Bliss [NOOK Book]

Overview

When Bliss's hippie parents leave the commune and dump her at the home of her aloof grandmother in a tony Atlanta neighborhood, it's like being set down on an alien planet. The only guide naive Bliss has to her new environment is what she's seen on The Andy Griffith Show. But Mayberry is poor preparation for Crestview Academy, an elite school where the tensions of the present and the dark secrets of the past threaten to simmer into violence. Openhearted Bliss desperately wants new friends, making her the perfect ...
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Bliss

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Overview

When Bliss's hippie parents leave the commune and dump her at the home of her aloof grandmother in a tony Atlanta neighborhood, it's like being set down on an alien planet. The only guide naive Bliss has to her new environment is what she's seen on The Andy Griffith Show. But Mayberry is poor preparation for Crestview Academy, an elite school where the tensions of the present and the dark secrets of the past threaten to simmer into violence. Openhearted Bliss desperately wants new friends, making her the perfect prey of a troubled girl whose obsession with a long-ago death puts Bliss, and anyone she's kind to, in mortal danger.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Catering to teens with a taste for horror, this carefully plotted occult thriller set in 1969-1970 combines genre staples with creepy period particulars. Raised on a commune, 14-year-old Bliss Inthemorningdew has been dumped by her hippie parents with her grandmother, a disapproving Atlanta matriarch who promptly enrolls her at the prestigious Crestview Academy. As Bliss watches The Andy Griffith Show for its insights into conventional interactions (dialogue from the show and other ephemera separate the book's short chapters), she observes the social scene with fascination and confusion, understanding neither the pull of the most popular girl nor the taboos against the class pariah (fans of Rhymes with Witches will recognize one of the girls). Meanwhile, she keeps receiving extrasensory messages from spirits. Interspersed with Bliss's first-person narrative are sinister journal entries from a student identified only by her initials, and these eventually dovetail with rumors about a long-ago suicide or murder at Crestview. Myracle throws in the Charles Manson Family murders, racism, ghosts, blood sacrifices and prom queens-and, remarkably, supports this outré mix with clever timing and well-placed red herrings. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Jennifer Wood
Bliss In the Morning Dew is a free-thinking daughter of hippie parents, and when they leave their daughter with her Southern grandmother in order to ensure her safety while the couple dodge the draft in Canada, Bliss is not sure what to expect. In addition to Bliss's unfamiliarity with teenage life after years at the small commune, her grandmother lives in an actual mansion and has enrolled Bliss at Crestview Academy. Soon Bliss is befriended by a small group of girls who try to teach her about navigating the complicated politics of both their teenaged world and the charged climate of Atlanta in the late 1960s. To further complicate matters, Bliss begins sensing a dangerous presence calling to her from the school's past, a threat which grows increasingly more powerful and violent. While the novel's historical setting is neither strictly accurate nor quickly established, Myracle's blend of the counter, pop, and Southern cultures is fascinating and well crafted. The tension of Bliss's world is nicely mirrored by the references to both Mayberry and the Manson Family which frame and inform nearly every chapter. The novel presents serious concepts. The nature of power, interracial dating in the midst of Klansmen, and the search for true individuality all feature prominently in often beautiful language that should satisfy teen readers, their educators, and their families alike. Reviewer: Jennifer Wood
VOYA - Anna Welch
Bliss moves to a new town and ends up being part of a larger, secret plan that brings her a breath away from death by sacrifice. This book is a romance hidden within a thriller that kept me reading all through the night. It's geared toward a mature audience of readers who are strong in what they believe. Reviewer: Anna Welch, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Jennifer Miskec
Life on a commune has not prepared Bliss for the demands of the exclusive private high school in which her grandmother has enrolled her. There is the typical social hierarchy she must navigate in addition to learning what it means to be an ordinary teenager in 1969. Adding even more complication to her new life in the mainstream is the troubled ghost of a girl who communicates with Bliss in an attempt to control her. Just when Bliss thinks she has everything she desires-a strengthening relationship with her grandmother, a boyfriend, a group of friends, and most important, a silent ghost-a disturbed classmate who is obsessed with the dead girl brings Bliss's new life crashing down around her. Part horror, part social commentary, this novel is simultaneously creepy and smart. Readers will find both unsettling and intriguing how easily Bliss slips into her new life in high society despite the ideological ugliness, how the "good guy" does not win, how unreliable Bliss' perspective is, how no character is who she first appears to be, and how unresolved the book is overall. Although there are some plot issues, Myracle's character development is better here than in her previous novels, and fans will be happy to note that her penchant for making readers squirm is in full force. Readers will also be left wondering about the similarities to Rhymes with Witches (Amulet/Harry N. Abrams, 2005/VOYA August 2005). Does this novel explain the Bitches' power? Reviewer: Jennifer Miskec
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

