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It starts off simply.

Draw a circle... place a dead leaf in the center... sprinkle some salt... recite a little Latin... add a drop of blood...

Maybe that last part isn’t exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents’ horrific deaths. She’s willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep ... and spill some blood.

The book isn’t the only recent arrival in Silla’s life. There’s Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She’s not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick’s first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can’t deny their attraction. And they can’t ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.

405 pages, Hardcover

First published May 24, 2011

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About the author

Tessa Gratton

67 books1,812 followers
Tessa Gratton is the author of adult and YA SFF novels and short stories that have been translated into twenty-two languages, nominated twice for the Otherwise Award, and several have been Junior Library Guild Selections. Her most recent novels are the dark queer fairy tales Strange Grace and Night Shine, and queer the Shakespeare retelling Lady Hotspur. Her upcoming work includes the YA fantasy Chaos and Flame (2023), and novels of Star Wars: The High Republic. Though she has lived all over the world, she currently resides at the edge of the Kansas prairie with her wife. Queer, nonbinary, she/any.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 970 reviews
Profile Image for  ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ❤️.
2,274 reviews405 followers
October 7, 2021
Drusilla ist 17, als ihre Eltern sterben. Es heißt, ihr Vater habe ihre Mutter und dann sich selbst erschossen. Drusilla glaubt nicht daran. Nach dem Tod der Eltern bekommt sie vom "Diakon" ein Buch zugeschickt. Es ist das Zauberbuch ihres Vaters. Drusilla probiert es auf dem nahegelegenen Friedhof aus; es funktioniert. Sie kann welkes Laub in frisches Laub verwandeln. Dabei wird sie beobachtet von Nicholas, dem Nachbarsjungen. Die beiden freunden sich an und verlieben sich ineinander. Aber Nicholas hat ein Geheimnis. Er kennt die Magie und weiß, dass sie nicht nur Gutes bewirken kann...

* Meine Meinung *
Ein sehr gutes Jugendbuch, das sich schnell und flüssig lesen lässt. Es hat einen lockeren Erzählstil und ist unterteilt in viele relativ kurze Kapitel und Abschnitte, die das Lesen zusätzlich erleichtern. Die Geschichte ist spannend und romantisch zugleich und sehr gut aufgebaut.
Sehr gut hat mir gefallen, dass die Geschichte abwechselnd erzählt wird aus Sicht von Drusilla und aus Sicht von Nicholas. So kennt man beide Sichtweisen und kann sich viel besser in die Figuren hineindenken.
Super waren auch die kurzen Tagebuchausschnitte von Josephine. So hat sich beim Lesen die Spannung immer weiter aufgebaut, weil es viel Geheimnisvolles gab, das sich erst am Ende des Buches geklärt hat. Der rote Faden zog sich durch das gesamte Buch.
Schade fand ich allerdings, dass das Geheimnis um den Diakon nicht aufgeklärt wurde. Er taucht nie als richtige Figur in der Geschichte auf. Trotzdem lohnt es sich auf jeden Fall, dieses Buch zu lesen! Es bekommt von mir vier von fünf Sternen!
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,572 reviews33.9k followers
January 10, 2013
I can pinpoint the exact moment when I stopped trying to enjoy Blood Magic. As the book began, I was uneasy about the wordiness of the prose, but this is the point at which I gave up:

My heart beat faster, and I had to blink away the halo surrounding him. He was Mephistopheles, smiling and tempting me, his Dr. Faustus, to dance.

If this crazy talk had happened even after a lifetime of knowing each other or under the influence of recreational drugs or if they were both 600 years old, that sentence still would have made me giggle. But this was, I believe, Silla's third encounter with her new neighbor/instant boy crush Nick. She met him just a couple of days earlier when he witnessed her cutting her thumb in a cemetery and performing magic as if she'd been doing it all her life, although in fact it was the very first time she'd attempted it. This "magic" and its origins and its powers are rather odd, and I'm still not entirely sure I am convinced by the paranormal applications.

There are lots of crows flying around for dramatic effect. There are dual narratives that alternate far too quickly between Silla's and Nick's points of view. (In the space of the 8 pages in Chapter 6, for example, it switches three times!) Some of the phrasing such as "So many questions I had for him" and "I slept like ass, exhausted and sweating" is awkward. And there are incidents which seem designed primarily for shock value, including a violent death towards the end and an instance of Silla (look away, animal lovers)

Overall, however, I just could not get past the overly-written, overly-purple, overly-dramatic nature of the prose. The author is a friend of Maggie Stiefvater's, and the attempt to come close to her style is fairly obvious in many of the aspects of the writing and the story. But whereas books such as Shiver offer gorgeous prose and pulse with deep emotion, Blood Magic rarely stirs genuine excitement or passion no matter how hard it tries. And it tries very, very hard.

It might have been interesting to see this story go through several more rounds of revisions to edit out some of the more excessive literary swooning, as well as more development in the plot and the characters. But as it is, I was only able to read the first 100 pages or so and skimmed the rest, as I just wasn't able to sit through more of the wordiness and the melodrama. Unfortunately, the striking cover and alluring concept were by far the most attractive parts of this novel for me.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden.
Profile Image for jv poore.
611 reviews203 followers
May 25, 2020
I LOVE this book…..so much, in fact, that I can’t possibly write a review without sounding like a 12 year old girl gushing about Justin Bieber. You deserve better than that, so I’ll simply bullet the things I liked best about Ms. Gratton’s writing style, and Blood Magic specifically.

• Ms. Gratton weaves this compelling enchantment by letting the characters have their own voices. Sometimes Silla is telling the story, sometimes it is Reese, or Nicholas and sometimes, we are shown excerpts from a very old journal.
o The font used for the journal entries is a beautiful script, lending authenticity to the tale.
• Characters are aptly named. We are given hints as to who the old souls are, as they have older names, such as Drusilla (Silla), Josephine, and Philip. The cold, always immaculate stepmother—Lilith, of course.
• Nicholas is listening to NARKOTIKA! Who doesn’t love Cole St. Clair??? 
• Ms. Gratton teases all senses as she describes the metallic scent of blood, roughness of headstones beneath your hands, the different colors during sunrise and sunset, even going so far as to note that Nicholas notices the air here is much different from Chicago. The deep, dull ache of a cut. The sweet taste of a first kiss.
• The book has everything---crushes, family, fear and mystery. Wow, what a mystery! This reader was tricked several times, as I smugly “figured it out”, only to be disproven in later chapters.
• Ms. Gratton is a bold author. She is not afraid to lure her readers into becoming enamored with a character, then ripping our little hearts out when she kills said character. As a matter of fact, I believe that this “amuses and delights” her.
• While Blood Magic falls in the Young Adult genre, Not-so-Young Adult readers (me) will devour it. On the other hand, I had no qualms about purchasing a second copy for my 14-year old niece. That’s just good writing.

