2.5 out of 5 hearts
Tonya Hurley is the author of the bestselling series Ghostgirl. I saw this book one day at McNally Jackson, which is my favorite indie bookstore in NYC. Some months later, I find this book unexpectedly at my local library and check it out. The reasons that led me to read this book were all superficial. Hurley is a best-selling author, the illustrations and typography are beautiful, and it has a unique premise.
It is about three lonely girls - Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Agnes is recovering from a suicide attempt after a failed relationship. Cecelia is a struggling musician/singer. "Lucky" Lucy is a socialite from Brooklyn that rules the digital space of the website BYTE. All three are admitted to Perpetual Heart hospital around the same time, where each receives a unique charm bracelet.
New York City is under a severe storm warning and somehow, all three of the girls wind up at an abandoned church that the middle of its demolition. They are led there by a "pull" in their cores. They meet Sebastian, a mysterious, handsome guy. Only Cecelia had seen him before. It turns out that he was the person that gave the girls their bracelets. As the title suggests, these girls are "The Blessed" - saints. Sebastian tells them about their purpose in the world and the evil they have to fight. The fight is closer than they think.
This was a tough read for me. I really, really wanted to like this book, which is the reason I read it to the end. This is the first book of a trilogy and the information load was overwhelming. There were so many times I was lost and confused because I felt like I was drowning in a sea of information. Another issue I had was that it did not read young adult. In fact, as I read about Lucy and Cecelia, I felt like they were all grown women in their 20's and not teenagers. Now that I think about it, some of the scenes were more adult fiction than YA. I triple-checked its classification and it is considered YA.
Now, the good parts. From the sentence structure and the language, Hurley is a great writer. It is a very unique premise and I did find it a bit refreshing. These were the two factors that separated this book from a 1 heart to 2.5 heart review. The Blessed is book one of The Blessed Trilogy. It does leave you on a cliff hanger on the end, so you will be compelled to read book two.
I think I will read the second book when it comes out, but I am not in a rush.
"Don't believe me," he said. "Have faith."
"What's the difference?" Agnes asked.
"A child believes. In magic. In fairies. In monsters. Faith is knowledge. Certainty. Without it, we fail."
-Tonya Hurley, The Blessed
The Blessed by Tonya Hurley
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN 1442429518 (ISBN13: 9781442429512)
Edition language: English