In the summer of 1969, hippie teenager Bliss in the Morning Dew sees her whole world turn upside down. One day, she is unceremoniously dropped at her grandmother's house in Atlanta after her parents decide to leave their commune and move to Canada. Now, not only does she need to get to know her grandmother, but she also has to learn the ways of the society she now inhabits. That includes attending the exclusive Crestview Academy. This might sound like a typical story of a girl getting to know a long-lost family member, but it's not. This story is straight-up horror-with Bliss right in the center of the storm. The nice, polite, nonjudgmental teen has been singled out by one girl at school-a girl whose obsession with blood rituals borders on insanity. Lilliana was once a student at Crestview, but her mysterious death has long haunted the school. Yet, one girl believes that Lilliana can and must be brought back from the dead, and there's only one student who can help-Bliss. However, the protagonist has some secrets of her own, and she's not going to let Lilliana return without a fight. Myracle also works in period references, including the "The Andy Griffith Show" and the Manson Family murders. Although the story drags a bit in the middle and Bliss seems a bit too forgiving of a new friend, this novel is sure to cause goose bumps all the way to the dramatic and surprising end.-Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR

Kirkus Reviews
Socio-historical details revitalize classic horror conventions in this suspenseful thriller. Bright 14-year-old Bliss has been deposited at the Atlanta residence of her uptight grandmother by her hippie parents after they split from their commune, seeking refuge from Nixon's political policies in Canada. Attending an exclusive private school is very nearly a cross-cultural experience for Bliss, and she is deeply disturbed by both the generally catty nature of her peers and their persistent racism. She also is plagued by terrifying ghostlike voices from the moment she sets foot on campus, and is quickly enveloped into a troubling mystery surrounding a student's death many years prior. Against a backdrop that vividly illustrates the 1969-70 time period, including the Tate-LaBianca murders and subsequent Manson murder trial, Bliss is drawn into a disturbing friendship with an outcast and into a legacy of occult happenings at her school. Myracle effectively pairs these supernatural elements with the real-life horror of racial hatred within an insular community, and Bliss's gentle and witty narrative voice provides just the right balancing tone. (Horror. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781613120194
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 323,023
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Lauren Myracle is a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program in writing for children and young adults. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Internet Girls trilogy--ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r--and Rhymes with Witches, among many other books for teenagers and young people. She grew up in Atlanta and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband and their three children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 94 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    WAITING FOR THE SEQUEL!!!

    I will be brief, this was a fascinating book, there was definitely a lot of suspense as well as a few plot twists I wasn't expecting. I was a great read, except for its conclusion. The way the book ends make me feel as if there must be a sequel in the works, either that or there has got to be a chapter missing. It ended very strangely, cruelly, abruptly, and without resolving any conflicts or giving anything positive to `the good guys', leaving me confused and wondering if there was something big I had missed. Maybe there's some deep philosophical theme I was too obtuse to notice. Long story short, this is a wonderful novel dampened by a frayed, painful, barely-there ending that left me wishing Bliss had never come to town in the first place. If there is indeed a sequel, I'll be the first to edit my review. Overall, good writing, interesting read.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Different

    I found myself interested in this book when I saw how the author incorporated quotes from the time period. The style is interesting, and the story is indeed thrilling. I simply adored how she used the Charles Manson murder trials in the novel. I had trouble putting it down, even when I really wanted to. While it was a good book with a different story, I found the ending somewhat dissapointing. Still, if you enjoy highly strange and beyond creepy stories, this book is definitly worth the read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    WOW!

    I purchased this book simply because I thought it looked interesting. The cover was intriguing and I only skimmed the summary. I'm very glad that I had the chance to read it. It's very rare, especially for teenagers, to become engrossed in a book that takes place in another time, a time they weren't even a thought in their parents' heads. I found myself pulled into the late 1960's and actually went online afterward to read up on some facts that the book brought up. I actually used my free time to research HISTORY!!!!! I really enjoyed reading this and I look forward to the Ms. Myracle's next book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2009

    Do Not Read!