I can’t wait to read Crow Memory and The Blood Keeper. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,400 reviews11.7k followers
March 29, 2011
I can't finish it. My tolerance for YA PNR is very low, but I was looking forward to reading Blood Magic after seeing some really favorable early reviews of it. Can you blame for hoping this book will be another Unearthly?

The novel starts with Silla performing blood magic for the very first time at the cemetery where her parents are buried. Her mother and father recently died in a horrendous murder-suicide; and an enigmatic friend sent Silla her father's notebook of spells which each requires the use of blood. A new neighborhood guy, Nicholas, sees Silla cutting her finger and reviving a dead leaf and is intrigued by her. They quickly get acquainted and fall for each other. What happens next, I do not know, I stopped reading at page 50.

The first turnoff for me was the fact that the novel is written from 2 POVs - Silla's and Nicholas's. Just like other PNR offerings with the same structure - Personal Demons and Shiver - Blood Magic makes the same mistakes - the POVs are indistinguishable and overlap each other creating a lot of redundancy. As you can guess, because POVs are so similar, Nicholas never sounds like a guy, describes hair a lot, writes poetry.

And then the romance. One word - instalove (thank you, Vinaya). I am sorry, I just can't take another YA romance where main characters make each other feel like they are about to burst out of their skins after 2 conversations and 30 pages.

I am sure Blood Magic will appeal to readers more forgiving of the cliches and more enamored with the PNR formula. I might have been more forgiving too if the book didn't bore me so much with tender gazes and quiet angst.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews710 followers
June 8, 2011
It's just a little over four hundred pages and, honestly, there may have been one chapter (or fifteen) too many. From the get, the first thing that came to mind was that I'd read it before: a girl with a tragic past meets hot boy who doesn't get along with his stepmother. Then there's the alternating points of view between Silla and Nick as well as glimpses into someone's past. It was a chore! Normally, switching POVs is something I enjoy... What's not to love when you get the same story told by different people? The problem is, had the story been told by just one of them, it could have been more... tight and I might not have been as bored as I was (maybe.)

And they love each other... desperately, passionately... oh, I don't know, having known each other after, what two seconds? That's not the biggest thing though, what annoyed me the most, what had me cringing was his term of endearment for her. 'Babe' I mean really.. she isn't a pig! And he's a jerk!

What makes this different? Blood... and there's lots of it. But beyond that... there really isn't anything new in this one. The first part was boring: they meet, they like, they hook up, but he has a secret that she finds out... they fight. But why the secret to begin with? Eh? The middle was a tad better than the first, my attention was kept (off and on) by them trying to figure out who was who and what said who was up to. The ending abrupt.

It had good parts and boring parts but I seem to be recalling stretches of the latter... *wipes away the tears brought on by incessant yawning*
Profile Image for Chichipio.
159 reviews132 followers
June 5, 2011
• It didn't have a love triangle.
• Parents weren't completely absent.
• Siblings weren't annoyingly complicating things.
• Other kids weren't shown under a bad light to make the main characters look better.
• Not as much angst as there could have been.

• Boring.
• Instalove®.
• Did I say boring?
• Dual POV that didn't work (Both Nicholas and Silla acted like two girls in love).

So, yeah. I didn't even hate it enough to give it one star. Just meh.
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,821 followers
July 17, 2011
Hello, people. I like writing in bold letters because it is fun. You know what else is fun? Reading book reviews ... like this one!

*Ah-hem* Anyway. Hello. It's almost 1 AM and I feel strangely perky. But knowing me, I will probably randomly conk out any minute. And for some reason, I always think it will take me such a short amount of time to write a book review even though it always takes me ages. But, oh well.

I'll start off by saying, I had mixed feelings about this book.

The first time I stumbled upon it here on Goodreads, I said to myself, "Hey, that book has a pretty cool cover. And it sounds decent. So I might give it a shot." Then I saw a live author chat with Tessa Gratton and a few other authors, and Tessa seemed like a really cool person. Plus she's friends with Maggie Stiefvater, so that makes her made-of-awesome in my book. So I said, "Yeah! I think I'll read this!"

And so, I did.

Blood Magic follows two teenage main characters: Silla and Nick. Silla's life sucks because her parents are dead. Not long ago, she found the mangled bodies of her parents in their study, and police came to the conclusion that her father killed her mother and then himself. But Silla has never believed it, even though her father did seem a bit crazy at times. Nick's life also sucks because his mother is also dead, and his father has married a woman he hates. What do these two angsty teens have in common (besides being angsty)? Well, Silla's dad and Nick's mom both happened to be into doing magic ... with blood. (SHOCKING!)

Nick sees Silla in a graveyard one night (because that's where he likes to go on his angsty walks), doing some of this blood magic to bring a leaf back to life. Then the two of them also get involved with the school production of Macbeth, and are soon inseparable.

What follows is a lot of creeptastic events involving a spell book, a creepy lady who possesses people, a lot of crows, and a lot of ... well, blood. (Betcha didn't see that one coming!)

That about sums up the plot. I won't go into much detail on that. I'm tired and I want to sleep, so MEH.

So, first for the things that bugged me ...

This book was told in three points of view: Silla's, Nick's, and "the creepy lady who possesses people" also known as Josephine. Don't get me wrong, I love books with multiple points of view––as long as it's pulled off well, which is difficult to do. The main problem I had here was that Nick and Silla didn't have very distinct voices. I kept forgetting who was "talking" and having to go back a few pages to figure it out. Josephine's perspective was interesting, but it was written in this horrible cursive font that made my head explode.

The other major thing that bugged me was Nick and Silla's relationship. It just didn't develop much. At all. The first time he sees her, he comments on how "hot" she is. And before you know it, they're dating! Surprise, surprise. When the two main characters get together on like page 40 ... I normally just don't dig that. Because then you know that, for the rest of the book, they're going to be staring deeply into each other's eyes, and confessing their feelings, and making out with each other ... and in most cases, it doesn't work for me. Yes, there are exceptions, but this book wasn't one of them. I couldn't get myself to believe Nick and Silla were really in love. Not only that, but I was turned off by Nick calling Silla "babe" all the time. It was so ... odd. First of all, I don't care much for that term. It seems so belittling. And even so, I feel like you should date someone for at least a few months before you start calling him/her "babe" ... not, like, two weeks. It struck me as strange, and took away from my liking of their relationship. I like it better when the two main characters are bickering the whole book and save the mushy-gushy stuff for the very end.

Also, there was too much sacrificing of cute fuzzy animals for my liking, such as a kitten and a bunny rabbit. I know, it's such a minor thing, but ... the sacrifice of adorable animals doesn't really tickle my fancy.

Now, for the things I did like.

The story was definitely creepy. It wasn't over-the-top-horror-movie type scary, but it was enough to make me bite my nails at times. So if you like a good scary ghost story, you should check this out.

I also liked the references to Macbeth. 'Tis my favorite Shakespeare play (of the ones I've read, anyway)! And it inspired me to write one of my books, so Tessa Gratton and I have that in common.

