Review: Possessions by Nancy Holder


Possessions by Nancy Holder
Book 1, Possessions Series
Genre: YA Paranormal
Year: 2009 (September 3, 2009)
Format: Trade Paperback, 295 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-59514-255-9 (Razorbill)
My Copy: Received from author


The It Girl meets The Exorcist in this chilling, haunted boarding school tale

New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black. It doesn’t help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago.

What Lindsay doesn’t yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead...

And that someone is Lindsay.

My Ramblings:

Possessions by Nancy Holder is the first book I've read by this author. From reading the synopsis you already know the popular girls are possessed by spirits. The mystery in this book lies in why were they possessed and who were these spirits.

I had a fun time reading Possessions. I know your thinking "Fun?" What was fun for me was the creepy factor in the setting of the book. I loved how the eerie atmosphere was set. While reading you could feel how creepy it was staying at a school, surrounded by old and decrypted buildings, out in the middle of nowhere, in the woods with a seemingly eternal fog. It made you feel total isolation from the rest of the world.

I liked Lindsey, the heroine, from the start. She has a spunky personality paired with a sarcastic attitude and she stuck out like a sore thumb at Marlwood Academy for the rich. That appealed to me because I'm almost always for the underdog. I liked that Lindsey was determined to be herself and tried to avoid the "in" crowd because of bad past experiences at her previous high school. She forms a fast friendship with her roommate Julie. Julie was a naive girl, whose family wasn't as rich as they once were. There were some spots in the book where I didn't feel she gave the friendship between Lindsey and herself enough value and consideration. 

Mandy, the "in" crowd leader at Marlwood and her followers added their fair share to creepy factor with their weird pranks they would setup to entertain the other girls after curfew. And from the very beginning Mandy tries drawing Lindsey into her inner circle of friends. Mandy's character is written well as the evil it girl, one moment it seems she okay and then next she is just pure evil.

There's a little bit of forbidden romance mixed in as well. The last thing Lindsey expected to happen to her at an all girls school was to meet a guy. But there is one problem, the guy Lindsey likes is Mandy's boyfriend Troy. Troy goes to school across the lake from Marlwood at an all boys school. I was right there with Lindsey during her heart-pounding moments that Troy's athletic good looks created. It was reminiscent of young love in all it's sweetness.

Possessions was entertaining and fast read for me. The only quibble I have with this story is that I would've like to have read more about the spirits and have more details surrounding the story about them. I think it would’ve made the story more fleshed out. Hopefully we’ll get more of these details in the next book. All in all the story moved at good pace and was easy to follow. There was enough mystery to keep me interested in what was going to happen next. And the ending was perfect for this story, a big time cliffhanger.

My Rating: Liked It

Places you can find Nancy Holder: Web Site | Blog | Twitter

Possessions Series:

  1. Possessions
  2. The Evil Within June 10, 2010


A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I'm starting to get into a YA kick, and this looks like a really good read.

Blodeuedd said...

Oh cliffhangers are evil I say ;)
Sounds good, and I do appreciate YA more now then ever before

Chris said...

I think I'd want the same additional details you wanted!

Donna said...

Colette - Same here! I'm finding that I have real liken to the YA Paranormal genre. I just wish there were more books like this when I was younger. I would've been in book heaven.

Blodeuedd - Cliffhangers are like a love/hate thing. They make you want more but then you don't want to wait to learn more. ;)

Chris - I really enjoyed this book, but while I was reading I had questions about the spirits that weren't answered. The only thing I figure is they will be brought to light in the next book.

Nancy Holder said...

Thanks for the review. I'm glad you liked the book!


Anonymous said...

This probably isn't very helpful, but there's something about this cover that really, really annoys me. I just can't put my finger on what it is...

Carolyn Crane said...

Can I just say, WHERE WERE ALL THESE GREAT YAs when I was a YA? Can you imagine the great buffet of reading these are for YAs?

Ahem. Just a little side note. This book's plot sounds really inventive and fun. Thanks for the review!

Sophia (FV) said...

This looks interesting. I have a love hate relationship with those darn cliffhanger endings!

Donna said...

Hi Nancy - You're welcome! I'm glad I had the chance to read Possessions.

Donna said...

TJ - The cover isn't the best. I think it gives the book a younger feel. I know my stepdaughter's eyes light up when I showed it to her. So I guess it just depends on the audience.

Carolyn - Exactly! I wish the YA books were around when I was a lot younger. But I still enjoy them now. We're just kids at heart, huh?

FV - Same here about the cliffhangers. They keep you coming back for more.

Smokinhotbooks said...

I hate cliffhangers! I'm still recovering from KMM Dreamfever, it's borderline cruel {cries}.

I've been on this recent YA kick this one sounds right up my reading alley - great review :)

Donna said...

KC - I've been wanting to read more YA, so I'm starting to and I've found I like it a lot more than I thought I would.

VampFanGirl said...

Great review Donna!

For this being paranormal, I was surprised by your comment that the author didn't explore the spirts more. The book sounded more like a gothic coming of age story.

I don't read much YA, in fact I don't read any. I of course jumped onto the Twilight band wagon but after that - nada. I did pick up Richelle Mead's YA series of the Vampire Academy. I've heard such great things that I decided the series would be my next venture into YA.

Thanks for the review and recommendation!

Have a great weekend!

;) VFG

Donna said...

VFG - Yes, you are right. And such a fine way with words: It was more of a gothic coming of age story. It had the creepy atmosphere of horror but not a lot of explanation on the spirits. I definitely look for the paranormal aspects in books and I always want to the details on the whys. But still I liked Possessions for the other elements it offered.

Thank you for stopping by!

Debbie's World of Books said...

I just finished this one too and I agree it would have been nice to have more details around the ghosts and what happened to them.

Donna said...

Hi Debbie - Hopefully more will be said about them in the next book. Overall did you enjoy the book?

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