Blood Wounds
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Blood Wounds

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  1,057 ratings  ·  240 reviews
Blood can both wound and heal . . .

Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mothe...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Harcourt Children's Books
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Community Reviews

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Linds
Willa's life in the beginning is awesome. A freaking holy grail of a blended family. Particularly with her stepfather, Jack, and his ex-wife, there seemed to be a real sense of 'do what's best for the girls', the 'girls' being Willa's two stepsisters. I was actually really happy to see that kind of compatibility for a blended family happen in a book. Made me think it could be real.

Too bad it was a setup.

Blood Wounds, in case you can't tell by the mugshot cover, is not a happy times book. In fa...more
Megan
I've finally realized that while author Susan Beth Pfeffer may be good at creating amazingly complex situations, she is not so good at writing well rounded characters who experience growth or change as a result of the situations she puts them into. In Blood Wounds protagonist Willa is a seventeen year old living with her mother, stepfather and step sisters. Although "step" families are so common today, Willa's not-by-blood family is the focal point of much drama (despite the fact that Willa's mo...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Killer dad on the loose! Yes, this book has an awesome hook, and a serious amount of bloodshed. If you get queasy at the thought of blood, avoid! But that's only half the story, with the other being dysfunctional family, with a quiet but prickly girl, Willa, stepping up to an unusual situation. The two stories fit uneasily together, and the underlying metaphor couldn't be more heavy handed.

Willa is a cutter, which explains the title. Her perfectly happy (yes, that's meant ironically) blended fa...more
Kat Heckenbach
I read through some of the other reviews for this book before settling in to write mine--I sometimes do that out of curiosity, and lately out of worry that I'm going to be the first negative review if I didn't like a book. This was one of those cases--but I was relieved to see I wasn't the only reader who had issues with this book.

On the surface, it seems like a really deep and relevant book. But that's the problem--the whole thing is surface. None of it gelled for me, and the story and characte...more
Kristy
Hi, my name is Kristy and I'm addicted to Susan Beth Pfeffer.

This week has been a gobble fest for me, I'm at the beach and have yet to read a "beach book", but who cares right?!???!!

This book is nothing like the Life or Someting like it series.. at all.


This book is about a girl who never knew her father or her step-brother and sisters. A Father who is a killer. Digging into your past. Finding out if your past defines you. Figuring out no family is perfect. Acceptance. Peace. Fear. Regrets. Makin...more
Rebecca Weimert
Rebecca Weimert
Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Willa lives with her mother, stepfather, and two stepsisters. Always feeling left out Willa cuts herself to relieve the stress she feels in her home. Willa’s mother worked hard to give her a good family life, but her past comes back to haunt her. Willa’s biological father has murdered his wife and children and is coming for Willa, but is caught and killed by the police. The horrible deaths of her family shakes Willa’s world and she is not sure who sh...more
Connie
I was so disappointed w this book. I gave it a lot longer than I normally would with a book because I love this author's previous works, but I realized halfway through last night that it was more of a chore than a pleasure to read.

Every author has a dud occasionally and I'm sad to say this is hers. The main character's voice is very immature - she sounds more like 12 than 16. This may have been intentional but in the end, everything here just felt off.
Josiah
"No saints in this world, sweetie. Just different kinds of sinners."

—Faye, Blood Wounds, P. 164

Susan Beth Pfeffer has a way with suspense. She can make readers feel as if the cold-blooded killer could be hiding around any corner, or could outwit even the most well-planned security net to burst through the door at any moment and commence his murderous rampage. And, for the first seventy pages or so of Blood Wounds, that's just the sort of tense, suspenseful writing that we get, loaded with all...more
Wendy Hines
Willa Coffey is a quiet girl who doesn't expect much. She lives with her mom, step-dad Jack and her two step-sisters, Alyssa and Brooke. Jacks ex-wife Val makes sure that Alyssa and Brooke have everything that money can buy and Willa is usually left on the outskirts looking in. Her mom and Jack cannot afford those things for Willa. She doesn't express her discontent, but instead hides in the basement and cuts herself.

When she receives a phone call from her mom's best friend while she is home al...more
Melissa Railey
I normally wouldn't have picked this book up but it was written by Susan Beth Pfeffer and I loved her Life As We Knew It books. I recommend those books to just about everybody I come in contact with (so if you haven't read them, go out, get them and read them. They're terrific.) Blood Wounds centers on Willa. Willa is part of a blended family and has two stepsisters who she likes but also envies and resents. Her stepsister's mother pays for them to go to fancy schools, travel and compete in very...more
Asheley
In a nutshell, I liked this book. The pacing is great. The story is entertaining, even with the serious themes it carries. It carried my attention well and was easy to digest.

I do have a few additional thoughts, however, that I would like to share:

1. Willa. Willa has been through so much in this story...from being a part of a blended family, to feeling inferior to her (much wealthier) stepsisters and always having to rearrange her life around their activities, to finding out that she has sibli...more
Leann
Willa is a part of a blended family that appears to have it all. She and her two step sisters seem to get along great and she loves her stepdad as if he was her real dad. But then one phone call changes all that when she finds out her biological father has murdered his second family. The police think that her father is headed to kill her and her mother and so Willa and her mom must go into police protection. Willa soon finds out that her mother has held a lot of the truth from her and now her fa...more
Teri
Susan Beth Pfeffer is a master story teller in such a unique way, she portrays immense levels of human emotions in her characters.
Blood Wounds will be released later in the year and in it is the story of Willa, a high school aged girl who tries so hard at living the perfect life, that when her past catches up to her it comes in the grisly package of her estranged father and the horrible crimes he has committed against his family.
Susan brings into her story such immense emotion on some normal act...more
Wisteriouswoman
It is a terrible book. Why I kept reading it is a mystery to me.

