Title: Bad Blood
Publisher//Release Date: Delacorte Press// March 14th, 2017
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical (kind of?)
Synopsis: All sixteen-year-old Heather MacNair wants is to feel normal, to shed the intense paranoia she’s worn all year like a scratchy sweater. Ever since her compulsion to self-harm came to light, Heather was kept under her doctor’s watchful eye. Her family thinks she’s better—and there’s nothing she wants more than for that to be true. She still can’t believe she’s allowed to spend her summer vacation as she always does: at her aunt’s home in Scotland, where she has lots of happy memories. Far away from all her problems save one: she can’t stop carving the Celtic knot that haunts her dreams into her skin.
Good friends and boys with Scottish accents can cure almost anything…except nightmares. Heather can’t stop dreaming about two sisters from centuries ago, twins Prudence and Primrose, who somehow seem tied to her own life. Their presence lurks just beneath the surface of her consciousness, sending ripples through what should be a peaceful summer. The twins might hold the key to putting Heather’s soul at rest…or they could slice her future deeper than any knife
I’m a sucker for Scotland. There. I said it.
It started with Outlander, continued with the TV show, and got even worse when I found out I have Scottish roots. My paternal great-great-great grandparents were from Scotland and they go WAYY back and when I eventually cough up the money for a World Explorer membership on Ancestry, I’m going to find out how far back they go, along with the Italian, Irish, English, and German sides. Maybe even the Polish branch, if I can ever find out exactly how that dang last name is spelled.
But I digress.
So, when I saw Bad Blood. I saw Scotland and witches – not mention that gorgeous cover – and I was sold. And I did enjoy the book a great deal, but it wasn’t without its faults (most of which, IMHO, could have been easily avoided).
Let’s break it down:
What I Liked:
- Characters. The characters were what made this book for me. I really liked the characters. I liked the way they were written. They came off like real people, dealing with their own problems and generally living their lives. I could see people having problems with Heather, but I liked her a great deal, even if she didn’t always do the smartest thing. I really liked her friends. Fiona and Asha were cool and Robbie was verra nice, if you know what I mean. I really liked Abbie, and I admired the way she handled what life has thrown at her. But I think Gram (Heather’s grandmother) was my favorite. I wish we could see her before the story takes place and, the more we found out about her, the more I wanted to know. The characters were the strongest part of the novel and I don’t see me forgetting them anytime soon.
- The Romance. We don’t get a whole lot of it, but OH MY GOD, I loved what was there. Its short and very sweet and oh so adorable. I already want my own kilt-wearing Scotsman, but this just sealed the deal.
What I Didn’t Like:
- The Historical Plot. I found it very hard to connect with the sections of this book set in the past. At the beginning it was fine, but the further we get into the story, we spend more time with Heather and her story than with Primrose and Prudence and what chapters were there were incredibly short at times – front and back of a singular page at times. There’s an in-book reason that explains the short chapters, but maybe it would have been better to give us the information in another way. I also had a definite dislike for one of the two sisters and her actions.
- The Length. I would have loved for this book longer. I feel like this would have not only have given more time with the characters, but would have given a lot more depth to the Primrose/Prudence story and made that resolution a little more emotional. Generally I think a lot of the quibbles that I have with this book could have been solved by the book clearing 300 pages.
- The Resolution of the Medical/Illness storylines. Can’t say much here, because spoilers, but there’s a lot of illness going on in this story, but the way those story lines were resolved was too easy. The one in particular could be rage inducing to someone who’s family is going through it.
And I can’t be the only one who thought of a certain T.Swift song when you see the title of this book. It kind of does tie into the story a bit, when it comes to the parts set in the past. I wonder if that was done on purpose?
That’s it for me this time! Have you read Bad Blood? Let me know what you thought!
See you next time!