The teen paranormal genre gets a complete makeover in the religiously-inspired The Blessed by Tonya Hurley, the first in a new trilogy. Hurley smartly tackles a new approach to the YA market, never once backing down from the tricky and sometimes controversial subject matter of religion.
From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a captivating and haunting teen trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy—a boy who believes he is a saint.
What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?
Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief
Hurley starts out with a bang — a hypnotic set of opening chapters, in which the three main characters are introduced in a shocking setting. As their stories continue to unfold, Hurley paints a deliciously rich picture of their lives, their sorrows, and their inner turmoil. Getting to know these three young women was, perhaps, my favorite part about reading The Blessed.
And then, on one cataclysmic evening, a storm of Biblical proportions unites the girls with their would-be Saint — the handsome, charming, and enigmatic Sebastian. Within the walls of a church, in the midst of a true tempest, these four people embark on a mysterious and religious journey unlike any other in YA literature.
The pacing through this significant middle section can be slow and daunting to get through — and I admit, I had a hard time pushing through. However, if you have the patience to stick with it, the cinematic conclusion is well worth the effort.
It’s also entirely too fascinating to see how Hurley has woven her religious subject matter into the context of a paranormal YA trilogy. Perhaps the most brilliant turn is how she combines the classic context of religion amidst the modern world — technology, celebrity, media, etc. Seeing how she plays the two very contrasting elements against each other is just genius.
Though slow and sometimes difficult to get through, The Blessed culminates in a dramatic, fast-paced, explosive fashion — leaving readers eager to see where the next book will take them. It’s in stores now.