Friday, June 17, 2011

Me on Blood Magic

Title: Blood Magic
Author: Tessa Gratton
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Nothing in Silla's life has felt right since her parents' deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth, even try a few spells from a mysterious book that arrived at her door... and spill some blood.

There's also Nick, the new guy in town, who might've seen Silla cast a spell. She doesn't know if he saw everything. The more time they spend together, the more she realizes this might not be his first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by both chemistry and fate, Silla and Nick can't deny their attraction, and they can't ignore the dark presence lurking around, waiting to reclaim the book and all the power it holds.

Tessa Gratton's debut novel is dark and mysterious, haunting and haunted, gorgeous and magical. The blood pulsed in my fingers as I turned each page, waiting for something to pop out of the shadows and rain down on Silla and Nick, ready to scream at the right moment. An outstanding mix of teen angst, young love, and the possibilities of what could be lurking right under our skin, flowing through our veins.

So spooky. So much spooky. So much blood, I was surprised to not find it dripping from the pages. So much weighs down on Silla's shoulders: the surprising death of her parents, the sudden isolation and accusations of insanity, the loneliness, the crows flying around. The magic, such surprising and dangerous and powerful magic. Such power. She seems trapped in a sea of depression and blood, with Nick trying to help her keep her head above water.

There's so much sorrow in this book. The weight of Silla's parents' deaths hangs over her. It feels like it's only a matter of time until she crumbles.

And Nick. Nick seems lost, aimless, without purpose. He needs grounding, something to care about. And here's this lost girl, thin as a rail, bursting with questions, full of powerful blood. The connection between him and Silla can't be denied, but neither can the danger that follows them.

The metaphor for cutting wasn't lost on me, intentional or not on the part of Tessa Gratton. Adults and teenagers alike cut themselves as a painful form of self-administered therapy, watching the pain build and flow away the second a blade slices into their skin. Yes, the magic comes from the blood, but you can only cut yourself so much.

Blood Magic is not for the faint of heart, but to experience it properly, read it late at night with the wind rushing past your window and a crow crying out from a nearby tree. Darkness wrapped in secret magic locked in blood, finding love in a cemetery, hidden pain buried deep inside that threatens to choke you. The forbidden, the seemingly impossible, the dark and dangerous, thrive in this book. With any luck, readers will be intrigued by the magic and sucked in with the lyrical, powerful prose. Don't be surprised if this book weaves its way under your skin.

Don't be surprised if you look at blood differently.

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