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Blood Wounds by [Pfeffer, Susan Beth]
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Blood Wounds Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Blood can both wound and heal . . .

Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother. Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? But as Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she also keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear apart all she holds dear.


On the Origins of the Title Blood Wounds
By Susan Beth Pfeffer

Dear Amazon Reader,

On occasion I’m asked how I come up with titles for my books. Sometimes the publisher names the book, and sometimes I suggest a name we all agree to.

Blood Wounds is entirely my title. I knew almost from the beginning I wanted the word "Blood" in the title. "Blood" is one of my favorite words (another of my favorite words is "gaunt," but I’ve yet to figure out how to use it in anything besides the occasional statement of fact that gaunt I ain’t). "Blood" sounds like blood, thick and crimson and pulsing and everything else blood is and does. Also it means family, and the novel is about family. So "Blood" it would be.

Then I needed something to follow that "Blood." I liked the way it sounded with "Wounds," so I promptly raced to Amazon and typed "Blood Wounds" in its ever-useful search box, and found no books with that title.

Well, we all know that there are no books with that title because "blood wounds" doesn’t mean anything. Bullet wounds, knife wounds, sure. Wounds get caused by things going into your body. Blood is best left in your body from the get-go.

My way around the problem that the title Blood Wounds doesn’t mean anything is to say, "Think of 'wounds' as a verb. Then think of 'blood' as meaning family. See? A family can hurt you. 'Blood wounds!'"

I’ve convinced one and one-half friends and my publishing house that my title has meaning. I hope I’ve convinced you, too!

As always,
Susan Beth Pfeffer

Review

This intense psychological drama, showing the brightest and darkest sides of humanity, offers remarkable acts of courage and disturbing images of domestic violence. Willa's frankly portrayed grief, confusion, and uncertainties will have a strong impact on readers."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"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."--Bulletin


Product Details

  • File Size: 791 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 13, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2011
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005G5RV92
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,632 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By OpheliasOwn VINE VOICE on August 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Susan Beth Pfeffer has proved with this book that she is a skilled author. I read her post-apocalyptic series a while ago, and it was a character driven, thoughtful, realistic series. I am surprised she can bring that same thoughtfulness into a very, very different kind of story- one about a young girl struggle with her own demons, both internal demons and very tangible demons. This story made me think about Pfeffer in a whole new light.

Willa and her mother escaped an abusive father and ended up with a very kind man named Jack who only wanted the best for them. Jack and Willa's mothers life is a financial struggle, but Val, Jack's ex-wife, pays for her daughters to do anything they want. While Willa loves her two sisters, it is very clear there is a discrepancy between what they get to do thanks to their mother, and what Willa gets to do because her mom can't afford it. Willa barely remembers her biological father, except his temper. When frantic phone calls followed by a police visit reveal her father, Budge, may have murdered his new wife and children and is on the run, Willa feels she is living in a surreal world.

Budge was spotted outside Ohio, and is on his way towards Willa and her mother. For their own safety, they are moved to a hotel. When Budge arrives at their house, he attacks a police officer and is killed on Willa's front lawn. In a few short hours, Willa's entire life is turned upside down when she learns about his brutal murders, 4 other children, 3 of which he murdered, and the life she and her mother left behind when they ran from Texas. She decides to go back to the town to pay her respects to the family she never knew she had. It is there she learns a lot about her life, both before and after she left Texas.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the second book designated for young readers that I have reviewed for the Amazon Vine program. Since I am in my seventies, with my youngest grandchild rapidly outgrowing this category, I'll admit to a certain sense of inadequacy. The genre of young peoples' literature is really completely changed; indeed, I don't believe such a category actrually existed during my own teenage. Once I learned to read, I began to delve into the types of books my own mother enjoyed, and recall primarily historical novels.

Given that fiat, Pfeffer's book is powerful and realistic. It deals in honest and straightforward terms with the circumstances in which many present-day young people find themselves, including the results of early abuse, the disparity of economic advantage between well-off and impoverished families, and the psychological challenges that accompany these circumstances. I believe that given the present sophistication of young people, the lack of sugar coating, indeed the stark realism of this story, successfully hits the mark. For youngsters involved in similar situations, it would be both gripping and therapeutic. For others, who may have been fortunate enough to avoid this level of trauma, it could provide helpful insights and perhaps induce a growth in compassion.

The story is a fast read, and although I wonder if the resolution at the end is not a bit overly optimistic, it is certainly a strong support for the message that we are hearing more and more with respect to the angst of our culture, that things DO get better if we are only willing to "hang in there". The protagonist, Willa, is portrayed with sympathy and strength, and the other characters, even her murderous father, are treated with humanity. The unavoidable conclusion is that we are all human, even the worst of us, and that love is indeed the essential ingredient that makes being human worthwhile.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't think I've read many books where I get to the end and then asking myself if I liked it is such a loaded question.The answer is a resounding yes. The answer is also no. I know I'm being really confusing here but give me a second to explain. Blood Wounds felt less like a novel that was written and more like a novel that had to be written. All of the characters in Blood Wounds are flawed almost beyond repair and while that makes them real, it also makes them complex and faulted. The pacing was a bit slow at first but straightened itself out and by the ending, some closure and wholeness was felt.

What made this novel difficult was that all of the characters were pretty horrible to each other. Poor Willa has lived a life inside the glass tank. She sees all the nice things everyone else round her has but isn't allowed those luxuries herself. She goes to a well off school, lives in a rich neighborhood and her two half sisters have a wealthy mother that gives them everything. Unfortunately, Willa doesn't have any of that. The background her mother comes form is poor. On top of all this, Willa is also self- destructive in the beginning of the novel. While I felt bad for her, I also felt like she spent a lot of time either not acknowledging her feelings enough or being very ungrateful for what she did have. I'm pleased to report that once she starts to learn about herself, she shapes up to be a very impressive character and her transformation is worth the first bit of selfishness.

As for the rest of the characters, I just couldn't like them very much. No really seemed to care about Willa.
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