    This book was one of the most boring books i have ever read...The only reason i couldn't put it down was because i was anxious to see what would happen in the end...and when i finally finished it I was really dissapointed...In fact i found this book so boring it kind of scared me...some of the parts were unrealistic...and i hated the end. I do not recommend this book to anyone...

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2009

    ULIKABLE!!!!

    I have never read such a horrible book that had no meaning and no ending...It was just plain stupid!!! I wouldn't advise anyone to read this book...not even as a cruel joke...It left me aggrevated!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    GREAT BOOK!

    This book is very different from any book that I have ever read before. Its emotional, mysteries, thrilling, suspenseful, and it even has romance. This book keeps you thinking the whole way through. Also there are some very unexspecting events. Its not your average every day life. Bliss, didn't know what she was in for coming to her new school. Then the ending is very shocking, I recommend reading it to find out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    Out of this world!

    This is the book I am currently reading and so far.... its awesome! It really makes you think about how hard life can be for shy teenagers. Bliss is an eye opening novel that leaves you hanging by your feet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A Blissful book

    Bliss by Lauren Myracle is a great, suspenseful novel. Bliss Inthemorningdew is quite a unique and kind person. She befriends Sandy, who seems like a good person, but really can have an evil side. I almost cried when Sarah Lynn Lancaster died. I couldn't put the book down. It made me want to keep reading on and on. Mitchell is the perfect guy for Bliss. This book is great for teens. It is suspenseful, entertaining, and emotional. It has the whole package.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Steph for TeensReadToo.com

    Bliss is different from the rest of the students at her new school. For one, they didn't grow up on a commune with hippie parents. They didn't have a last name of 'in the Morning Dew'. They didn't hear the voice of a girl who killed herself years ago in one of the old halls on the school grounds. <BR/><BR/>While Bliss may be different, she quickly learns that she likes the kind of life her fellow students lead, the kind of life she never had the opportunity to have. She wears make-up for the first time. She attends classes with other kids her age. She makes friends. She gets a boyfriend. She attends a school dance. <BR/><BR/>Everything would be perfect if it weren't for Sandy, the misfit of the school who Bliss befriends because she knows what it's like to not fit in. Unfortunately, Bliss quickly finds out that Sandy isn't completely sane. Sandy wants people to worship her, to understand her. She'd go all the way to the point of bringing alive someone from the past -- Lillian, the girl who jumped out of a third-story window all those years ago -- to achieve her goal. <BR/><BR/>And Bliss finds herself in the middle of this bloodlust. <BR/><BR/>Myracle writes an interesting story that links to the American events of 1969-70. Her writing is amazing; the reader feels happy and terrified right along with the protagonist. This story is sure to capture readers, although the ending does not have quite the touch of finality that most stories do.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Bitches

    Is what this is fulll of

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013

    GREAT

    This book is truly awesome. Its thrilling and a bit horrific. If you like this book then you MUST read "rhymes with witches" its a creepy carry on for this book! LOVED IT x10000000

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Amazing story

    I read this book and fell in love. I did not want to put it down from page one to the last period i was wraped up in the story

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    Horrible ending

    I absolutely love lauren myricle, and the book was pretty good until the very end. The ending ruined the whole book for me, everything was left unresolved and my god was it extremely cruel to end it that way

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Bliss.

    This is one of the best books I have ever read I really reccomend it for ppeople who like scary things. You can also jusst read it to read it not to scare yourself. Overall,REALLY GOOD BOOK!!!!

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  • Posted April 2, 2013

    I've read this book about 3 or 4 times now, and I have to say, I

    I've read this book about 3 or 4 times now, and I have to say, I really love it. I don't normally read thrillers (I'm more of a fantasy/sci-fi junkie), but I read &quot;Rhymes with Witches&quot; back in about 8th grade and I had to get my hands on this one afterwards.h
    The most decisive part of this book, seems to be the realistic ending mixed with Bliss's shift from being innocently optimistic to an existential adult.
    The scariest part, at least to me, was how Sandy was written. Everyone has known a girl like that and the book plays on the fear that maybe it's a good thing that she's alone.
    I recommend this book to anyone who is open to an unhappy ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 7, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This was the greatest book ever! It is very rare to find a book