And ... THERE WAS A REFERENCE TO SHIVER IN IT. OMG. Well, actually more of a reference to Linger, but ... whatevs. Nick's favorite band is NARKOTIKA. Haha! I kinda flipped out. Anyway, I thought that was cute. My writer friends and I also sometimes give each other's characters cameos in our stories. So, it's cool to know that published authors do that as well. ;) I think Cassandra Clare and Holly Black do that too. And Sarah Dessen's characters make cameos in each other's books. But anyway, I'm getting off-subject now.

Over all, this is an okay read. It's a creepy story with an interesting concept. But for me, the characters weren't strong enough to make me want to continue with the series. As a stand-alone though, it was still entertaining.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
May 2, 2011
4.5 stars

Blood Magic isn't like any of the hocus pocus books I've read before. This one had a very unique flavor racing throughout the book. Tessa Gratton writing is cunningly crafted in a way that makes this book standout in a mysterious lushish way.
The atmosphere has a life of it's very own. Thick, rich and intoxicating, while these characters have the most intriguing energy.
There is a lot of blood in this book. It's frequently talked about, thought about and basically dripped out of these pages. It tended to get a little uncomfortable while reading, so needless to say it wasn't something I could read in one sitting. But despite the ick-factor, I couldn't get the story out of my head.

Silla is a disturbed character. Desperate for answers about what happened to her parents, she becomes very addicted to the blood magic coursing through her veins and eventually it tended to get weary and engrossing at the same time.
Nick on the other hand, I really enjoyed. He's such a guy, but I thought he was a perfect match for Silla. It wasn't an instant romance in the beginning. They meet and are attracted to one another which I found normal. The only scene that felt off is when they first kissed. It was very abrupt, wild and almost animalistic, I'm guessing it was meant to be sexy, but it had the opposite effect on me considering it was to soon for that kind of heat. The rest of there time together was more believable, sweet little kisses here and there and then later a few hot and heavy scenes but in an inappropriate setting, which for some reason I didn't mind. I thought they had good chemistry and I thought it was pretty cool how there past was linked.
But what I enjoyed the most about this story was I couldn't always predict it. I guessed one of the characters true identity, but that it. I was pretty shocked once the pieces started to come together about Silla's dad.
I also loved the journal entries and how it tied into the storyline.

All in all, I actually enjoyed this book more then I thought I would. It has it's flaws, sure, but I really loved the concept. It's dark and eerie and wonderfully creepy. The characters have a warped morbid curiosity kicking and I enjoyed how different the overall feel of this book reads.
I was going to give this book a three star, but when push comes to shove, it made a real impression on me, and so merits a four.
Blood Magic is a promising start and a fantastic debut. I'm really looking forward to seeing more from this world!

Thanks Crystal for sharing your copy. Your the best!

49 reviews16 followers
June 25, 2016
I'm warning you, it's long. When I picked this book up, the plot reminded me of Gillian Shields' "Immortal", which I liked; I'd probably lower the rating if I read it again, because back then I was a very lenient reader.

Now on to "Blood Magic." There are choppy sentences, unneeded and unwanted details, and it's repetitive. I think Tessa (the author) hates the word "that," or doesn't know its use. Tessa likes to compare things to stone. Why is this book so long and slow? Nick and Silla's first kiss bothered me; it was too much, and their feelings didn't match it. I declare this relationship as lust at first sight. Stop kissing and build the relationship up so it's believable. I shake my head at these horny and angsty teens. Please don't summarize a scene we had to endure through; it was bad enough the first go round. Good idea; go bleed animals to death in the name of witchcraft! I hope this girl hits a major artery next time she cuts herself! Sure, brothers just love to hear about their sister(s) making out and lusting over someone. Ugh! Can Tessa buy or use a thesaurus instead of constantly using the Lord's name in vain? It makes the characters sound like white trash. It's kind of funny that this book mentions Harry Potter, because I'd rather be reading that this very instant than this garbage. I feel bad comparing this mess to "Immortal." Why are we constantly being told when the characters have to use the powder room and gentleman's room? Somethings are understood, unless you say it isn't done; it's like a Sookie Stackhouse novel without suspense, thrill or the characters (well it's artificial, and Silla needs to grow a backbone, and Nick needs to grow a pair), or a bloody (it is called "Blood Magic" not "Bloodletters") plot! A snotty remark about the unhealthy thinness of model (she said Vogue in particular) is hypocritical if you are close to looking like them; you're point has contradicted itself, silly Tessa. If Silla being a witch in a play was supposed to be cleverly ironic, you failed miserably, Tessa. This book doesn't deserve to allude to Shakespeare. Will they please suck it up; I'm not accepting the evil stepmother and recently dead parents as an excuse for all this teenage angst! You just had to pick a script that was hard to read. Why are there sixty-four chapters? If you can't tell the story within thirty, you need to cut a lot of crap out. No wonder none of the heroes have bad luck; they're doing the "Devil's magic." That's what Josephine said the Deacon (who's supposed to be a demon) said. Zombie birds, really? Sure, let the blood bitch know you have her diary; what's the worse thing that could happen? How are they going to get a sample of Josephine if she's in Eric's body; don't they need to banish her and find her real body to bind her? The whole rhyming spells (aka bad poetry) thing is silly. Why do you have them fighting Reese's corpse? Was that the best that you could of? What about instead of burning the forest down, you just set Josephine's body on fire after you bid her? Why aren't they charged for arson and question for having blood all over them? I'm confused; what happened to the spell book/diary? Did Josephine get it? Did it burn? Who has it? This book has more chapters than Harry potter books: smh and roll my eyes. The plot is laughable and the character development is poor; I could go on and on, but I'll shorten this for you. This book is the perfect example of everything not to do. Why didn't you make up some spells and stay consistent with them, instead of having many of them just needing blood. That's sloppy and lazy writing. This book had potential, and had the idea been executed by an author who can actually right, it would have been magnificent. This book was a waste of some may different things like trees, ink, money, and time. Did Nick burn his house down too or was Silla describing the forest? Way to go Silla and Nick; this is why idiots shouldn't play with or handle fire; it's partly Eric's fault too for giving Silla the fire. So they're both conveniently moving to Chicago? Get real Tessa! I'm guessing from the repeated obnoxiously obvious lectures against immortality that Tessa is strongly against it. This book has one of the worst endings I've ever read.

