Booklist Reviews 2016 February #1
As Lea and her friend exit a cemetery, they make an ominous discovery: they have stepped onto blood. Looking closely, they realize blood is seeping into the grass, covering the roads, lapping the sidewalks. The earth itself is bleeding, and this is only the beginning. As the blood levels rise, it becomes mixed with hair and bones. Eventually schools and businesses close—travel is too treacherous—and everyone is confined to home, rationing food and water. Inevitably the worst of human nature surfaces. Debut author Ward paints a horrific, Bible-inspired Bloodpocalypse, but the secondary story line is just as interesting: Lea and her girlfriend, Aracely, exploring their feelings for each other in spite of the terror around them. Lea is a typical teenager—obnoxious, rebellious, and determined to be with her friends, regardless of the danger. It's a situation that begs for resolution, though some readers may find this one frustrating. Still, expect plenty of chatter around this, as well as suspicious glances at squishy ground. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
PW Reviews 2015 November #2
Debut author Ward sets teen romance against apocalyptic mayhem in this uneven cautionary tale. The premise is decidedly gruesome: blood begins seeping out of the ground, followed by clumps of hair and even bones, resulting in the breakdown of society as the blood level, and terror, rises. High school senior Lea loves hanging out with her friends and exploring her romance with her girlfriend, Aracely, but becomes cut off as schools and businesses begin to close, and the struggle for food and water begins. Nearly half the book is spent setting up the action, and Lea gives much more thought to getting closer to Aracely than what is happening in the world around her, her narration lacking the urgency that the situation would suggest. Things take a shocking, abrupt turn for Lea in the third act, and Lea and Aracely must make their way to safety while navigating hunger, thirst, and threats of violence. The ecological message is fairly unsubtle, and readers are left wondering about the origins of the blood, which goes unexplained. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary Agency. (Feb.)[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC