Tuesday, April 19, 2016

ARC BOOK REVIEW: "The Blood Between Us" by Zac Brewer


Family secrets turn deadly in this edgy page-turner about the insidious limits of labels and the ties that bind just a little too tightly, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.
Growing up, Adrien and his sister, Grace, competed viciously for everything. It wasn’t easy being the adopted sibling, but Adrien tried to get along; it was Grace who didn’t want anything to do with him. When their scientist parents died in a terrible lab fire, there was nothing left to hold them together.
Now, after years apart, Adrien and Grace are forced to reunite at the elite boarding school where their parents were teachers. Being back around everyone he used to know makes Adrien question the person he’s become, while being back around Grace makes him feel like someone he doesn’t want to be.
For as much as Adrien wants to move on, someone seems determined to reopen old wounds. And when Adrien starts to suspect that Grace knows more about their parents’ deaths than she let on, he realizes there are some wounds no amount of time can heal. If Adrien isn’t careful, they may even kill him.


I received an advance copy of this book from the author and publisher at the LA Times Festival Of Books. This in no way influenced my review.

I've read Zac Brewer since I was twelve. I continued to read his work as I grew up because, like the best YA books out there, his work is not just for teens. In fact, I find I enjoy the books more as an adult than I would if I were fourteen.
I am a big fan of stories that have a strong level of emotion to them, something for the reader to grab on to, something for them to relate to. In The Blood Between Us, we get more emotion than I had bargained for. This is a heart-wrenching tale of sibling rivalry, life, death, murder, revenge, and love. And more. All in a book meant for eighth graders and up. Brewer doesn't dumb his work down just because the majority of his readers are teens, and I love that.
Adrien is a wonderful main character because he is so far from perfect, he can't even see it in the rear view mirror of Maggie, his beloved car. Adopted, despised by his sister, he lost his parents at thirteen, and now is losing his beloved guardian. To top it off, he has to deal with his own emotions and sexuality, which confuse him more than anything. He is so flawed, it is hard not to love and relate to him.
This book kept me on my toes because of the reality of it, the emotional value that made me love the characters (especially Adrien and Grace's guardian, Viktor, and his husband Julian; I thought they were perfect compliments to the story) and care about their fate.
I can honestly go on about this story, especially the psychological elements, but I want to stop here and just say that I really loved this book. It is honestly one of the best I have read lately, and might be my favorite book of 2016.
Once again, Zac Brewer knocked one out of the park!

5/5--perfect: dark, intriguing, emotional, and very real.

Pre-order The Blood Between Us on Amazon as an e-book, physical book, or audiobook!

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