Title: Possession (Song and Shadow, #1)
Author: Annie Oldham
Publisher: Annie Oldham, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal
**I received a copy of this book free from Ebooksforreview.com and the author in exchange for an honest review**
So I saw the blurb from ebooksforreview, one of my favorite reviewing sites (I’ve met great authors through the program), and I had to read this. Unlike the last book that tricked me with its #coverlove, this time it was all about the content, baby!
I signed up and received both books in the series so far: Possession and Illusion. I’ll definitely be following this one up with the next book in the Song and Shadow series!
I’ll dive right in and stop keeping you in suspense, as I know you must be dying to know about this book. Right? (It’s the dead bird 🐦 on the cover, am I right?)
Ok. So…let’s talk about Constance.
Constance is a typical teen, if you consider hiding behind your hair and only having one friend typical. She knows she must give off the freak vibe because Greta is The only friend she has, and Greta is semi-popular. When Seth, a football player and Calculus underachiever, needs a tutor, the teacher volunteers Constance (or Con as Greta and her family calls her) to be his tutor. She wouldn’t mind so much if his girlfriend, Seline, wasn’t such a b-word. (Rhymes with “witch” cause I run a respectable site here, guys).
Seth makes it obvious he will not tolerate Con’s attempts to reason with him about Seline. They butt heads on multiple occasions. She thinks Seline is horrible, and she uses every opportunity to make fun of Con. But Seth (in so many words) implies that maybe Con is asking for it. Nice, right?
As the study sessions fail, Con notices her mother looking worse for wear. Turns out, Constance is a necromancer just like her mom, and something crazy is going on in town. Now, her mom needs her help and has to teach Con the trade. Graves are being vandalized and bodies are going missing.
But Constance doesn’t want to be a necromancer. She just wants to be a normal teen. With normal friends.
Is that too much for a girl to ask?
Is It Classroom-Appropriate?
Yes, it’s actually quite relatable for teens. Con is the outcast, though she can get a little whiny at times. And the necromancing is interesting…nothing “satanic” about it as that could be a problem in some classrooms. I don’t see this as much of a educational book, though. I see this more as a recreational read that could inspire stubborn or reluctant readers, especially those who don’t “fit in” with the crowd in school. I would keep the book out of the curriculum to avoid any parents worrying about the necromancy thing (you remember how they used to react to Harry Potter, right?). This would be more a book I would want to keep on the shelf in my reading library in class for kids to pick up when they are done with work or have a desire to read.
As a self-published book, this one is not going to show up on Lexile. So I would say that this could even be appropriate for middle grade: I would suggest 7th grade and up, or about 13. Nothing inappropriate going on here, and pretty much no romance (I kinda hope that changes in the next book cause I like me some romance). It’s a safe read. I’d let my niece read this, and that is almost always my go-to test for appropriate reading since she’s 12 years old. (She’s a more advanced reader, but she likes Miss Peregrine’s House for Peculiar Children and I think this one is not similar per se, as I haven’t read Peregrine, but just as fun and harmless.
Though we have seen the teenage outcast special girl trope before, I actually liked this one. The difference here is that Constance never becomes the popular girl. She isn’t happy having only one friend, but she also doesn’t become popular or learn a lesson or think she’s a “speshul snowflake” either. She hates the idea of being a necromancer. And that’s what made the book readable.
If I found out I was a necromancer, I would be like, “Cool! Let’s get some people living again!” So I like that this goes in a completely different direction, and I was pleasantly surprised. Plus, Oldham is a very good writer and I got sucked into the story right away. That’s always a plus. (I will warn you that Constance can be a pain sometimes, but she’s also a teenager, and I’m sure I was a pain as a teenager too).
So I give Possession ★★★★☆. A solid four star book.
Which translates to…
And of course…
That was fun!
Happy Reading, y’all!