Starred Kirkus Review

PossessonFrom Kirkus: A terrifying illness tied to the occult threatens the life of a black girl who blogs about beauty.

Fifteen-year-old Laetitia writes a popular blog about what she calls “divanation,” or making herself up like a diva—which she aspires to be. But when she loses her voice and begins to feel ill, Laetitia’s hair and makeup tips give way to increasingly dark entries about mysterious burning pains on her skin and graphic visions of death and torture. Laetitia tries to shift her focus to a racially charged police shooting in her community and the protests that follow, but the illness worsens. When doctors dismiss Laetitia’s problems as psychological, Laetitia, her mom, and her grandmother look to their Christian faith and a local voodoo practitioner for answers. Laetitia wonders if something demonic has taken over her body—or perhaps it’s something benevolent. Laetitia’s ordeal is told primarily through her “found” online journal. The blog posts, written in a pitch-perfect black teen girl’s voice, are accompanied by police and social-services reports, hospital records, and eerie black-and-white photographs. The collection of documents is putatively edited by the fictional scholar of the paranormal “Montague Verano.” Laetitia’s story, the second in the Diary of a Haunting series, is unpredictable, mesmerizing, and scarily realistic.

Paranormal Activity meets The Exorcist in this chilling, well-crafted tale of a black teen girl’s struggle to make sense of horrifying forces within her. (Horror. 14 & up)