Blood Will Out by Jo Treggari Review + Q&A – Blog Tour!
Publisher: Penguin Teen | Pages: 256
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Happy Monday, everyone! Today is my stop on the Blood Will Out blog tour with Penguin Random House Canada and Penguin Teen Canada! A special thanks goes out to them for including me in another blog tour. Working with them has been an amazing experience and I always jump at the chance when they give me these opportunities!
I not only have a review for you today, but I also got the chance to do a Q&A with the author, and I’m so excited for you guys to get to know Jo a little more. She is such a pleasure to talk to and it was interesting to hear more about her writing process for this book!
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. It’s not that I’m opposed to reading suspenseful stories filled with mystery and intrigue, but rather, that it’s just not the first genre of book I gravitate towards.
When Penguin reached out to me and asked if I wanted to join the tour I figured it would be a good opportunity to go outside of my ‘comfort zone’ with respect to genres. Also, it would keep me accountable in that I would have a deadline.
I am so glad that I read this book. Not only was it written with excellent skill, it was also one that kept me on the edge of my seat. When I first picked it up, I read 150 pages of it quicker than I’ve ever read before. I was quickly thrown into the story and so curious to see how everything played out.
One of the most interesting aspects of this book is the fact that it is written from dual perspective. Each odd chapter is written in third person from the perspective of our main character, Ari. Each even chapter is written in first person from the perspective of the killer – and up until the end, the reader is not aware as to who the killer actually is. Let me tell you, I wasn’t able to correctly guess the identity of the killer and it was really interesting how it all played out in the end!
Each chapter written from the perspective of the killer was chilling and eerie. It was suspenseful as the reader to always be a few steps ahead of Ari and her own discoveries. But I really liked getting the perspective of the killer as it allowed us insight into reasoning as to what has led them down this specific path in life.
Ari was an enjoyable main character and it was really interesting to see her character development throughout the length of the novel, from waking up in the bottom of a cistern to where we the novel ended. Her friendships were integral to the development of the story and it was written with 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!
Q&A with Jo Treggiari
A huge thanks goes out to Jo for answering my questions!
How did you come up with the idea for this novel? Did anything specific inspire you?
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.
The novel is written through two perspectives. What made you decide to write it that way?
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.
Why did you decide to write a thriller?
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.
What are your favourite YA or Adult thriller novels that you would recommend?
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.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming books?
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.
Be sure to check out the previous stops on the tour and the upcoming ones!!
June 18th – Flavia the Bibliophile
June 19th – Bookidote
June 20th – YA Bibliophile
June 21st – Jessica’s A Book Lover
June 22nd – Just A Lil’ Lost
June 25th – Rocky Reads
June 26th – I’d So Rather Be Reading
June 27th – Lavender Lines
June 28th – Ryley Reads
June 29th – Confessions of a YA Reader