June 11, 2012

Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow by: Robin Wasserman

The Book of Blood and Shadow by: Robin Wasserman (2012)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
448 pages
Genre: YA

Summary:  Nora, a senior in high school, along with her boyfriend and two best friends, get caught up in a tangle of death, lies, mystery, and history. While translating centuries old letters from Latin to English Nora uncovers secrets that bring nothing but trouble. Everything in her life is turned upside down when her best friend, Chris, is murdered. Her boyfriend, Max, goes missing and is the prime suspect in the murder. Her other best friend, Adriane, gets put away in a mental institution. Time is against Nora, but she goes on a quest to find her boyfriend and bring justice to Chris. The question is: Can she save herself?

Review: This book started off slow and rocky but once the pace picked up I couldn’t put it down.
It takes a long time for Wasserman to really start getting into the action of the story, but that wasn’t my main problem with the beginning. It was hard to read, period. The sentence wording, timeline, and sentence structure just seemed off. Some of the sentences I had to go back and reread because I didn’t quite understand what I was reading. After the convoluted mess at the beginning it became not only easier to read and follow, but a really great mystery/action young adult book. Just power through those first few chapters and bear with Nora when she is translating the texts from Latin into English (sometimes that gets long since it is in Latin first and then is shown to us in English) and you will be greatly rewarded.

The page turning action devoured my attention. It keeps the reader on his/her toes and makes you think. There are so many twist and turns that I never saw coming, and I read so much that I can usually figure out the plot twist in a book way before it ever happens. This alone made the book worth reading. The characters are complex and interesting. Nora is a strong female lead and I enjoyed her telling of the story.  The other characters you will either love or hate and you will probably change your feelings toward them as you read, just like Nora, you will never know who to trust.

 I you liked the Da Vinci Code and National Treasure then you will probably enjoy this book. I know I said the beginning was a little rough, but I guarantee it will be worth your while to give this book a chance.

Just as a heads up, if you don’t like any stories that take place in “real time” but don’t seem like it could really happen, then be cautious when reading this book, it can get a little strange.

Rating 4/5

1 comment:

  1. Great review, I've read, and enjoyed, this one. I'm actually REALLY surprised it's not being marketed as more of a crossover, I think it holds up well against Brown/Kuzneski/Rollins and similar adult 'quest novel' authors.


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