Liz's Reviews > The Blooding

The Blooding by Patricia Windsor
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Jan 08, 12


Talk about bloody boring! I wanted to like Maris, really I did. She's a teenager whose mother should never be allowed anywhere near an impressionable child. She's told Maris over and over again how worthless she is (never outright but by dismissing her and her abilities). The slightest mistake Maris makes is held up as the failing of a lifetime and something she should be flogging herself over for years to come. The one big mistake she makes truly is a bad one, but I can understand why it happened, what put her in that position. I can understand Maris completely; I just can't like her.

I thought I could through the first few chapters. She wasn't fleshed out and neither were any of the other characters, but I thought that might change and I'd grow to like her and the others. She seemed like a good kid in a bad situation, going from the emotionally abusive, overbearing mother into an au pair job where the parents screamed and yelled behind closed doors and made the whole atmosphere oppressive. I wanted to feel for her and the children under her care. But none of the characters were ever anything more than two-dimensional, and it's hard to care much about cardboard, even when it talks.

And then suddenly Maris turns into a Lolita. Out of nowhere she's fantasizing about Derek, a guy who's nearly twice her age, and he seems to be watching her in turn. That's just creepy in a bad way.

Then Barb, the mother, dies, and it gets much, much worse. Suddenly Maris wants to stay in England any way she can, even by spreading malicious gossip about Barb when she really doesn't understand anything that's going on. Her attraction to Derek goes into overdrive, which makes absolutely no sense when she's previously been frightened by him and thought that he was a jerk. Which he is. Emotionally abusive, controlling and, as it turns out, a bit homicidal.

I guess, Maris a teenager, I really shouldn't have expected her to think beyond her hormones and make a decision based on actual information instead of her own hopes and desires. But I had hoped that I'd be wrong, that she wouldn't go and do something stupid and then, worse, mope around and wangst about it. But she does. Constantly. For pages. When she's not throwing little tantrums about not going out hunting. Oy.

At least, in the end, she's not so self-centered and whiny that she can't do the right thing. Saving one life at the expense of another isn't such a bad thing, in this case, and I'm glad she could do that. But by that point I didn't care enough about her or any of the other characters to get too happy about it.

There is no good resolution in this book, which makes sense in Maris' case. She made her choice and she's going to have to learn to be an adult and live with it. However, we never did know what happened to the children, and that's a big oversight. But by that point in the book, I was so anxious for it to be over with that I really didn't care all that much.

The story just drags and drags and the characters are never developed, so they wind up as dull as the prose. There is a time or two when it actually threatens to be exciting, where something truly scary might just happen...but then it dies and you're left with more wangst and illogic courtesy of teenage hormones.

There are enough moments of interest to stop me from giving this one star, but not nearly enough to make me even consider giving it three. If there were half star options, this would probably be a 1.5 rating. Don't waste your money here and unless it's the only book left in the library, give this one a miss.
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