Nick: He seems like a creepy, boring, birdbrain, wannabe-asshole freak, who, by his own words, isn't smooth with the ladies. Geez, I wonder why. He's kind of a loser, not a shy guy or a loner, a loser. I hate his reaction to things, and he describes things in a awkwardly weird way. That was just my opinion of him after reading chapter three. I'm sure his mother's POV is much more fascinating. If i had a son as boring as him, I'd pretend he didn't exist too; maybe that was too harsh, but you get my point (like father like son.) When he first saw Silla he was like OMG, she's hot. He said that he thought her name was pretty... excuse me while i gag. What's his hair and eye color? Dreaming about being trapped in a dog's body? Of all the things in the world he could dream about, why that? That's exactly why he can't get laid. Why is he talking about fashion sense? Writing a dirty haiku? Why is he calling himself a asshole? I finally know what he looks like! Even if i wasn't Christian, i would still think the misuse of the Messiah's name is annoying and unnecessary. I've heard "goddamn" a lot, but not Christ. Please stop making him agree with everything she says. Stop saying, "You bet." So he's addicted to whiskey or obsessed with it. Stepmother drama is boring unless she isn't boring. Stop tasting her makeup. The fruity flavors a are artificial, you know. Nick has a foul mouth; where's the Orbit gum lady when you need her? No one but you cares about your dad's sex life. I would say complain to your dad, but he'd put you in your place before you got a peep out. Why is he dressed up for a house party? "Color me shocked"... ugh! So now the cemetery is evil; what's next, the gas station and elementary school? Silla tastes like blood and wine, eww? Quit calling her babe; he is such a creep. You want to chew on her lip, really? Finally Tessa realizes that the boy is creepy. Goodness, this boy is a teenage hormone bomb; she can't even touch him. Pg. 240, this is why many teenage pregnancies start in cars. You two were about to get it on in her the driveway, how classy; where did her step-grandma get the idea that you were a gentleman from? I get it; you're dad's perfect and boring (just like you), so stop rewording the same descriptions. You need Dr. Phil (the psychiatrist). So now he's starting fights; what a loser. I bet the real reason he punched Scott Jobson is because he's cooler, and is actually masculine. Apparently he knows palmistry. I get a feeling that Tessa is saying. "Okay teens and tweens, you can be cutters (aka emos)"; please do not encourage people, especially the youth, to harm themselves! You're father has horrible taste in women: like father like son. You're a bigger idiot that i thought. When someone is dead in their grave, they can't drink beer, duh. He's wasting stuff like he bought it. you're such a drama queen. If only you were being flushed down a toilet. It's called an IV and apparently Tessa was to lazy to look up the name for it. Why is he always dressed like a old time gentleman? Tessa keep your own love fantasies out of the story.

Silla: Thank goodness Tessa shortened the name Drusilla, because I hate that name. There's hopefully some hope for her. She thinks too much. Does she always carry a pocketknife, or was it just for the spell book? She wasn't clear about something and i still didn't get them after doing three double takes. What color are her eyes and hair? What teenager cooks and cleans to keep busy? It sounds like future housewife prep. Why is she trying to convince her brother? Does it really matter if he believes in it or not? Nick is forgettable; no, seriously, please forget him. There was got to be more interesting guys at that school. Sure, accept a ride from a boy who you barely know; what's the worse thing that could happen? Why do you want to touch him? He's not even cute from your description. Duh, if you lick your lips they're either dry, you're getting rid of crumbs, or you're trying to be sexy. Do not suddenly shove your tongue in someone's mouth; they'll either think you're easy, take offense, or both. So her eyes are grey; what color is her hair? It worries me that she's comparing her love interest to the devil; it's not a good sign. He's not really something, he's really boring. No one cares about what you bought at the mall... clothes most likely. Why is she turned on by a guy throwing himself at her? If you knew the definition of gangly, you wouldn't have added tall; readers don't need a bad analogy to understand what gangly means. I know your parents are disappointed in having you for a daughter; if I have a daughter like her, I'd be contemplating suicide too. Sorry but not sorry. Stop licking your lips and get some chap-stick. You barely know the boy and yet you let him in your empty house; if this was real life, she'd regret that decision. At this rate, they're going to be in bed before suppertime: like father like son. Please don't tell yourself that lie; your mom would have told you that you could have found better. He's just as boring as you... no wonder you two get along so well. If the reader doesn't care about Nick, why would your late parents? Metaphors and similes should only be used by pros and people who know how to properly use them. Bloody headstone and being chased por watched by an unseen forced: truly the epitome of horror, not. Eww, who wants wine with someone's blood in it. Stop chewing your lips or you'll get chapped lips; on second though, please do, and I won't have to suffer through any painful kissing scenes. Which mask means what, because I've lost track of them? I wish Josephine had pressed the letter opener to Silla's neck, and made a deep cut. Could you not think of something scarier than a letter in her locker? I'm pretty sure Tessa got her grief training in online unaccredited class and that's why Ms. Tripp sound like she does. Stupid Silla. You are paranoid; just because someone doesn't answer their phone, doesn't mean they're dead or in mortal danger. No, Melissa isn't a bitch; Nick and you are. Good job at proving that you aren't a headcase, not. "That's the wrong kind of strong." That was so obvious that think I'm going to puke! If you feel like you have to baby your readers then you're aware that you're not gifted with words. Apparently, she doesn't like it when birds sing; I think if nature has to tolerate her singing, she should return the favor. You would sacrifice your future over puppy-dog love and a worthless boy, and move to his hometown? Ugh! So you won't fight your possessed brother to save yourself; are you kidding me! You're positively weak. Why do you keep on puking; are you pregnant? Are you seriously drinking Pepto-Bismol? I know it taste good, but so do many other none drugs, and if you have to keep on drinking it, clearly you need something stronger. Yeah, let's all get drunk off of the pink stuff, not. After the funeral was more boring that the actual thing. Please don't use a word to describe something and then define the word; what is wrong with you? Sure make-out and get freaky in a graveyard; I mean dead bodies turn everyone on. Idiot, you don't bury your only defense in your brother's coffin. We know which button sends the messages on a cell phone, Tessa. Please stop whining. Why are you talking about the sky when you're tied up? Where and did you get the scissors to free yourself? She has masks in her room, so when she was talking about wearing masks, was she literally wearing a mask? Why would Judy move you to Chicago after you killed the villain? If you stayed in that house after you found your parents dead, why would you move just because of dead Josephine? Is the Deacon going to come after you now or something? You just keep on getting dumber each page. Why is she obsessed with hair gel: yuck? How come she wants to bring Reese back, but says nothing about her parents?

Josephine: I'm guessing that she is going to be the villain, if that's not too presumptuous. "And so, against my Will, this is the tale of how I came to meet Mr. Philip Osborn (the beast)." Why is "will" capitalized? Her influenza reminds me of the fever Sebastian ("Immortal") kept on getting; also the journals put me in mind of Lady Agnes, and she worked in a sewing shop (in here it's a mill.) Maybe I'm being unfair with the comparisons, but i can only stomach so much deja vu. I wanted a similar story that was still original. I don't see the point of her POV yet.

"The little girl shaking in the bed next to me was certain we were Doomed, the gutless creature." Why is "doomed" capitalized? I'm starting to think that this is failed emphasizing.

"Philip's eyes had a thickness to them, and his copper hair and long-fingered surgeon's hands Awoke something in me that has never Slept again." There are so many things wrong with that sentence!

"I stared at the corner of his mouth as he concentrated, at the way it twitched when he tried to hide the Truth as he listened to the little girl beside me breathe." I'm just going to let these exerts make a mockery of themselves.

