Happy Monday, everyone! Today is my stop on the Blood Will Out blog tour along with Penguin Random House Canada and Penguin Teen Canada. A very special thanks for allowing me to join in on another tour!
Today I have a review of Blood Will Out plus a mini Q&A that I did with Jo, the author. I’m very excited for you guys to learn more about Jo. She is such a pleasure to talk to and it’s interesting to hear about her writing process for this book!
TITLE: Blood Will Out
AUTHOR: Jo Treggiari
PUBLISHER: Penguin Teen
TARGET AUDIENCE: Young Adult
GENRE(S): Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
The publisher kindly sent me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Ari Sullivan is alive—for now.
She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.
Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous—and Ari may not be the only intended victim.
I’m going to be completely honest – I don’t tend to read thrillers. Thrillers just happen to be last on my list of books to read. I read contemporary and fantasy the most.
When Penguin asked if I wanted to join this tour, I figured it was a great opportunity to go outside of my ‘comfort zone’ with respect to genre.
I am so happy that I read this book. The writing is impeccable and I was always on the edge of my seat. I quickly read 150 pages in one sitting. From the first sentence I was curious to see how everything would turn out.
One of the most interesting aspects of this books is its dual perspective. Every odd chapter is from Ari’s perspective. Every even chapter is from the killer’s perspective. Up until the end, the reader is not aware of who the killer is. But I certainly had my suspicions! It really was great to see it play out.
The chapters written from the perspective of the killer is chilling and eerie. It is suspenseful because the read is always a few steps ahead of Ari and her own discoveries. But, I really like getting the perspective of the killer because it shows insight into reasoning and what led them down this path.
Ari is an enjoyable main character. Its great to see her character develop throughout the novel, from waking up in the bottom of a cistern to the end of the book. Her friendships are integral to the development of the story and it is written with both poise and effectiveness.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers and those who are interested in venturing into this genre! It was spine-chilling and suspenseful that will ultimately leave you wanting more!
An extra special thank you to Jo for answering my questions!
This novel began with a picture that popped into my brain of a girl with head trauma lying at the bottom of a cistern. Sometimes it’s a particularly detailed character that comes to my mind, sometimes it’s a question that I want to answer, and sometimes it’s one vivid scene. For this book it was the combination of the girl in the well and the question of how she got there. Once I decided that there was a person who had tried to kill her, the rest of the pieces started to fall into place. I wanted to write something dark and a serial killer just starting out was top of the list.
I’ve joked around a little and told people that the book was going to be a straight-ahead mystery adventure all told from the point of view of my main character Ari, but then this other voice started whispering horrible things in my ear. Actually though, I wanted to explore what might make someone want to kill and I could only do that by getting really close. I thought that the dynamic inherent in telling Ari’s side in the third person and the killer’s side in the first person, and jumping from one perspective to the other was particularly effective. The reader knows just a tiny bit more than Ari. They are a step or two ahead and that raises the stakes and heightens the scary factor. Slipping into the mind of a serial killer was terrifying for me as well. I wanted to tread this thin line between sort of understanding their evolution but never losing sight of the fact that this was a monster I was writing about.
I naively believed I could write a mystery- I love reading them- so I just jumped into the deep end and started writing. I think that my plots tend to be cliff-hanger-y and my settings are atmospheric anyway, so crafting these scary scenes came naturally to me. That being said though, thrillers are a whole other skill set, the tight structure of them, the bones, are so important, and I think I learned the most from making (many) mistakes and then having to laboriously fix them.
Some of my faves include Marisha Pessl’s Night Film, Teresa Toten’s Beware That Girl, Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious, and Caleb Roehrig’s White Rabbit.
I’m about to start edits on another YA thriller hopefully coming out next summer from Penguin Teen Canada. I can’t tell you much about it other than that it is told from multiple points of view — all female. And these characters! Oh my goodness – how I love them!
About The Author
My new book, BLOOD WILL OUT- a YA psychological thriller, will be published by Penguin Teen in Summer 2018. Other books include Ashes, Ashes (Scholastic, 2011) and Love You Like Suicide, a novella (Fierce Ink, 2013). I was born in London, England but grew up in Canada, Roccasinibalda, Italy and California. Somehow I found myself on the beautiful south shore of Nova Scotia, where I now live. I used to work in the music industry and eventually owned my own indie record label. The first CD we ever put out was by a gangsta rap group. We also did alt rock and punk. I have trained as a boxer. I could have been a contender. (Not really). I started writing stories for my little sister when I was about 8. Often I would rework fairytales so that the princesses had a little more grit. Then I would write them out on white paper, roll them up and tie with a red ribbon. Later on in high school I penned personalized naughty limericks by request. I love dogs and octopuses.I blog. And I enjoy baking desserts. I am a tattooed person.
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