With a title like Bleed I should not have been surprised by the gruesome beginning of this story. I doubt I’ll ever read a prologue as shocking and disturbing as this one, and it really set my expectations for the rest of the book. I am happy to tell you I was not disappointed. Bleed wins the creepy and weird award and oh, I enjoyed every gory minute of it!
The quick of it is this: Miranda is a new student at Century High, aka Suicide High. She is stigmatic, she bleeds from her palms spontaneously and her condition has ruined her first day of school. . .and most of her life. If that’s not bad enough, she and her new group of friends must use their extraordinary abilities to find out a way to stop the supernatural force terrorizing Century High before it’s too late for all of them.
I’ve read a good amount of young adult horror and while Bleed had the makings for a predictable premise, I was really surprised by how Varley kept me on my toes. There were hints here and there that led me down the right path, but I really was taken by surprise in the end. And holy cow was the bad guy a weirdo!
It’s rare that I come across a young adult novel that has a good mixture of action, horror, and romance without a lot of drama to muddy the experience. While Bleed had its fair share of high school drama (where would YA be without it?), very little of it was the relationship drama that makes me want to slam my head against a wall repeatedly.
Jake kept an even pace, loping alongside her. “You know, you could blame me if you want.”
She cast him a questioning look. “And why would I want to do that?”
He cut his eyes to her and shrugged. “Because I’m Jewish. If my people hadn’t killed your Jesus-guy in such a ‘creative’ way, you wouldn’t be so holy.”
She held up a hand. “Is that a pun?”
Jake chuckled. “There you go. I knew under all that hemoglobin was a sense of humor.”
Each of the main characters wormed their way into my heart for one reason or another. Each of them have their own secrets, hardships and best of all – they had weaknesses like real human beings. I felt for them and I fell in love with them. They were all charming in their own ways, too!
I was fascinated by the abilities the main characters had, especially Miranda. I never knew that stigmata was a real condition, so when I googled it I was surprised by how many people have conditions like hers – though for most people who are stigmatic, the bleeding isn’t only in their hands. Yikes! Can you imagine having to live like that?
Bleed was such a fun experience for me. I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read it! I definitely want to read more from this author. I recommend this book to young adult fans who love a large helping of weird with their horror.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge
- 2016 New to You Reading Challenge
- 2016 Reading Bingo Challenge