"Philip took me out of St. James and to his tall house in Town."

"It smelled of flowers!" Hopefully everyone knows what soap smells like.

"With an Education, I'd never have to go back to the mill, and i would impress him so very much with my wits and skills and prettiness that he would love me above all other things." This makes me cringe.

"How could i have known that what he would teach me is ever so much greater than Love."

"This is how i found out about Magic."

"Philip's Library is small and cramped, but the books pile on top of each other until i feel their Weight will bring down the very house around our heads."

"...of pictures of the with Dead body....."

"Little sprite, tomorrow you will come with me, to assist with my work."

"....the Blood the very next day."

"..Long Ago, but to drain the Illness away"

"....and they would never Know me."

".......all Lumpy and Infested....."

"...gathering the Blood for our midnight secrets"

"...at the way the Blood separated."

"No words Capture....."

"The Thrill of the Blood...."

"Oh but this is Heaven. Philip is my announcing angel--or am I Morgan and he is the wizard teaching me how to rule the world."

Basically Josephine has issues, bad grammar, and there are so many exerts. This book is too long for me to list them all, but they're all in her POV.

Why is it that her diary entries have become more entertaining than the actual story? Who's Arthur?

1961 wasn't the first year in the 60's, 1960 was; I can tell she didn't learn math. No wonder Philip abandoned this hopeless nutcase.

Tessa, using gay instead of happy or a another symptom proves that you're trying too hard to sound authentic; if you want to sound authentic, start from scratch on this disaster.

Why is she giving Silla a lesson on magic?

If she possessed the whole forest, shouldn't she know when Silla frees herself and runs through the forest?

Why didn't she escape in an animal's body when the forest was burning: before they bound her?

What a pathetic villain!


Reese is clumsier than me. Why would you toss your wallet on the table; are you trying to get robbed? Why does he call Silla, bumblebee? His brother-sister relationship with Silla seems borderline incest sometimes; I keep on thinking that they're going to kiss. I think his death was unecessary; it added nothing to the plot. It just took from it. Oh well... one less moping young adult. What am i saying; now she's going to cry over him too. Ugh, I am most definitely not wasting my money on the sequel. I had to skip over your funeral because it was so badly written. Why is he alive; he was killed off, and you even showed his funeral? I bet Tessa threw that in last minute because she wanted to bore the reader to death with him in the series. When he died, he didn't have time to possess the crows, so he's dead-dead. Why is his spirit watching over them? Tessa, when you kill off a character, understand that you can't use him or her anymore unless under certain circumstances (which don't apply here).

Wendy: I' m crossing my fingers that she won't disappoint me. Why would you want to stare at a guy's hairy legs in a kilt? Seriously, who has secret talks in the janitor's closet in school in real life? When is the last time Tessa has been in a high school? Smh, you're disappointing me. Did her parents and her drop the charges she had against Silla and Nick or did Tessa just forget about that? They're were witnesses, and of course Nick and Silla are going to say whatever it takes to make themselves look innocent. "Oh, Sil......," Who shortens a nickname? Her name is Drusilla, and her nickname is Silla, so is Sil just being a lazy American (I'm American by the way)?

Gram Judy: Can she please act like a guardian! A bird attack isn't exciting, it's a wtf moment. Maybe you all should carry loaves of bread on you after that. If you exorcise one body, she can just possess another and come after all of you, so how would an exorcise make all of you safe? Josephine has a body, so she isn't a demon. You need some sort of banishing spell of the whole town or a powerful amulet. I guess she decided to put a feminist to balance weak Silla and Nick (self explanatory). She decided to add more history in there; it's kind of ironic how she's talking about gender equality when Silla's sickeningly close to licking Nick's feet clean and transforming into a 50's homemaker: another failure, Tessa. I'm sick of hippie-fever unless the writer does it justice; I know that not every white American in the seventies was a hippies, so stop this trend. What the heck is bunko? How come she conveniently refilled in Reese's grave before the police go there? Can't you tell the difference between a freshly dug grave by an amateur and a professionally done one that's days or weeks old?

Philip: He sounds so boring. I knew he was Silla's and what's his name... um, Reese's father (well in paternal not a biological sense; I hope Tessa makes this make sense). Why did you have to possess Robert? Couldn't you have started over in your real body?

Ms. Tripp: Please kill her; that is all. To be continued for stupidity. You never slip up or slip out that you're the villain until all the heroes are dead or off your trail; this is why the villains almost always lose: can't keep their secret identity. "You're delightful." "Stop struggling, darling." What kind of villain says something like that? Not a scary one or a good one. I can't take her seriously.

Lilith: She's a leech. Yes, Tessa, we get that she's a gold-digger, and that you want us to pretend that Nick is attractive and charming enough to have a cougar after him. Nobody wants you except Silla, Nick. Get real. So her name isn't Lilith? What's her name then? All that I'm reading is the nickname Nick gave her, and her pen name. So it's Mary; why didn't Tessa just name her Lilith to begin with? Why was she drinking blood, and how come Nick's dad didn't notice it (especially when she spilled it, unless Nick's delusional." How come she's the best character, and the heroes hate her? I'm confused; is she controlling the crows that are stalking them but not harming them?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cachotia.
178 reviews21 followers
September 1, 2020
Una historia que atrapa de principio a fin. Con un romance adolescente, acción, intriga, fantasía y terror mezclados de manera sublime.
Cuenta la historia de Silla, una joven que pierde a sus padres de manera repentina, y que buscando respuestas a su asesinato, descubre la magia de sangre, un enorme poder y una enorme responsabilidad. Un enemigo del pasado de su familia está detrás de todo, y para poder derrotarlo necesitará ayuda. Ahí entra Nick, el nuevo vecino. La trama central se desarrolla principalmente en un cementerio, un escenario tétrico que ayuda a crear ese ambiente espeluznante que te atrapa.
Silla es una joven fuerte y decidida, no tiene miedo de luchar por lo que cree y de defender a como de lugar a su familia. Extrovertida y apasionada por el mundo de la interpretación. Se siente atraída por su nuevo vecino Nick, aunque no lo saben, sus destinos estaban predestinados. El amor surge muy rápido entre ellos.
Nick es un joven con una gran personalidad, simpático, agradable y con una infancia marcada por la magia, encuentra en Silla todo lo que no sabía que necesitaba.
Juntos podrán enfrentarse a todo y todos, son más fuertes de lo que creen.
Aunque está clasificada como novela juvenil, está plagada de situaciones y descripciones detalladas bastante tétricas y espeluznantes, en más de una ocasión me ha hecho mirar más de una vez a los lados, o ver con distintos ojos a los cuervos.
Es un libro largo pero que se lee muy rápido, si te gustan la fantasía y el terror, éste es tu libro.
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,757 reviews753 followers
July 8, 2016
I absolutely adored this book! It completely drew me in from the very start and I just could not put it down. Cemeteries, blood magic and bodies being possessed were the recipe for an absolutely freaking fantastic story. I can't believe this has been sitting on my shelf for so long and I've been missing out on its greatness. Seriously, I couldn't have loved this book more. It was deliciously creepy and strange and I'm absolutely dying to get started on the second book!
Profile Image for Victoria Schwab.
Author 32 books103k followers
December 23, 2010
This book rocked my socks. A mixture of creepy and sexy, disturbing and exciting and all-around compelling.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,364 followers
August 1, 2011
Blood Magic is about witches: Finally something other than Vampires and Werewolves! I liked it, I thought it was fun and fresh, but it wasn't enough to really compel me to say "you know, this is a very good book". It was missing something though I cant quite put my finger on it. Regardless, I still almost gave it a 4 star.

