Before I get started on my review, let me first say that at the 2nd session I attended at the MASL conference today I got reinspired to try to do book reviews for teacher and library magazines. Wish me luck, and don't let me just forget and not bother with it! I do know that the review will have to be much more tight and much better writing than I do here on my blog. I know I should probably take more time with my entries here, but so far I just kind of like posting as I think. Feels more authentic and personal. Also, very excited to meet both Jay Asher, author of 13 Reasons Why, and Heather Brewer, author of the Vladimir Tod series, tomorrow. And while it's always cool when Heather Brewer replies to my Tweets, or even my Facebook posts, it was cool that she seems to be looking forward to meeting one of her minions as well! Plus, Jay Asher replied to me today too! So exciting! I love technology. Although, with such cool authors as these, it makes it harder to understand the authors I tweet that don't even bother to ever reply, even when I link to my reviews. Oh well. It is what it is. It's obvious who the really COOL authors are.
And, on with the review. Blood Red Road is another ARC. I waited a bit to get to it, while it sounded good, when I first picked it up, I had some trouble getting into it. But once I did, well, let's just say it was a day or two of not wanting to do anything other than read. I even wished I didn't have to go to family birthday parties so I could stay home and read, and there was cake at the party!!! And cake is my weakness. But back to topic.
Our main character is named Saba. She lives with her twin brother, her younger sister, and her father in a place called Silverlake, that is actually a dried up lake now. This is set in a future world, when things have gone wrong, from the few bits and pieces we get, I'm assuming some kind of disease or plague or pollution of some sort. At the very beginning, her brother Lugh is kidnapped, her father killed, and she is left alone with her sister Emmi, who she doesn't much like. Saba sets off to find Lugh, and along the way they get caught and taken to Hopetown where Saba is made to fight in cages. Kind of a gladiator type thing. Made me think of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome for some reason. Saba does really good, winning all her fights. She meets a boy there, Jack, and a girl named Epona, who is part of a group of girls out to win freedom for all. They are able to escape and burn down Hopetown. Saba finds out from another girl that her brother has been taken for a sacrifice. The king wants someone to sacrifice every year to extend his life. This king is obviously crazy and we find out just how much.
This was a really good book. I can see it being a very popular book for teens. My only complaints, and they are minimal, first, I understand why they use a slang type of speech, it fits the type of life the main characters have had, but it is still hard for me to read that as I'm so used to correcting grammar in papers I have to grade. The one other thing I didn't like is that they didn't use quotation marks when someone was talking, so sometimes I'd have to go back to re-read what I hadn't realized was someone talking to help my mind make sense of it. Nothing about the story was bad, just some things that my brain had a little trouble processing. But as I said, it didn't stop my brain from wanting to pick up the book and read constantly! I liked the way the relationship between Jack and Saba developed, its highs and lows were very good, and relatable I think.