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Bleeding Earth Hardcover – February 9, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Lea and her best friend Hilary have just finished gathering information necessary for a school project when their world turns upside down. Blood seeps from the ground and begins to cover the earth. This happens all over the globe and is followed by human hair and pieces of bone. Scientists have no explanation for the cause, and world governments are at a loss on how to respond. At first, Lea, her friends, and family continue life as normally as possible, but as the severity of the situation increases, humanity goes into survival mode. Fighting breaks out over water, respirators, food, medicine, and other commodities. Lea's parents put the house on lockdown, her mother turns to God, and her father works around the clock at the energy plant. Lea tries to cope with the surrounding chaos while secretly longing to spend time with Aracey, her new girlfriend and longtime crush. As events spin out of control, Lea must keep her sanity in order to stay alive. Ward's debut novel is full of horror and mystery, revealing the dark side of human nature. It is wonderfully descriptive with a fast paced plotline that keeps readers engaged. Unfortunately, many of the main characters lack depth and are inconsistent in their behavior. Coupled with a rushed ending that leaves too many questions unanswered, these flaws will disappoint readers. VERDICT An intriguing story line that falls short in its delivery.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
"Dark, gory, and impossibe to put down. A worthy addition to the horror genre!" --Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten and the Don't Get Mad series
*STARRED REVIEW: "In the spirit of M.T. Anderson's Thirsty (1997), Ward's apocalyptic novel will have readers checking the ground beneath their feet after each turn of the page. Readers meet Lea, a confident teenage girl who just wants to hang out with her friends and spend quality time with her new girlfriend, Aracely. But when the Earth begins to ooze blood and other body parts, Lea's hometown becomes a war zone, with citizens fighting over fresh water and food rations, and Lea becomes ever more concerned with her dwindling faith in humanity, her declining mental state, and the blood that won't stop rising. To her family and close friends, Lea's sexuality is largely a nonissue, which is refreshing (and sensible, considering the impending apocalypse); furthermore, readers looking for the next LGBT heroine will love Lea's strong-willed attitude. The frightful moments are craftily deployed, creeping up and startling readers when they're least expecting it. And the government PSAs regarding the blood that punctuate Lea's narration are enough to panic even the most fearless of readers, their commonplace mundanity highlighting the freakishness. Grisly and sickening (but in the best way possible), the novel more than delivers on its promise of the macabre for lovers of horror, and curious readers will close the book with countless questions about religion, science, and human nature." ―Kirkus Reviews
"BLEEDING EARTH is an intense horror novel with a post-apocalyptic theme as well as a bit of romance. The storyline is captivating and incredibly unique; there's never a dull moment." - TeenReads
“Bone chilling” - Gay YA
“Ward’s novel brilliantly evokes both revulsion and a less obvious, but more ominous, sense of dread, as everything we take for granted is called into question….Ward depicts LGBTQ people as we are in real life–complicated, nuanced, and not excited about wading to school through ankle-deep blood.” – AfterEllen.com
"This seriously creepy story will draw in horror fans immediately” - Barnes & Noble Editorial Review
"I’m always on the lookout for books that feature queer women (bonus if it’s not about their queerness, but simply there within the context of the world). In honor of the lovely queer girl relationship in Bleeding Earth, I’ll be sharing 4 quotes I absolutely adored from the novel with you all." - YA Interrobang
"Morbid, gruesome, and viscerally scary--this story made my skin crawl." -- Amy Lukavics, author of Daughters unto Devils
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Top Customer Reviews
It was great reading a YA book with a lesbian protagonist that's not just a coming out story.
Also the unreliable narrator aspect was great. Truly well written.
I found this story’s concept extremely intriguing, but unfortunately the book fell flat for me. My main issue with Bleeding Earth is the writing style, which is going to make or break the story for the reader. The writing is in the first person from Lea’s point-of-view, and sounds as if a teenager was speaking directly to you. Not only is the dialogue in the teenage voice, but all of the other writing is as well. While I think teenagers might connect well with this writing, it did not work for me as an older reader of young adult. I found the prose quite irritating, and that really detracted from my enjoyment of the novel.
Moreover, Bleeding Earth is the type of book in which the author is trying to do too much. For example, Lea is a lesbian and readers learn a lot about her sexuality and coming out process. I think it is awesome that the author included a member of the LGBTQIA+ community as our main character, but I think the lengthy explanation of how it was for her coming out of the closet, how her friends and family treat her, etc. was a bit out of place in this particular book. I wanted to focus more on the crazy apocalypse that was occurring in the world, not Lea’s complete history that didn’t have much to do with what was happening in the present.
I also found Bleeding Earth to be quite unbelievable, mainly due to lack of structure in the novel. For instance, I cannot tell the timespan for this novel because the author doesn’t give the reader any clues along the way. When I accompany that with the small plot holes I found while reading, the book loses a lot of credibility.
That being said, I did really like the aspect of the story dealing with unreliable narrators. I won’t go into this too much because of spoilers, but I love when the reader never knows whether or not she can trust the narrator’s voice. This unreliable narrator added a lot to the book in terms of creepiness, and definitely gave me an unsettling feeling. I also thought the ending was good, but I wish we had an epilogue to fully explain what happened next to our characters.
All in all, I was quite disappointed with Bleeding Earth. The story idea was great, but it just wasn’t executed according to my tastes. I would recommend this book for younger readers, as I do think they will enjoy the narrative voice. Otherwise, I think you can pass on this book without missing much. I hope to find an apocalyptic book that I enjoy very soon!
*This review originally posted on Adventures in Polishland
Most Recent Customer Reviews
-Original and perfectly creepy premise
-F/F romance that's super cute
-Solid friendships too
-I would love a sequel!