The plot is part magical lore, part mystery. Silla's parents died tragically, and although everyone is convinced it was a murder suicide, Silla is not. After receiving a spell book from Deacon, whoever that is - and to her amazement they're actually working- she's even more convinced that someone was involved in her parent's death.

The mystery part is what intrigued me the most. Everyone is made a suspect and even if I wanted to guess there were too many choices to even bother, so I just enjoyed it and kept reading. It was intriguing, and I was excited to see how it would all play out. A bit more than half way through though it was made obvious (to me anyways) who it was. I still enjoyed how it ended, the climax was fun and there were a few other little unforeseeable twists in there.

The narration went back and forth between the two protagonists, Silla and Nicholas, which is always fun. We get deeper into the characters' development that way. The romance between them was much better than I expected and played a big part in the story. They had a lot of chemistry and the "romantic" scenes were pretty intense. It was a nice change from the "we want to but we can't" themes we often see nowadays. As for the supporting characters, I didn't really care for them much. They weren't boring, but they didn't stand out either. Except for Lillith - what happened there, anyways? She was this mysterious character who I thought was going to be part of the twist or at least have some role in it, but then the author seemed to just forget about her; we never got any explanation about what part she was really playing in all of this - it can't be nothing. So I don't know? Maybe she has plans for her in the following books? Or maybe she's really just a mundane step mom (boring)? There was no hint of anything. It seems like a waste to not give her a cool twist. A reason to be. Anything. I guess I will read and see.

In addition to the two narrators, there were flashbacks of an old witch writing a journal of her life after learning about the magic. Those were really interesting until the very end where it got confusing. Maybe I just don't retain information well, but I wasn't completely following it all. I still got the twist and what happened to Silla's parents, I just wasn't sure about who the Deacon was. Maybe we didn't even find out yet? Either way it didn't feel very important so I didn't bother going back to reread it.

So it's nothing especially special (yes I said it!). If you want a change from the many vampire and werewolf (and lately - angel) books coming out, this is a nice change of pace. It's not perfect but it's still a good and refreshing story.
Profile Image for Donna.
1,045 reviews559 followers
April 13, 2015
Posted on: http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/

I’ll admit I was a little bit hesitant before I started Blood Magic mainly because I’ve read quite a few magic/witch books and none of them have been as good as I would of hoped. But, wow, where to start with Blood Magic!

After the horrific deaths of her parents, Silla has never felt right. She doesn’t fit in at school anymore and only has a few close friends. While trying to make sense of her parent’s death and believing there is something else going on, she tries to uncover the truth about what really happened…even if that means trying a few spells from a book that her father wrote and even spilling some of her on blood to attempt some magic.

As Silla is thrown into the life of magic, she also meets new boy Nick who also has his own connection to magic. When their brought together by an undeniable attraction and start uncover secrets that were never told, Nick and Silla realise a dark present is lurking nearby and one that could cost them their lives.

I think I was pretty spot on when I said wow! Blood Magic is completely compelling, mysterious and dark that will have you captivated all the way through. From the very first page you’re thrown into the magic of this book and it’s completely fascinating that Tessa Gratton has done a fantastic job.

The story itself is told from different points of view. Firstly we see Silla and then Nick but we also see an unknown character who writes in a journal over a span of a few centuries. I’ve always been a fan of alternate points of view and this one was just as great. I found the more I read about the unknown character, the more I was compelled to finding out who it really was…and yes! I did figure out but it was still quite exciting when the person was finally revealed. The magic in the story was absolutely wow! You’re drawn into the spells and oh it really makes you want to try some spells of your own. Lol, if I weren’t scared of it, I probably would try it.

Silla & Nick were great characters. They are so similar with their troubles that their parents bring but the magic ties them together. It was interesting to watch their story unfold and I loved how their relationship developed. It was fast paced but I honestly don’t think it was rushed and was believable enough.

Overall, this is a fantastic debut novel. Tessa Gratton has managed to knock out the best magic story I’ve ever read. I’m only a little disappointed that this was a stand-alone novel with a companion novel coming soon. I would love to read more on Silla & Nick and I think the author has so many different avenue’s that she could take. My fingers are crossed. Amazing read. Read it!
Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews91 followers
April 1, 2011
Tessa Gratton has created a very unique world in Blood Magic. The story centers around exactly what the title suggests, blood magic. Silla, a junior in high school who has lost both her parents to a gruesome death, unexpectedly receives a journal from somebody named the Deacon and within this book she finds secrets that her father has been keeping from her whole life. With the help of her brother Reese and the new guy in town, Nick, she uncovers that blood can do so many other things besides keeping you alive. Silla soon discovers that the secrets her father were keeping go even deeper than blood and she finds herself in a fight to safe herself and the people that she loves.
The story has such great potential and for a debut it was quite good, but for me it never quite got there. Some of the scenes needed a little tweaking and I wish the author would have let the romance just be. Some of the steamy scenes were a little uncomfortable for me because of the time frame and setting they were placed. I had to laugh at the way Nick was written though he is the typical teenager. His hormones ruled his behavior and his lust for Silla didn't feel forced. Yes they have this instant connection, but I can appreciate the fact that the author made it more lust than love at fist sight. I hope that the author takes a couple of notes and that the next installment is a little tighter with the story because I think the concept she has built is brilliant. It did remind me a little of the movie the Craft for some reason, I liked that movie so it makes sense that I like this book.
Profile Image for The Romantic Cynic.
42 reviews1 follower
October 21, 2011
I had many problems with this book, but one overall trumped the list. I. Was. So. BOOOOOREEEDDD!!!!

Usually, I never not finish a book. I usually find some reason to plow through.But this... I just--. I don't even know.

The summary on the jacket basically explains the first hundred pages. Silla (Drusilla) heroine of mysterious dead parents gets magic book written by father, figures out it works, proceeds to make stupid choice after stupid choice all the while swooning over her love interest who is not all that interesting: Nick.

This book drags. I read about 200 pages and I could summarize everything that happened in one paragraph. One of the biggest things that bugged me was the characters' denseness. It takes them several chapters to figure out something we've already put together from page one and it's frustrating to have to sit there and read them putting every thought together to comne to 1+1=2. We know from the start that there's something odd about Silla's parent's deaths, but it isn't until about mid one hundreds that Silla finally goes, "Maybe, there's something here."

