Author: Tonya Hurley
Series: The Blessed #1
Published: 2 August 2012 by Hodder
Length: 232 pages
Other Info: Tonya also wrote the Ghostgirl series!
Summary : Brooklyn teens Lucy, Cecelia and Agnes find themselves in the emergency room at Perpetual Help Hospital at the lowest point in their lives. Lucy, the superficial party girl; Cecelia, a drop out rock chick; and Agnes, a hopeless romantic. All rebels running from their lives and themselves, plagued by broken hearts and broken dreams. Enter Sebastian. Mysterious, compelling, seductive. He seems to bring each of them what they long for...But in the battle for his heart, will they lose their souls?
Review: Agnes, Cecilia and Lucy are three girls brought together by low points in lives. They meet Sebastian, who seduces them, makes them all fall in love with him. And then they find out that they’re not just three random girls brought together by failed lives. They’re reincarnations of saints Agnes, Cecelia and Lucy. and they’ve got jobs to do.
I really liked the idea. It wasn’t one of my “I must read this asap” books, but it was definitely intriguing. Saints, and religion to a general extent, don’t tend to get brought up in YA so I thought this could really work out nicely. I also kind of enjoyed the Ghostgirl series.
We start seeing the three broken girls arrive at a Catholic hospital following suicide attempts and drowning and whatnot. It takes a bit of time for me to care about them, despite their circumstances. We do get a lot of backstory which is nice, but at times I did just want the main story to move on.
Which it hardly did. A good deal of The Blessed takes place in a church. The three girls and Sebastian in a church. They spend this attempting to be strong and failing, learning about the Church and Christian history, and flirting with Sebastian. I think. I only read this a few days ago and I’ve already forgotten what happened. The first thing I have a problem with is the way they all get htere. After being all together in the hospital, which I understand, I really don’t get why they’d just be casually out in a thunderstorm and happen to seek refuge in this particular church. And all three of them? I know they need to for plot working outness, but honestly.
The only character I really liked was Agnes, and even that was at a push. Still, she’s better than Cecelia and Lucy, two semi-famous teenagers with separate half-careers. Put all three of them together and you end up with a tonne of whinyness. Add in a boy and you get a lot of bitchiness too. Lucy in particular, I don’t like. she’s annoying, and she mucks around in the church in a way this is, quite simply, disrespectful.
The whole saints thing only comes in to play during the last eighth of the novel, which is too late to develop anything properly. The rituals and the latin was nice, but the way they all suddenly gain the strength to do everything without needing time to adjust was unbelievable. The ending seemed rushed and it wasn’t a very satisfying end.
Good things...er...I liked the premise and the chapter titles and the cover. Oh, and since I looked at the finished copy in a bookshop, I quite like the pictures of the saints.
Overall: Strength 2 tea to a book that had a really good premise, but didn’t work out for me.