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Blood Sugar

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  89 reviews
At the end of Yellow Street, in a ruined junkyard of a house, an angry outcast hatches a scheme to take revenge for all the wrongs he has suffered. With the help of three alienated neighborhood kids, he plans to hide razor blades, poison, drugs, and broken glass in Halloween candy and use the deadly treats to maim or kill dozens of innocent children. But as the clock ticks ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Hard Case Crime
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  291 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you want an idea of how gross this book is, the first person narrator has a case of untreated pink-eye, and that’s just the start. But hey, it’s in addition to being completely disgusting it’s also depressing as hell.

I’m selling the hell out of this one, aren’t I? The crazy thing is that it’s a very good book, one of the best I’ve read this year. But it’s not exactly a joy ride.

Robbie is a complete outcast that is hated by everyone in town. He lives in a decaying house that’s filled with jun
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before you read BLOOD SUGAR by Daniel Kraus, I feel this sense of responsibility to set you up for success. I don’t want this book to fall victim to a litany of reviews that focus on the unusual storytelling. Daniel Kraus has made a bold choice using his protagonist Jody to be the primary narrative. Jody’s voice is audacious, unabashed and full of slang terms, both familiar and unfamiliar. At first, it’s distracting but soon, the reader will grow accustomed to Jody’s unique wordsmithing and the ...more
Ashley Daviau
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of all, can we all take a second to appreciate how utterly AMAZING this cover is?! Okay now that we’ve all feasted our eyes on the awesome cover, let’s get to the goods inside. Somehow, the story is as good as the cover is, if not BETTER. This is some dark subject matter and definitely not for the faint of heart, it had me feeling sick to my stomach at some points, in the best way possible of course! I loved the way it was written, the slang like language made me really feel like I was ins ...more
Blood Sugar Delivers

Blood Sugar is a kind of a cross between Eminem’s Eight Mile, A Clockwork Orange, and every punked-Out hood rat story you ever heard. Get used to Jody’s inner city rap ‘cause this whole deal is told in a distinct vernacular that once you get used to it feels honest and pointed. Be ready for more Tolkien references than a Led Zeppelin song as well as constant references to sharkweek.

The story has little to do with Halloween except that’s the setting time-wise. It’s not a hor
Janie C.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Written in the lingo of a wannabe thug who is simply a child in limbo, this story revolves around the disenfranchised, the abused and the unfortunate whose lives were tugged out from under them. Flypaper costumes, overpriced junk, rage, and the saddest stories you've ever heard meld to form street monsters with beating hearts with nowhere to move but forward. Humor is sprinkled over poisoned treats that may or may not hit their targets. Heartbreaking and tough as nails, this book delivers the go ...more
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the start you know this isn't going to be any ordinary book; seeped in slang, the story set among squalor, Blood Sugar is at once creative and consuming. It absorbs the reader in a heartfelt story hiding behind the curtains of malicious intent and a twisted form of vengeance.

The narrative is insightful innocence spoken through a veil of ignorance that's all too real and scary as hell - more as a result of the plot's initial intent as apposed to the outcome.

While misleading, the cover is tr
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Abandoned by his parents and desperate for revenge against those in his town who have made his life a living hell, twenty-something recluse Robbie has come up with a shameful scheme. On Halloween night, with the assistance of his friends Jody, Dag and Midge, Robbie will give out candy filled with pins and poison. Will he follow through with his despicable plan or will his cohorts stop him before it’s too late?

Blood Sugar is unlike any book I’ve read. Author Daniel Kraus presents Jody, Robbie’s y
Eddie Generous
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Unnerving Magazine Review

Listen to my conversation with the author here:

An entertaining and original offering on an urban myth (mostly). At times endearing and at other times gut-churning. Textured and told with a somewhat experimental voice and method. A truly interesting read.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, crime
ARC review

Markedly different from every other Kraus on its surface level, though there's definitely some familiar themes he's continuing to explore. Most interesting is that despite not really being a horror novel, it's probably Kraus' most disgusting book yet. Yes, the same author who had two whole epic novels about the protagonist slowly decaying. Yes, the same author who wrote a book about grave robbing. Rotters may have been the only book to really effectively evoke smell for me, but Blood
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A fascinating look at the underbelly of the young and extremely poor that does some interesting things with main character and point of view but is marred by some of the worst "adult writing a kid" writing that I have ever read. On one page we read something like "I've gotta get ahold of some crack, yo!", only to read a page later something like "I'm being a poo poo diaper baby" and "I can't make pee". Kraus also tried to make up his own slang like A Clockwork Orange but it is just laughably awf ...more

I picked up this book because of the amazing cover, but it wasn't what I was expecting it to be. The cover makes it look like a retro crime story that's maybe a little sexy. This is actually a modern day, super depressing story with extremely dark and damaged characters. I spent the first 2/3 of this book not really knowing what was going on, where it was leading or whether or not I was even enjoying it. The last 1/3 is where all the meat of the story is which I did really enjoy.

The main narrat
Rob Christopher
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Very strong stuff. Unpleasant. But also poignant .... and 100% committed. I had to admire it. He gets inside his protagonist's head so completely it made me squirm--because this is a very sad, bleak tale indeed. Not without some mightducking humor, however.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I went back and forth on giving this a 4.5, but I think 4 is fair.

First let me say upfront, that I was provided this book for review purposes by Kaye Publicity. With that out of the way, lets get to the review.