And the characters! The characters were just vapid. At first, I thought Silla was interesting, but, over time, her apathy around everyone but Nick proved to be grating. I get that it's tramatic to find one's parents dead and it's made even worse by the rumor going around that her dad killed her mom and then shot himself. But, as a reader, I don't want to read hundres of pages of her listlessly drifting from scene to scene, bemoaning about everything until Nick appear and hangs the moon in her sky and puts the spark back in life with one look. Now, I wouldn't mind this so much if Nick was the least bit interesting, but he's not. He's an asshole (he states this himself) and thinks hes too good for this small town he's ended up in. He also keeps complaining about his step mother and, from what I read, despite the creepy vibe, she never does anything that's OMFG-terrible-kill-the-bitch. He justs comes off as whiny and annoying.The sad thing is Silla had potential, but it was never realized. Maybe in the next 200 pages or so she blossoms, but nothing I read ever hinted at that.

The romance was just MEH. It wasn't good, it wasn't horrible enough to send me throwing the book across the room. It was typical love at first sight, drown in each other's eyes, the sun does not rise until I see your smile stuff without one hint of actual reasons for such devotion. I'm used to it by now, sadly.

Second, and this was my major problem with the book: the dual perspectives. The book alternates between Silla and Nick. There are two things wrong this. 1) the author can not write for a guy's persepective. Nick sounds like Silla. Silla sounds like Nick--they both sound like teenage girls. Dont' wrtie from a guy's point of view if you can't; just don't. Some people have it (see Gena Showalter who I think does this fabulously) and some people don't. Men and woman sound different, notice different things, and have different thoughts. As an author, you need to show that, otherwise it sounds weird and awkward. 2) the perspectives change at the most awkward times. Right in the middle of the scene, Silla's part will end and the same scene will pick up with Nick narrating it from a few moments before where Silla ended. This leads to some awkward backtracking and needless sentences and it's just all very BLAH and uninteresting.

Let me tell you what scene I came to right before putting this book down and giving up. The rabbit scene. Other reviewers have already talked about this and now let me add my two cents.

Silla's sitting there, wondering if other blood will work for the spell. So she does what any sane teenage girl would do: she goes and chops a rabbits head off and lets it bleed out into a tubberware container. Now, let me start this off by saying that I have no problem with books taking it to dark places, dealing with unnerving, sometimes disturbing topics. BUT IT HAS TO HAVE A POINT!!! Silla, right after killing the rabbit, waits too long to use the blood and ends up throwing it out. But not before her brother finds her with it and doesn't even state the obvious like: "YOU NEED SOME SERIOUS HELP!!!!" Silla just goes about as usual. In real life, this girl would be a psyche ward by now, her sanity being evaluated. (This probably would've made for a more decent story line.) But in this world, all she gets is therapy sessions as she listlessly drifts about until Nick comes along again. THERE HAS TO BE CONSQUENCES FOR THIS AND YET THERE AREN'T. IT'S ALL VERY FRUSTRATING.

Silla is the heroine. We're supposed to root for her. How can we root for a character who obviously has problems and yet is excused beacuse her parents died. Silla has issues, she needs help, yet this is never acknowledged outside the few comments from her classmates and they're usually brushed off because, 'They don't understand. They're shallow and stupid compared to the ocean of depthness that is Silla. And they're rude and obnoxious for stating the obvious.'

So overall, I found Blood Magic to be a dull, listless (word of the day) read. I could see why people might like it though. The writing's decent, stuff happens at least, and there's this omninous tone present. Unfortunately, I didn't have the patience to trudge through all the crap to find that something alluring.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Angela.
318 reviews55 followers
May 24, 2011
Strong writing & creative mythology make for bloody good debut

In Tessa Gratton's debut novel, BLOOD MAGIC, Silla Kennicott has taken to keeping to herself after her parents' apparent murder-suicide. When a mysterious book of magic arrives, Silla decides to see if the spells work...and they do. Soon intoxicated by the power of magic, Silla also finds herself growing increasingly close to the new boy in town, Nick, who has powers and secrets of his own. When it becomes dangerously evident that her parents' deaths were only the beginning of horrible things to come, Silla, her brother, and Nick must work together to stop dark powers from using the magic for horrifying ends.

With its strong writing and creative mythology, BLOOD MAGIC felt different than other young adult paranormal romances. As the title would suggest, the book was bloodier than most, but the violence was never gratuitous and it always served to further the plot or character development. The mystery and plot twists involved kept me surprised and riveted, and I enjoyed how family and the past intertwined to create present-day conflict. The main characters were also well-developed; Nick and Silla's brother, Reese, stood out as especially likable characters who acted and thought like the young males that they were. Another strong point was the touching sibling relationship between Silla and Reese. While many may see the set-up of Silla having dead parents as cliché, this point was used as a major part of the story and therefore avoided being stale or unneeded. The romantic relationship between Nick and Silla also veered away from being trite in that it did show signs of instant attraction but it was never instant love or over the top.

While I wanted to absolutely love this book, I only really liked it though. The story was a bit slow to start, and the romance didn't grab me as much as I had hoped. The alternating points of view were essential to telling the story, but the narrators' voices were not always distinct from one another. Some chapters also shifted narrator mid-chapter, which was a bit jarring. Characters sometimes acted a bit inconsistent and the use of some metaphors, like Silla's masks, were not always clear or didn't add greatly to readers' understanding of the characters.

Even with these few stumbles, BLOOD MAGIC and Tessa Gratton are welcome and bloody additions to the world of YA paranormal romance. I look forward to seeing how the author will hone her writing further in the forthcoming companion novel, THE BLOOD KEEPER.

Note: This review refers to an advance reader's copy.
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews613 followers
May 20, 2011
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

Author Tessa Gratton is a member of the illustrious Merry Sisters of Fate writing group (which includes Maggie Steifvater and Brenna Yovanoff), so before even cracking the cover of her debut BLOOD MAGIC, I expected the writing to be lovely, the romance bittersweet, and the emotional payoff to be huge. Check, check, and check! But I was also pleasantly surprised to find a chilling mystery and a villain so believably evil, that my blood boiled while reading.

The chapters alternate points of view between Silla, newly orphaned and living with the horrible aftermath of her parent’s alleged murder-suicide, and Nick, returning to the family home left to him by his grandfather with his father and despised new stepmother. There are also sporadic journal entries from a magic user that spans the 20th century and serves to connect the mystery to modern day. All three perspectives, especially Nick’s, are distinctive and feel real enough that I think magic may actually have been used to trap real people in these pages. As impressed as I was with the characterizations, it was the love story that stole my heart.

The romance between Silla and Nick is swift and all consuming. It’s one of those instant attraction scenarios that actually works. And the more time they spent together, the deeper that attraction grew until it bloomed into something so beautiful I almost couldn’t stand to look at it.

