Author: Kate Cann
"She thought it was an escape... but she might be trapped forever.
Rayne can't wait to get away - from the stifling head of summer in London, from her controlling older boyfriend, Damian, from the tiny apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. So when she finds a job at a secluded country estate, Rayne jumps at the chance to escape.
But as soon as she arrives, her retreat feels like another prison. The ancient estate is suffocating, filled with spooky relics and a strange energy that seems to surround her everywhere she goes. Rayne wants to believe it's all just her imagination, but as she spends more time in the countryy she becomes more convinced that there's something out there... something that wants her to stay... forever."
"Rayne sat on the end of her narrow bed next to Jelly's cot, painting her nails. It was the end of August and the heat was vile."
It's very rare that I read a book and think it's truly "horror." I mean, we have this label we put on books that are dark, mysterious, or really any type of ghost story. But there seem to be very few that actually fall into the category of horror. This one absolutely qualifies.
There are parts of this story that seem built to make you shiver. They're things like hearing things that may or may not be there - dark, scary hallways or woods - thinking someone is there when there isn't. And so on. Having grown up in a semi-spooky, old house, there are some of those types of things that are a bit familiar. But all of that is just kind of obvious ... and this book has more to offer than that.
This book also has the horror of people who believe they are something they are not - or perhaps the horror is that they ARE who they say they are. That probably didn't make any sense, but the story is a bit about identity - most of the characters aren't exactly what they seem. Even the ones that seem harmless. The setting is also really magical - it's almost like places you visit on school trips, but this is much more in depth. It's cool to think about living in one of those places.
One thing that did bother me a little about the story is that the main character, Rayne, seems to have all her problems branch from her love interests. Each boy gives her some kind of heartbreak - and sometimes more. It's almost a little too much like the girl isn't able to be without a boy in her life (which, I suppose, could be a bit realistic)... which made it a little hard to identify with.
Otherwise this story is a solid ghost story and will keep readers guessing throughout. There are hints as you go along, but the ending gave me a little more to think about than I expected. This is a great story for teen girls mostly - guys may just get into the horror aspect of it. I'll definitely be recommending it on to those looking for more horror-like horror :).
Check out Kate Cann's website here. Apparently Possessed was published under other names in the UK - and it looks like there is a sequel that hasn't been published in the US (I wonder if it will be?). It looks like she has a lot more titles that I haven't ever seen - probably because I'm not in the right country. Maybe we'll get to see some of those eventually!
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