Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yay! An Excellent Review For Blood Wounds

My editor forwarded this review to me just now, and I love it!

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - Oct. 2011

Pfeffer, Susan Beth Blood Wounds. 
Harcourt, 2011 256p ISBN 978-0-547-49638-2 16.99
Reviewed from galleys  

R r. 8-12

"We’re a happy family,” states Willa’s stepfather, Jack, and Willa agrees. Or she thinks she does at the time, but soon her blended family is thrown into chaos: Budge, the father that sixteen-year-old Willa barely remembers, goes on a murderous rampage, killing Willa’s never-met half-sisters and finally being shot dead himself by the police. Willa horrifies her family by traveling back to small-town Texas for the memorial and to learn about the relatives she never knew, and in the process she finds herself questioning the price of her seeming family happiness.

Pfeffer’s had some interesting science-fiction explorations lately (Life As We Knew It, BCCB 12/06),but this is a return to her classic form, with headline-worthy melodrama a vehicle for exploring family dynamics widespread even in more ordinary households. Willa’s dawning understanding that she’s been “Quiet-Never-Make-A-Fuss Willa,” going along with her mother’s acceptance of the fierce inequities of her household in order to keep the family together, unfolds subtly but effectively.

Pfeffer avoids reductivity, however, making it clear that Willa’s mother and stepsisters have paid their own price for the family bargain, with unfairness being spread around so thoroughly the situation almost comes back around to being fair. There’s also the looming tacit reminder, in Budge’s truly horrific crime, that there are worse things than having fewer advantages than one’s stepsisters.

The sheer drama of the plot will draw readers, and they’ll stay for an insightful exploration of the way families go both right and wrong. DS


Nora Durbin said...

Great! Blood Wounds was such a page turner. I'm glad to see it has gotten good reviews from strong sources.

Lisa-Marie Jordan said...

Wow, that's a great review! Congrats!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thanks Nora Durbin and Lisa-Marie Jordan!

Anonymous said...

TERRIFIC review...and I liked how they worked in the word "reductivity." Make sure to pull that sentence out for your next best-selling book. ;o)

-Another Susan

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Another and Far Superior Susan-

It is a terrific review, and I'm very pleased about it.

My favorite part is the "classic form." It makes me feel like Classic Coke!

tigerlily* said...

This is great! Can't wait to read it!

On another note, I at my school's book fair, I saw a copy of Life As We Knew It that I haven't seen before. It was paperback, and on the back, it said that this was a copy published by Scholastic for school-selling only. Have you seen this?

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi tigerlily*-

Yes, I know about the Scholastic version of LAWKI.

I even get a little bit of royalties from it twice a year!

Linda Jacobs said...

Wonderful! And I agree wholeheartedly!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Linda Jacobs and thank you!