She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.
Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous—and Ari may not be the only intended victim.
I want to begin this review by stating that I received a free copy from the publisher via Jean BookNerd Book Tours for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. I have had no compensation for this review aside from the enjoyment of reading.
There aren’t many YA thriller books out there. I don’t know why, but most of the YA market seems to be contemporary romance and fantasy romance. Then again, that does make sense since the adult counterparts of those genres are the higher ticket items. Anyway, what I am saying is that there aren’t many YA thrillers out there and because of that, I tend to grab them as soon as I find out about them.
Blood Will Out is not only one of those thrillers, but it’s also written in a similar format I have seen in adult mystery/thrillers. There is a third person narrative of our heroine, Ari Sullivan, and the first person narrative of our unnamed villain.
For a good half of the book, what we see is Ari trying to get out of a cistern. She doesn’t remember much, she’s in a lot of pain, and she’s very scared. I loved seeing how she dealt with that pain and organized her thoughts. I won’t say how or if she gets out of the cistern, but I really liked how it went.
The second half though . . . I felt it was a bit rushed. The ambiance and intrigue of the first half are replaced with a quick and dirty flow. That isn’t to say that it isn’t bad, the pacing was just really quick in comparison and left me disjointed. However, that can be a choice to show how disjointed our heroine is. If that is the case, which it very well could be, that is well done.
All in all, the book was enjoyable. It left me wanting a bit more in the characters, but I think it illustrated the horror of a potential serial killer in a small town nicely. I would watch it if it was a movie and I would read a sequel if there is one. Which from the ending, could be considered a standalone or a cliffhanger. I think I will have to wait it out and see.
Final Rating: 3/5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jo Treggiari was born in London, England, and raised in Canada. She spent many years in Oakland, California and New York, where she trained as a boxer, wrote for a punk magazine, and owned a gangster rap/indie rock record label. Her novel Ashes, Ashes, a YA post-apocalyptic adventure published by Scholastic Press, was a multiple award nominee and bestseller. Her acclaimed novella Love You Like Suicide, appeared in the Fierce Ink Press anthology Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL and as a limited edition of the long-running zine Cometbus. Her most recent YA is Blood Will Out, a psych-thriller, published by Penguin Teen (2018). She has a second yet-to-be-named thriller coming from Penguin in the summer of 2019.
Casia Pickering is a multi-genre author and has contributed to over ten anthologies. She has maintained her website, Casia's Corner for over ten years and continues to help authors with her reviews. Casia lives in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia with her son.
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