Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother.
Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? As Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear her family apart.
This is normally the kind of story that I would totally go for--in a slightly obscene sort of way. Books that deal with the darker side of teen life and fatalistic events that cause a person to grow up have been among my favorite for years now (putting Lovely Bones and If I Stay right at the top). I expected Blood Wounds to live up to that expectation...and for some reason it didn't do it for me.
I didn't connect well with Willa. She seemed so separate. At first, she was a quiet kid with some definite internal problems, despite her outwardly calm demeanor, and then she was a slightly bratty child who complained a lot. I don't know...something about the character development was missing. Willa cuts--this part was well done throughout the book. Her pent-up feelings being released by cutting made sense. The abrupt end to the cutting tell-all was a little less convincing. I almost wish that her parents had discovered the tools, etc. and there had been confrontation.
The writing is good here, but SBP really can do better, I think. Maybe I was expecting the wrong things when I went into the book--more thriller action, real horror, those kinds of things? Still, there was definitely a compelling element to the story--the pacing was quick (and the book was short) so I was able to (and really wanted to) keep reading. I think part of me kept hoping it would live up to my expectations.
Source: I received this book as part of an ARC tour.