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Blood Wounds

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,689 ratings  ·  300 reviews
Blood can both wound and heal . . .

Sixteen-year-old Willa is fortunate to have a happy blended family. But a frantic phone call from Pryor, Texas, shatters the calm. Willa’s birth father has murdered his second wife and daughters . . . and the police think he’s on his way east to hunt down Willa and her mother. As this disturbing tragedy inevitably exposes family secrets t
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Harcourt Children's Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,689 ratings  ·  300 reviews

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Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic
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
Kat Heckenbach
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Nov 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Rebecca Weimert
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, never-finished, 2011
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.
Stephanie A.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not quite what I expected, but maybe better? The actual violence and suspense are over and done with in the first quarter of the book (though Pfeffer spares no quarter in describing gruesomeness as far as teen-book content can be stretched, later even imagining the killings from the murderer's perspective), but the idea of "blood" in all its meanings is continually tied back to the story.

The majority of this book is about a meek girl beginning to struggle with her place in a blended family, the
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
"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
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Wendy Hines
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ncbla, cutting
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
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't know what to think of this book.

Once I started reading it, I needed to know what was going to happen. It starts out with this awesome family, where no one fights, everyone is happy, and the whole family tries really hard to make Willa feel like she fits in. Obviously this family is a little TOO perfect. I immediately needed to figure out what I wasn't being told, what secrets were being kept. As I kept reading, I kept getting hints about the mom's past. Hints at a secret past life that s
Melissa Railey
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing

I won this arc from following the Authors blog. She had a little contest, and my name got pulled from the hat. yay!

Anyway, I loved her moon books. If you know this Author, then you know what books I'm speaking of. If not.. go to her profile and check them out.. they are a must read! :) What I love about this Author is the realism she puts into her writing. I was happy to see that in Blood Wounds as well.

I can see how the description can be a little misleading though. It really is mostly about
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: D

Willa's biological father goes on a rampage killing his wife and daughters, and the police think he may be coming from her. Her mom is a wreck and stepfather flies her two step sisters to their mother's fracturing the family Willa believed was so solid. Now she wonders whether her family will ever be whole and happy again, or if they ever were.

BLOOD WOUNDS scratches the surface of some difficult issues and provides easy answer and explanations for complex problems. Susan Beth Pfeffer wro
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, 2012
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 Francisco
May 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011, young-adult
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.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was over the top for everything - I couldn't stand it. Everything was over exaggerated, which just made it hard to believe / read. I personally wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for a suspenseful book.
Edward Sullivan
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
A dark and powerful family drama.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, 2011
Kimberly was not wrong - this book doesn't work very well at all.
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
While Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer isn't necessarily a book about a psychological disorder- one is certainly never specified, or identified- it is about a girl who is obviously struggling to accept and come to terms with a lot of different things, and one of the ways she chooses to cope is through cutting.

When I first heard about Blood Wounds, I was really excited. It's Contemporary, which I love, it's about secrets, and pain, about learning who you are and how to be strong for yourself. S
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it

In Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Willa’s life spirals out of control when her father kills his wife and two of their children before disappearing. Willa’s blended family has provided her with wealthy stepsisters thanks to their hard working mother along with her stepfather. The siblings create conflict and the differences of the two against Willa is a downhill battle. Willa is then told to keep quiet and not make waves. Willa discovers more about her mother’s first husband and her family
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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

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