A girl finds herself unwillingly connected to her classmate’s spiritual possession.
After Marin’s mother’s suicide—a source of survivor’s guilt—Marin started seeing people’s pain, manifesting as colorful lights and shapes revealing information about the nature of the malady. To avoid being overwhelmed, she’s purposefully aloof, wearing sunglasses indoors and always looking down. At a Mass at her Catholic school, a popular classmate shrieks at the holy host and has a classic Exorcist-style seizure before stopping directly in front of Marin with a message. Marin knows it has to do with the time Cassie invited her over, months ago, trapping Marin into helping with a ritual she desperately wants to forget. Not letting her forget is Cassie’s hot older brother, who has noticed his sister’s decline and wants to know its cause so he can help her. Despite her dislike for Cassie and her terror over the afternoon they shared, Marin’s feelings for Dominic—and compassion for Cassie’s suffering as he describes it—pulls her into their family’s supernatural horror. The classic possession is well-executed and decorated with some top-notch horror elements; readers who don’t love this sort of suspense will find refuge in the romantic and realistic familial (Marin’s new family dynamic and the siblings’ family drama) subplots. The quick pacing may cause occasional confusion but provides ample reason to keep reading to the end, which is sweeter than conventional for the genre.
A quick, freaky read. (Horror. 13 & up)