tHe crooKed WorD

As of April 30, 2014 we will no longer be posting reviews on tHe crooKed WorD. Reading is like breathing for us - and discovering new books and authors has been a wonderful adventure - but the time has come for us to move on. Thank you for your support, for allowing us into your lives, and for letting us influence in some small way the contents of your bookshelves.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

By Blood

By BloodBy Blood
by Tracy E. Banghart

Published February 18, 2013

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.

Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.

But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom...and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.

Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.

By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.

* * *

This is one of those books I accepted for review solely on the basis of the girl spending her summer at Oxford. Yep, you got me.

There were parts of this book I didn't care for, but it was VERY well done. (Which is probably why I didn't like those parts, if that makes sense.) The family drama got a bit old, but three characters totally made up for that. The first, of course, was Emma. I loved her, she was really fun and different from most of the characters I've read in a long time. Then there was Josh. He was such a sweetheart. :) Then there's Ash. She's fantastic. I'll leave it at that.

I had a few issues with Simon right off, and yes, I was right to be wary. Without going into things that will ruin the book for other readers, let's just say the word that comes to mind for him is "slimy."

Good story, great pacing, little tidbits that make it real (hello, calling the baby "Vermin" instead of Fermin? Perfect).

4/5 stars

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