    This was the greatest book ever! It is very rare to find a book as good as this. The main person, bliss,is one of the most sweetest sounding person in the world! The other important person, sandy, is the most evilest person in the book(aside from liliana) there were many twists and turns in this book.If you enjoy horror, and telling your mom to check under your bed at night, this is the book FOR you.If you get scared very easily,and pee your pants at the very first exciting thing, then this book is NOT for you.WARNING IF YOU CRY WHEN DEPRESSING THINGS HAPPEN DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! But, for my part this book is one of my top ten. Enjoy this book and have a nice day. .P.S. try my recommendation

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint.wordpress.com

    When her parents decide they can no longer live in Nixon's US, Bliss is shipped off to Atlanta to live with her grandmother while her parents flee to Canada in Bliss (2008) by Lauren Myracle. The year is 1969 and after spending most of her life living on a commune, or wherever else her parents decided to hang their hats, Bliss is ill-prepared for conventional life in a big city.

    Bliss isn't too worried when she starts at the prestigious Crestview High School though because she's spent a lot of time watching TV. Surely The Andy Griffith Show will tell her everything she needs to know about life in the "civilized" world of non-hippies, right?

    Unfortunately, the answer is no. Real life in Atlanta is nothing life fake life in Mayberry. The slang is different, unspoken rules make no sense, and the de facto racism is painful to watch--even as a bystander. Then there's the mysterious voice Bliss hears whenever she walks by Hamilton Hall. Is it a ghost? Can anyone else hear it? And, most troubling of all, why does the voice seem to be dripping blood with its every inflection?

    Bliss tries to set these troubling thoughts aside as she focuses on making new friends. But the closer Bliss gets to her new classmates the more entangled she becomes in both the politics ofCrestview and a more sinister campaign centered around the sinister voice from long ago.

    Bliss is a prequel to Myracle's earlier novel Rhymes With Witches which, I am told, ties back to the events related here. It is also one of the suspected reasons behind the rather open-ended conclusion of Bliss. (It was one of those "That's it?" moments.)

    Right until the ending Bliss was fraught with tension. The title on the cover is written in blood over a seemingly innocent picture made sinister through the contrast. The interior design of the book is equally fright-inducing. Chapters are separated with white-on-black text quotations from a variety of sources including The Andy Griffith Show and transcripts from the Charles Manson trials used to set the backdrop for the story. Excerpts from a mysterious journal whose pages are covered with blood up the sinister factor even more.

    This is an interesting book in that it can appeal to a lot of people. There's a bit of history, a bit of the supernatural, a little romance, some suspense, and even some mystery and horror. If that appeals, or if you just want to see how a book can drip blood, Bliss might be worth a gander.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    For younger teens looking for a horror tale

    A quick read, this supernatural thriller never really caught my complete interest. Written by Lauren Myracle, author of several other YA novels, this story seemed leaving something to be desired in character development as well as plot. I enjoyed the read but left feeling...Huh?...what happened to? etc. Young Bliss, fresh off the commune, goes to live with her grandmother in Atlanta, when her parents decide to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War. Feeling totally out of her element, she tries to strike up friendships among the students at exclusive Crestview Academy. Snubbed by those assigned to show her around, she finds Sandy,who after helping a fellow student who fell down the stairs, seems like the kind of person she'd want for a friend. Set in the late 1960's using both the Charles Manson killing and subsequent trial AND the Andy Griffith Show (Mayberry?) as touchstones throughout was interesting, not to mention the mysterious diary entries that help keep you guessing. Mysterious voices, darkened hallways, relics of a prior gruesome accident and other similar plot twists lead the reader to a climax that I did find surprising, but the journey felt incomplete. The many parts all fit together quite neatly but left me with many unanswered questions. Not bad overall, but I'd definitely recommend it to younger teens with an interest in horror.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    A Good Book, but. . .

    This was a very interesting book. It took me only 3 days to finish. This probably tells you it must have been so good, I couldn't stop reading it. Most of the action didn't happen till the end of the book. Other costumers would say it was scary and that they threw it away after they read it. The book is not that scary! The only thing wrong about it is the ending. It happens to have the worst ending ever. Other than that, a good book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    LOVE this book!

    This is one of my favorite books of all time.This book is very long but is a fast read.Definetly a must read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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