Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blood Wounds, by Susan Beth Pfeffer- Review

What could be scarier than a story about finding out your father is a violent murderer?  Susan Beth Pfeffer follows up her successful Life As We Knew it, post apocalyptic, trilogy series with another heavy hitter, Blood Wounds.

Willa has lived with her blended family so long she no longer remembers what her life before was like.  That is until the father she barely remembers, brutally murders the second family she didn't know about,  hundreds of miles away.  As the nation watches the day by day coverage of the chase to find him, and as her mom and her have to go into hiding to elude him, secrets are spilling out about her life before.  How do you come to terms with being the child of a murderer?

Like This World We Live In, and presumably the first two books in the series (which I haven't had the chance to read yet), Blood Wounds is a story about family and all the different permutations of what makes up a family.  I enjoyed the story and really liked Willas thoughts on her blended family and how they worked and didn't work in the end, however I was expecting more introspection about the whole my  father is a murderer thing.  After reading Through the Glass my expectations were likely a little too high, but all the same I feel like it was a subject that could have been explored a little further, it became a bit of  a secondary element in the story line to Willa's personal issues and the difficulties with her family.

If I hadn't read Through the Glass first though, I would likely have had no issues with the story.  It was a strong story of love and family and I liked Willa's character and her story arc of discovery.  The first half of the book was a chilling look at having a surprise murderer in your immediate family and the scary and ostracizing way those around you would take action or react.  Her mothers complete melt down made it even creepier as suddenly Willa was the adult in the situation without any support.  It certainly made your average family squabble or the requisite family weirdo look tame  in comparison.

Blood Wounds, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Published by Harcourt Mifflin, September 2011
My copy kindly provided by the publisher
Buy Blood Wounds on Amazon


  1. I thought there were too many issues for such a short book to deal with thoroughly. I felt like the issue with cutting was wrapped up too neatly at the end. I haven't read Through the Glass - I'll have to take a look at that one.

  2. Have you read RAGE? Excellent book dealing with cutting. But I agree with you that Blood Wounds takes on too many BIG issues all at the same time and packs them into a comparatively short story.