In this fast paced and appropriately sickening novel, London has been struck by a plague—people cough up blood to their deaths. Our main character, Jay, finds himself in a dreadful situation: He’s fallen ill but managed to keep it a secret to not worry his sister.
But his plans to keep what little peace that remains in their household are shattered when he finds out his sister’s sick, too. They have both fallen ill with this plague that took their parents, and no one knows a cure. There are only speculations that a doctor in France can help them.
Speculation is not much, but they have nothing else to cling to; along with two of their close friends, they make a journey to France on foot in search of the cure, leaving behind everything they’ve ever known. It’s all been tainted with bad memories, anyway.
It’s a heart-racing journey in which we see Jay struggle with his fear for Maia’s health, his dread for the future, but to make matters worse he has developed a crush on his best friend’s girlfriend. The fact she’s traveling with them adds a layer of awkwardness to their situation, awkwardness and more tension.
How do you speak to your best friend after you kissed his girlfriend?
Blood and Water was a fantastically thought-out debut novel. Short and powerful, I finished with a racing heart, hurting for the characters who’d lost hope and so much more. With these characters I felt hope rise and then fall, I recoiled with them and closed my eyes in regret.
The ending seemed fitting, though I did not see it coming. Poignant, that last scene will be burned into my memory as one of the best I’ve read. It leaves us asking many questions, but also instills in us a sense of doom.
This book was fast and painful, making me take a deep breath of clean air because I could. Because there was no plague. Because I suffocated with the characters as I read.
Blood and Water earns four stars for drawing me into a genre I don’t usually read. I look forward to more work from this promising young author with a talent for hurting readers’ feelings—a very good talent indeed.
Visit the author at her blog here!