I had a blast with this, which feels weird to say, considering the book is full of very bleak content. Kraus finds a way to infuse his characters with verve and humour, even while they inhabit a grim world, and this makes for easy reading. This could easily have been a stumbling block, as
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
Blood Sugar takes place all during Halloween day/evening. I loved reading this book in Jody's voice. It was a unique narrative that took a few pages to get used to, but I think it was a great way to tell the story. The story tells about each character and how they ended up hanging out together. It's funny, oddly heartwarming, and a little horrific. This is a quick read that I finished in just a few hours. It's a great book to add to an October reading list!
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Blood Sugar by Daniel Krause is one extremely disturbing novel. Krause dumps you in the deep end from the beginning-you start saddled with an underage narrator who speaks his own idiosyncratic lingo. Once you parse that out you may immediately think you know what is going on. Trust me-you don't. This book just gets more and more disturbing the further down the rabbit hole you go. This one packs a wallop.
Oliver Clarke
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review coming soon on Sci Fi and Scary
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
This book hurt my heart with it's realness, but also made me laugh out loud.

The storytelling is unique and unusual, but it works so well once you get into it. You feel for the characters and if you're me you know people like these characters and it makes everything hit a bit harder.

Don't take this book too seriously though.

Would recommend for those not weak of heart. Very NSFW with it's imagery and language, but holy mothertrucking sharkweek did I love it.

4.5 stars just because the ending was
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a bit of a marvel. I don’t know how it ‘works’, but it does.

The first characteristic of BLOOD SUGAR that grabs your attention is the street/hood (and partially made up) language of the main character. 85% of the book is Jody talking to you in this manner. Right away, on page 1, I found myself questioning if I really wanted to struggle through a whole book written in this way. It turned out not to be a struggle. Not at all (I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I w
Rob Ail
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
It is difficult to nail down this one. With the cover and being part of the Hard Crime series you're not expecting much, but Kraus has a pedigree coming into this so maybe it'll be a fun read. The current trend in the books I keep getting recommended is how dark can we go? The basic premise here is a group of lost kids with absence of parents planning to poison Halloween candy.

So what goes wrong. First off, the way the book is written is tedious to get through. It reads like a grown man trying
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Blood Sugar is a treat dipped in blood and wrapped up in emotions.
A trio of neglected kids hang around with an older man(but in many ways a kid himself) and get caught up in numerous mischiefs. Halloween is approaching and they have a very special plan to celebrate it.
Our narrator and protagonist, Jody, has a very unique voice and way of talking, which at first might be a bit off-putting, but when you get used to it, it flows like the great river Anduin(if you're a fan of LOTR like me you'll
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and others posted over at my blog.

From the back of the book: In a ruined house at the end of Yellow Street, an angry outcast hatches a scheme to take revenge for all the wrongs he has suffered. With the help of three alienated kids, he plans to hide razor blades, poison, and broken glass in Halloween candy, maiming or killing dozens of innocent children. But as the clock ticks closer to sundown, will one of his helpers – an innocent himself, in his own streetwise way – carry out
...more Mystery & Thriller
BLOOD SUGAR is not your usual Hard Case Crime book. It is, for one, an original story, newly written and released, as opposed to the rare, out-of-print and/or long-lost novels that this venerable and indispensable imprint typically publishes. For another, it is not a crime novel, as that term is normally used in the literary world. It most certainly revolves around a crime, or at least the potential for one, and therein lies part of the reason for its presence here.

That said, BLOOD SUGAR makes d
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I added this book to my "Witchtober" TBR this year - I mean with that cover how could I not!? Right? ... uh, right?? *looks around* How come none of y'all told me this has nothing at all to do with witches!? I definitely do not blame myself for never reading the synopsis.

Even though it is the least witchy book I have ever read in my whole life, I still really enjoyed it. The way the story is told is exceptionally unique. It is told from young Jody's perspective and his style is a blend of "Catch
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is not a familiar Daniel Kraus, not until you peel back that metaphorical candy wrapper to see the protagonist's slow fall into the madness and absurdity of their situation. At that point, it's Kraus all over: exploring how deep one will sink into a hole, how many choices will be made, how many attempts for justice or equity will be conceived and carried out. This book may seem light, but it's stuck with me long after reading in the way only Kraus does.

The back copy compares this to A Clock
Sheela Kean
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Blood Sugar has tempted me in with it's cover but completely hooked me with it's weirdly unique storytelling. The narrator is young, underprivileged and tells the entire story in street talk/ghetto slang which takes a few pages to get used to, after that his voice becomes familiar and it's much easier to hear it in your head as you read. This story is dark, bringing naive humor to terrible situations with characters who seem to normalize situations the reader may find disturbing or disgusting. I ...more
Ashley (bookishmommy)
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was everything to me. I havent laughed so hard in a LONG time and I was flagging almost every page. I even went so far as to do a video where I read a paragraph because I needed the world to experience this book. Not only is this book hilarious, it has heart.
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure what to say about this one yet...
Bob Nadal
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, moving tale of loss and betrayal seen through the eyes of a child.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a unique writing style! Check out this book
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hard-case-crime
Would have given it just one star, but the cover is outstanding. Hard Case Crime publication? Not. A. Crime. Novel.
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DANIEL KRAUS is a New York Times bestselling author. With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored THE SHAPE OF WATER, based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus co-authored TROLLHUNTERS, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. Kraus’s THE DEATH & LIFE OF ZEBULON FINCH was named one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 10 Books of the Year, and ...more

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