Yet, as Bliss will learn, they too have secrets. When the simmering tensions of the present mingle with the dark secrets of the past, it is kindly Bliss who becomes the focus of a deadly struggle for power.
(Summary from jacket flap)
Man, I hate to be a party pooper, but I don't see what's so amazing about Bliss. Everyone's been freaking out about how great it is, and how it's Lauren Myracle's best work yet, and I just don't get it. It's not a terrible book, but it's definitely not mind-blowing. The main bad part was that it was slow. It took me forever to finish it! That's because the beginning was rather boring, as was...a lot of the book, I guess. The whole plot wasn't worked out well. The writing was a little choppy, the events unrealistic. Bliss was a good redeeming character, though. I liked her a lot, probably because the book was told from her perspective. She seemed like a very normal high school freshman. She kind of brought a sense of reality to the book, as did Sarah Lynn; I liked her character as well. I also liked how you got fed little elements of the story as the book went on to sort of keep you guessing. That part did work for me. Also, I had no idea what the Tate/LaBianca murders were, so it was neat to see that woven into the story, although it was also rather creepy. The quotes Lauren picked were good for that. I really just think that Bliss should've been thought out more. Looking back I can see so many open ends and aspects of the book that weren't expressed in very much detail. I wish we could have seen more of Liliana's story and more of the "voice". I might've liked it more if the book was a little more focused on the past. The short part where Aggie (is that her name?) told her story was really cool. We just didn't get much more background than that, which stunk. Also, I would've liked for there to be a little more focus on the racial struggles going on at Crestview. Mitchell and Lawrence were really interesting people and they were involved in that and they didn't get very much spotlight time. :( So I guess there were some good parts of the book. It did have its high points. But for me, it just didn't work. It was a little too far-fetched to be believable. And the ending was crap. I don't know if I have some reading issue because I'm contradicting basically every other review out there, but Bliss just wasn't that great. Sorry.
Read my Bits 'n Pieces interview with Lauren. She's a really interesting author!