She isn't a likeable character and the way she talks is in an adult voice. Maybe things are different in Texas and middle America, but out here on the coast kids aren't always ready to say 'yes please, no thank you, I'm so sorry', etc.. This is supposed to be a girl in crisis--someone who is cutting. It is an important topic but I never felt the angst.

Everyone is so lovey-dovey especially for a blended family with three teenage gir...more
Barbara
In this book, Pfeffer turns from a life-changing natural disaster to a more personal disaster with consequences for all those directly involved as well as those who are only the fringes of the event. High school junior Willa seems to have a perfect life. Her stepfather and mother are devoted to her, and she and her two stepsisters get along just fine. If their access to money through their mother means that they have much material objects than Willa, she has never really minded. However, there a...more
Jessica
When I read the synopsis for this book I thought I was in for a suspenseful, action-packed thriller. Yeah, I was wrong. I was thinking I would be reading about Willa in a Witness Protection kind of program while her crazy father stalked her and she found out crazy secrets her mom had kept. Hmmm...yeah, wrong again! I was very disappointed in this book. This is not to say that you won't like it but it wasn't what I expected at all.


Willa is living with her mom and step-dad and two step-sisters. He...more
Audrey
Willa has always felt like she needed to do her best and stay under the radar. Living with her mother in a house paid for by her step-father's ex-wife for Willa's step-sisters, she's always done without while her step-sisters had whatever they wanted. Willa never knew her father, and so it comes as a surprise when she learns that he has just killed the half-sisters and step-mother she never knew she had. Now the country is scandalized by the horror he has brought down upon his family, and Willa...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nan
Wow. What an amazing book.

Pfeffer has a gift. She can take readers to the dark places in our souls and back out again. We're changed by the journey, tempered, and drained. Her fiction explores what it means to be a family, to have others to rely on or that rely upon you. And she explores what it means when you are alone and don't have that support. Finally, she shows the moments when kids see their parents as real, as flawed, as loving and as hateful.

Someday, I hope that I will be able to write...more
Janet
I couldn't put down this book by one of my favorite YA authors. All appears happy in Willa's blended family, but there is a lot going on just under the surface. The book took some turns that I wasn't expecting. I would recommend this for readers looking for a realistic page-turner. some parts will be disturbing to sensitive readers.
Kimberly
All tell and no show makes Blood Wounds a dull book.

I was misled by the back synopsis, but even when I shifted my expectations so I knew I was reading a family drama and not a thriller, the book was no good. It failed on both levels.
Saleena Davidson
Blood Wounds is a multi-faceted tale. On the surface it's the story of a girl who's father has gone on a killing spree, and now threatens her new step-family. Under the surface is the story of a blended family, but one that isn't honest and is falling apart under the strain. Under that is the story of Willa, struggling to keep herself together in a family where she feels small and unwanted. All in all, this was a very well told tale that allows the reader to watch as layer after layer is peeled...more
Claire
This may just be the worst book I've ever read. I'm sure the author has much better books out there, but after this I don't think I'll be reading them any time soon.

Willa acts like an idiot 8 year old half the time and a 56 year old the rest. Apparently she's got a weird form of genetic memory right at the end (?) and cuts herself occasionally. I've read books about cutters before. Willa doesn't really cut all that much. Maybe once or twice in the book do we really see her destructive behavior,...more
Segen W
Blood Wounds was not a kind of book I was expecting. It was a very intense book and is also a tragedy. Willa is a girl who gets through all her pain by cutting herself which isn't a good thing since her mom and her step dad don't know about it. Willa goes through some troubling time when she finds out that her real dad killed his new wife and his new baby daughters. I would give this book a 3 star rating because it such a tragedy and it's so intense but the writing in the book is very descriptiv...more
Janssen
Kimberly was not wrong - this book doesn't work very well at all.
Edward Sullivan
A dark and powerful family drama.
Chloe
This book has an element that I've never seen before: the plot was so utterly simple. Yet the author managed to continue the book until the end without it falling completely flat. It was like a car running on fumes, and I have to give Pfeffer credit for that. Really there was just one main story line with some [very] small strands branching off it, and every time you thought something else might get added to it... nope. Just the same story line. And while I think it could have been a bit more in...more
Pam Steinke
Willa is part of a happy family. Her Mother, Terri, left her abusive husband in Texas when Willa was about 5. Terri eventually met Jack who was divorced with 2 daughters of his own. Jack is the only father Willa has ever known.

One day, out of nowhere, the police are on Willa's doorstep looking for Terri. Willa's biological father has disappeared and there is an Amber alert out for a little half-sister Willa didn't she had. Actually, Budge, Willa's bio-Dad is a person of interest in the murder o...more
Page (One Book At A Time)
The description of this book is extremely misleading. I was hoping for a thriller. It's hardly that at all. The first couple of chapters due deal with Willa's father and the horrendous crime he committed. But, it's over so quickly that the focus quickly shifts to the aftermath.

I wasn't ever really sure I liked Willa. I'm not positive the best time to get to know a character is during a crisis like this. But maybe it helps her show her true colors. At times I thought she was snippy and seemed ung...more
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Susan Beth Pfeffer was born in New York City in 1948. She grew up in the city and its nearby suburbs and spent summers in the Catskill Mountains. When she was six her father wrote and published a book on constitutional law, and Pfeffer decided that she, too, wanted to be a writer. That year she wrote her first story, about the love between an Oreo cookie and a pair of scissors. However, it wasn't...more
More about Susan Beth Pfeffer...
Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2) This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3) The Shade of the Moon (The Last Survivors, #4) The Year Without Michael

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