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Synopsis from B&N:
I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up. And even now there are two thoughts that are so clear, they feel branded into my mind: One, Werewolves do exist, and two, I was born to kill them.
**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**
I was hooked on this book after the first chapter. The main character, Tara, ends up in a fight to the death with a crazed girl who turns into a wolf right before her eyes. As quick as that, she's initiated into the world of Werewolves - and that's all in just the first chapter!
I always preach about how important characters are, and the author really nailed it with Dirty Blood. I was able to connect with all of the characters in this book, and very easily. They were all so well written that by the last page I felt like I knew them all personally. As I said, Tara is the main character and she definitely has a lot to deal with throughout the course of the story. First with learning that Werewolves are not just legend and then discovering who/what she really is, along with plenty of other revelations (which I won't be discussing because I don't want to give away anything!). She can certainly be stubborn at times, but she's also strong, independent, and confident. I liked her because she wasn't playing the damsel-in-distress, wanting someone to solve all of her problems for her; she preferred to take matters into her own hands. Wes arrives on the scene early on, helping Tara out immediately after her fight with the Werewolf in the first chapter. He's extremely patient and is dedicated to protecting her, not to mention extremely handsome. I absolutely hate when I fall for fictional characters, it is such a let down when you finally remember they aren't real, but with Wes it was impossible not to. He was just a really down-to-earth, genuine, nice guy, and who doesn't want one of those? All of the secondary characters were great as well; I especially liked Jack and Fee, who were like Wes' surrogate parents. Jack was this tough guy who has a way of making everyone feel safe, like he would not hesitate to take a bullet for you, and Fee is one of those women who welcomes everybody with open arms, just very motherly and genuinely concerned about both Wes and Tara's welfare.
There's an obvious connection between Tara and Wes from the beginning, but they have ups and downs throughout the book. Their personalities clash at times and they butt heads, neither one wanting to concede defeat. They were so sweet together though, and despite the differences they balanced each other out rather nicely. Here's one of my favorite parts:
I wasn't even sure who leaned in first, but by the time our lips met, it was completely mutual. His kiss was soft at first but his touch brought with it a heat that I'd never felt before. It radiated out and spread into the rest of my body, like wildfire. He tasted like apple cider and the woods in summer, and all I could think was that I'd never tasted anything so delicious.(pg. 81 of eBook)
See what I mean? Steamy, sweet, beautiful - I just love them together.
I found this book to be fairly unique. Of course the Werewolf theme has been covered many times over, but this novel managed not to feel like all of the other ones I have read. For example, in this one humans can't be changed by a Werewolf bite; instead, the bites are very deadly. I was able to connect with these characters on a deeper level than most other books I have read, also, which was unexpected but a very much welcome surprise.
The interesting story, multi-faceted characters, action, mystery, and suspense all add up to an amazing read. I'm reading back over my review and I just can't do this one justice; it seems like the more I like a book, the harder it is to express it in words. All I can really say is this YA novel is in my top 10, if not top 5, books I have read this year. In case you didn't get the hint already, I loved Dirty Blood! I definitely recommend it to everyone (I promise you won't be disappointed) and I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series!
If you would like to learn more about the author, Heather Hildenbrand, please check out her webpage and Twitter.
Now on to the giveaway! Up for grabs is one copy of Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand. Interested? Simply click the link below and enter - super simple, no hoops to jump through and no follow required (although it would be greatly appreciated). Giveaway ends Nov. 9, 2011 at 11:59 PM CST.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 10:00 AM