Flash Reviews

I got this idea from Sarah at GreenBeanTeenQueen (one of my favorite blogs).  She started writing flash reviews because she’s reading faster than she can review books.  I’m in the same boat right now, so I decided to follow suit.  Like her, I’m writing mini reviews for a couple books in one post.

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
405 pp.  Random House  2011
Source: Purchased
Interest: 2011 Debut Author


It starts off simply.

Draw a circle … place a dead leaf in the center … sprinkle some salt … recite a little Latin … add a drop of blood …

Maybe that last part isn’t exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents’ horrific deaths. She’s willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep … and spill some blood.

The book isn’t the only recent arrival in Silla’s life. There’s Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She’s not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick’s first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can’t deny their attraction. And they can’t ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.

Tessa Gratton’s intoxicating first novel will keep pulses racing, minds reeling, and pages turning right up to the very last drop of blood

Flash Review:

The cover and the summary really grabbed my attention, and made me think of Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz.  Now I know that those two books really aren’t anything alike.  I enjoyed Tessa Gratton’s writing and style.  She switches between the perspectives of Silla and Nick, but also adds in journal entries from a girl of the past.  The romance between Silla and Nick wasn’t too overdone.  The journal entries kept me turning the pages because they added just enough mystery that I wanted to finally see the connection between the past and present.  For about the first 300 pages I really enjoyed this book, blood and all.  The 100 pages lost me though.  It became much too gory for my taste, and it felt like the characters kept re-hashing the same worries and concerns.  Honestly, though, I think it was the abundance of gore at the end that really turned me off.  I’ve discovered that I’m simply someone who doesn’t always enjoy horror stories.  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
304 pp.  Simon & Schuster (BFYR)  2008
Source: Gift from a student
Interest: Sequel to What My Mother Doesn’t Know


My name is Robin.

This book is about me.

It tells the story of what happens

when after almost 15 pathetic years of loserdom,

the girl of my dreams finally falls for me.

That seems like it would be

a good thing, right?

Only it turns out to be

a lot more complicated than that

Because I’m not gonna lie to you —

there are naked women involved.

Four of them, to be exact.

Though not in the way you might think.

Don’t get me wrong — my girlfriend’s amazing.

But the way things have been going lately,

I’m starting to believe that the only thing worse

than not getting what you want,

is getting it.

Flash Review:

Sonya Sones gives her characters such a true, great voice.  I really liked What My Mother Doesn’t Know, but this one was much better.  Robin is awkward, so funny, and such a teenage boy!  I was seriously giggling the entire time I read this book.  Well, maybe not during the “we’re fighting and mad at each other scenes.”  Sones really knows how to make her characters come alive, which always impresses me to no end in verse writing.  You might be able to read this one without having read What My Mother Doesn’t Know, but you’ll miss the full spectrum of Robin and Sophie’s relationship.  These two books are definitely worth reading.  I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.


  1. I had the same problem with Blood Magic. It was really well-written–an epic first line, in fact–and then the gore became a huge issue. I read dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction the majority of the time, so for me to be disturbed, it takes an effort. I’m hoping Gratton will write more paranormal romance, but with less of the ick factor!

    • Mrs. Andersen says:

      Yeah, I’m not usually too startled and upset by things in books, but the gore became too much. I’ll read more of her books, and probably give her second book in this series a shot. I just really don’t care for lots of blood, I guess.

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