Monday, November 17, 2008

Bliss, by Lauren Myracle

It is the Fall of 1969 and the big story on the news is the Manson trial. But for Bliss, it is about trying to fit in at Crestview Academy after her parents dump her with her stodgy grandmother as they flee to Canada to avoid the draft. That would make for a pretty interesting story, but there is more: a ghost of a girl who killed herself 80+ years before, a death-obsessed loner, a non-conformist love interest, interracial dating in a time when such things were still dangerous, and mutitudinous quotes from the Andy Griffith Show.

This novel falls seriously into my category of trying-to-do-too-much. I'm not sure how all of the plots were supposed to relate (most of them are just fade away and the ending is amazingly incomprehensible), but I am sure that some sorry book report writer will have to figure it out. Her earlier Rhymes With Witches did a similar job of crossing high school life with the supernatural, but it was wittier and had more focus. This one can't figure out if it wants to be funny, poignant, and just gross-out. All over the place and ugly to boot!

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