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The Fiction Conniption

Proud book geek and YA enthusiast. Can also find me at my other book blog home www.tyngasreviews.com




Currently reading

J.R. Johansson
Lauren Oliver
The Dead-Tossed Waves
Carrie Ryan
Unravel Me

The Blessed (Blessed - Trilogy)

The Blessed - Tonya Hurley Review also posted on my blog at www.thefictionconniption.com---I know, I know - the synopsis on this one is pretty vague. Normally, it might not have caught my attention enough for me to really pick it up, BUT LOOK AT THAT COVER. How was I not going to read this book with a cover like that? The story revolves around Agnes, Cecelia (CeCe), and Lucy - three girls whose paths cross briefly without their realizing it in the first chapters, and then don't cross again until much later. One is a celebutante on a ruthless mission to stay on top of social media charts, another is a musician with a rebel heart and a life on no particular path, and the last is an naive and confused young girl who doesn't really know what she wants. None of these girls are perfect, and they wear their imperfections well. Enter - the mysterious Sebastian and a storm of epic proportions that traps them all in a church together for 3 days while they seek shelter from apocalyptic conditions. Put it all together and this was a book that I just l kept coming back to eagerly. I don't know what it is about this book that is so addicting. I think I can't quite put my finger on it because there are so many things about it that I loved right from the start. To begin with, you're thrown directly into the action (LOVE that) - so literally from page one there is just no turning back - you have to know what is happening to these girls. The downside seems to be that the first few pages are the most interesting, and the rest of the book sort of follows in the wake of those first awesome scenes.The characters that Tonya Hurley writes are so unique. No cookie-cutter types. Every one of these three girls has such a vivid and different personality from the others, it's incredible, really. Maybe this is a bit too much of my own experience talking here, but something that can really bug me in stories is the inexplicably perfect relationship that a lot of shy and isolated main characters have with their best friend. Who usually ends up being their only 'true' friend. And also usually lives right across the street. And can generally come visit at all hours of the night by climbing in a bedroom window. Does that sound all too familiar to anyone else? Well - one thing I loved about these girls is that they have no friends. Is that weird? Maybe. But it actually fit their personalities not to have a big group of friends. The atmosphere of this book is another thing that really impressed me. Every room is described in a way that makes it so vividly real in your mind, and so easy to feel what it would feel like to be there. There is a certain feeling about this book that I can't quite put my finger on - it's haunting and deep and thought-provoking. And just plain awesome, of course. It was the first time I've seen use of saints and martyrs and such in a book, and Tonya Hurley pulled it off very well, with a great sense of wonder and mystery surrounding the whole idea.This was the first book I've read in a while that clearly needed a sequel. You know how sometimes you'll read the first book in a series and be like, "Well, yeah, there's a few more loose ends I guess the second book could tie up." NOPE! This book was almost all build-up and set up to the second - exactly as a first book in a series should be. Unfortunately, this did mean that the ending of the book was pretty unsatisfying - but I enjoyed the rest of the book enough to definitely hang in there for the second book.The more I thought about it though, I realized that even though the characters were great and the writing very interesting - it felt like a prequel. It felt like a 400 page introduction to the characters, and I suddenly wondered if I knew why the blurb is so vague. Because nothing really happens in this book - technically. Which is still okay, because in a very rare way, Tonya Hurley is able to pull that off. But still, it should be noted that there aren't really any surprises involved that aren't already part of the back cover copy.Overall, this isn't a thriller. If you've read the back of the book, you know what happens already. But still, I enjoyed it immensely. I was still drawn to it and intrigued by the characters themselves and their journeys. The most important things in this story were the changes that occur in the girls themselves.