Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BLOOD WOUNDS by Susan Beth Pfeffer-REVIEW


       Julie's Review:   

 Willa lives with her mom, step-father and 2 step-sisters. They are an unusual blended family in the fact that they all get along, they love each other and they are one big happy family.

There are secrets being kept in Willa's family though. Willa's mom will never talk about Willa's real father. In fact she will not talk about her life before Jack, Willa's step-father. Willa has a few secrets of her own. She can never share how resentful she is of Jack's 2 daughters. But there is another darker secret that Willa knows she can never share with any of them. It is a secret that keeps her in control of her own life. Something she turns to for comfort when she really wants to scream.

When Willa's real father murders his present family and seems to be heading for Willa and her mother, Willa's life seems to spiral out of control. Bent on learning about her father's family Willa returns to the small town that her mother and her escaped from when Willa was only 4 years old.  Learning about her father, step-brother and step-sisters helps Willa discover who she is as a person.

At first I thought that this book was going to be more of a suspense/mystery. But that is only part of the story. The majority is Willa discovering who she is and where her place in her family is. I really enjoyed the story.

Karin's Review:

            Willa lives in a "happy family." Everyone gets along. Everyone loves each other. Everyone works together to keep their super busy lives in order. Willa does her part to keep everyone happy. She doesn't say anything about how she can't take private voice lessons or go on trips to other countries because her mother can't afford it. She sits quietly as her two stepsisters travel to Europe, take dressage lessons, play competitive tennis, the list goes on and on. Their mother pays for everything - leaving Willa to stay home and wait.

Willa isn't overly popular at school. She is known mostly because of her popular stepsister, but when Willa's biological father kills his current family (wife and three daughters) and is possibly on his way to kill her too, everyone finds out who she is. Willa, against her mother's wishes, starts to dig into the life she and her mother left behind when they ran away from her father years ago. It is a journey that will change her and her "happy family" forever.

BLOOD WOUNDS is a great book about family dynamics - especially for blended families. I was expecting there to be a little more suspense, but even without it I enjoyed the story. I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next and, in my opinion, that is a good indicator of the quality of a story. Definitely a book for those who like to read about family drama.

What amazed me is that I really liked Willa's stepsisters - even though they were portrayed as very privileged girls. I'm so glad the author didn't paint them as the stereotypical wicked stepsisters.


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