Rating: 3.5 stars
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.
Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn’t so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can.
With blood oozing out of the ground,soon filing the streets, taking over life as the world knows it, and turning people into mean, and aggressive scavenging mobs, I thought Bleeding Earth was a interesting choice to post a review on for Valentine’s Day. In my own, quirk of ironic humor, I chose this YA, horror book centering on this young, lesbian teenager with this secret girlfriend as my “token” romance piece for this lover/couple fest holiday.
Besides the enjoyment reviewing a mainly horror driven book for Valentine’s Day, I was really excited to finally crack open this book. I am not a natural horror book reader so I really excited that I could get through this book pretty easily. The content of the blood and the rapid urgency of it’s danger and affect on the entire world was pretty difficult to get through at times, but the author does a great job of tampering some of the gorish details by means of filtering the spiral of civilization through the ever hopeful, love sick and wildly observant eyes of Lea.
Lea’s character leads us through an almost nonchalant, matter of fact narrative tone while she struggled to not only adapt to the isolation that follow the unexplained rising of blood but with the possibilities that the mysterious, oozing streets are calling to her. While reading this book I did feel the rising sense of panic and fear that the characters were facing as all of their lives and means of living began to slip away, I could not shake the sense of an easy, almost Buffy-verse familiarity that this story offers.
I gave it an overall rating of 3.5 stars because I loved the connection and growing relationship the reader gets to see between Lea and her secret girlfriend, Aracely. The world building and the progression of the blood wasn’t draw out too much, which left more room for the characters to interact and a greater sense of acceptance that this was Lea’s world now and the reader was along for the ride. This was an aspect that hooked me from the very beginning. Likewise, the pacing was pretty consistent throughout (mostly) so for any non-horror readers this book is great for those who want to read something that won’t be too difficult to get through. (That is if blood doesn’t make you squeamish.)
With that being said, there were a few things that I did not like this book. The timeline for the story was a bit confusing. At one point I thought that the story spanned several months, but at one point I think it’s mentioned that the only a month has passed, (again, I was reading an ARC,so this maybe something clarified in the final print). From beginning to end, I could never fully grasp a connection to either of Lea’s parents and found myself not really caring for them in the story. Lea’s character talks about them often enough but since we’re reading the story through her eyes, their distance became my distance and a certain point in the book, (it’s a spoiler, so I won’t say) I found a particularly serious event did not phase me at all.
Last, but not least, my disappointment in proper closure with the book’s ending. Lea’s internal explanation was a bit too broad and at the very least, I was expecting there to be some sort of scientific, philosophical or even some sort hint of a religious explanation for the world ending. If you hate open ended books, as I do, you might not like Bleeding Earth. However, if you’re a fantasy, horror, LGBT fiction fan, I think this is might be a book you’d like to check out.
Until the next post, have a happy Valentine’s Day. ^_^