BLOOD MAGIC is an amazingly powerful debut about love and loss and the relationships that define lives. There is beautiful and deadly magic in the story and equally bewitching writing. These are characters I won’t soon forget and can only hope that Gratton chooses to write more about them. For now, I’ll have to be content with news about THE BLOOD KEEPER, a stand-alone companion novel to BLOOD MAGIC, “about crows, sacrifice, and yes, kissing” that will be published in Summer 2012.

Sexual Content:
Kissing and mild sensuality.
Profile Image for Kirsten Hubbard.
Author 7 books655 followers
February 13, 2011
Because Blood Magic isn't out until May, I don't want to give too much away. Really, here's all you need to know: this book is fantastic.

I love literary books, and I love a good paranormal story -- the darker, the better. However, I haven't found that many books that combine both: literary, layered writing in a ultra-dark paranormal that's super-commercial in concept. Blood Magic is all that, and more.

From the first page, Tessa's prose blew me away. It's absolutely gorgeous. She's one of those writers who you can tell carefully considers every sentence, and the result is a story that sings and sighs and trembles and terrifies in all the right places, with lines that linger on your tongue for days afterward. She mastered two distinct voices in Silla and Nicholas, and their romance was among the sweetest (and hottest!) I've come across in YA. You care deeply about both characters on their own, but even more together.

And the magic. Nick and Silla's gradual discovery of the power in their veins is endlessly compelling. Blood Magic isn't for the squeamish -- blood is everywhere, soaking every chapter, stomach-turning, but also oddly beautiful. In a scene early on, Silla's emotions are so intense, a bit of her blood causes a night field to bust into technicolor flowers. And that's just one striking image in a book packed with them, though most are dark, dark, dark.

I'm thrilled to hear there will be sequels! I can't wait to get lost again in the intoxicating, unsettling world Tessa Gratton created in Blood Magic.
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,866 reviews417 followers
December 17, 2016
I enjoyed this book for the most part. I liked the story. I enjoy when authors insert diary entries, or else even just flashbacks to the past. And I think when they leave it so you don't know for sure exactly who this person from the past might be in the present time story it adds a bit of mystery that I like to try to figure out as I read. Now, I understand that the title is blood magic, and that means that blood is needed for the magic, but it was a little too much cutting for me at times. And I won't give it away, but when Silla attempts a new idea to get a lot of blood for one spell, well, I really couldn't stand that part. I'd rather hear about a person cutting themself in that case. I am interested to see that it is listed as a part of a series on Goodreads. And as I said, I did like the story, so I'll be looking out for the 2nd book in the series so that I can read on and see where it goes to next. I have to also say that there were some very emotional, and unexpected events in this book. And I like that it isn't all that if you are a good guy you scrape by without being a casualty of some sort. That seems more realistic to me, and is more what I think teens read realistically. As a teen I was reading Stephen King so you know I was reading about a lot of casualties. Funny that now that I'm an adult I've gone back to reading what I was kind of ahead of at that age. But these YA books are really good these days!
Profile Image for Nikoleta.
680 reviews274 followers
November 2, 2015
3,5/5 αστεράκια
Μου άρεσε που ξέφυγα από τα συνηθισμένα, αυτή τη στιγμή, μοτίβα της φάντασυ λογοτεχνίας. Μου άρεσε πολύ η ιστορία της Τζοζεφίν και του Φιλίπ και ο όλος ρόλος τους στην πλοκή της ιστορίας. Θα ήθελα να έχει λιγότερες ταφόπλακες, νεκρούς και αίματα αλλά πώς; Για blood magic μιλάμε. Πολύ καλύτερο απ’ ότι περίμενα, χειρότερο από αυτό που θα μπορούσε να γίνει αυτή η ιστορία.
Profile Image for Kitten Blue.
724 reviews377 followers
June 9, 2011

Minions and Minionettes of Awesome, I'm here to tell you that there's *way* more to this novel than a B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. cover ... which, incidentally, has everything to do with the story and is about ten times MORE gorgeous in person ... matte, lumpy, shiny, *SQUEE* ... :D Blood Magic is one of the most W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L. books I've ever read. Take my word for it: Paranormal Young Adult doesn't get a whole lot better than this.

"I am Josephine Darly, and I intend to live forever."

Although I'm a total sucker for a gorgeous love story and Blood Magic has romance IN SPADES, my favourite thing about this incredible book has to be just how *HIGH* (not to mention convincing) the stakes really are. This is NOT one of those stories where The Fate of the World inexplicably rests on the shoulders of one reluctant teenager, NOR does the *DRAMA!!* ultimately boil down to nothing more than a ridiculous plot device intended to keep the main characters apart, therefore the sexual tension high. Dude, Josephine Darly is a Scary Biatch OF NOTE!! I'm not generally a fan of books littered with random journal entries and other such things, simply because I'd much rather be reading The Real Story, but I D.E.V.O.U.R.E.D. Josephine's descent from an impressionable young girl into a bitter woman corrupted by too much power. I *believed* that she was Pure Evil and I didn't for ONE second doubt that she'd rip apart anyone and anything standing between her and eternal life ... and she DOES!! Jesus, Blood Magic is as bloody as its title promises ... in fact, it's gruesome ... but - let's be honest - nothing good can ever come from playing God ... and you won't hear this very often, but I - for one - loved EVERY drop of blood, violent murder, zombie, possessed crow ... even sacrificial freaking woodland critter!! o_o

"I thought about ... our kind being killed, but I am not concerned. I have real power - no one could keep me chained, because my blood can transform iron into water. I could walk through walls if I needed, and now - now I know I can throw my mind into another's, and how easy, then, would it be to unlock any cage? We are invincible, Philip and I. Like unto God. Or the Devil."

As for the romance, which happens to be of the Insta-Love™ variety ... well ... even I - self-confessed Hopeless Romantic and believer in *Love at First Sight* (Shush, Haters!! :P) - was initially taken aback, because Holy HORMONES, Batman!! :o ... but you'll all be pleased to find out that Blood Magic *totally* grows into its love story!! (",) This is my cue to bring up just how beautifully effective the dual narrative (think Shiver) is here ... and not only because it allows us to experience the attraction between Nicholas and Drusilla from both perspectives. Understandably, Silla hasn't been okay ever since stumbling upon her parents' alleged murder-suicide, especially since she can't accept that her gentle father could ever have been capable of such senseless violence, so - when a mysterious spell-book written in her father's handwriting arrives for her in the mail - she's ALL OVER proving that there's more to the story. An actress at heart, she's perfected the art of masking her emotions ... literally ;) ... and has faded into a somewhat *lesser* version of herself. Nick, on the other hand, is a brilliant antithesis to Silla's character: he wears pinstripe suits at inappropriate times, has dubbed his stepmonster "Lilith", and just generally thrives on being a contrary asshole who doesn't take himself too seriously. These two balance the book (and each other) out SO WELL as - together - they unearth disturbing family secrets, scramble to destroy an evil almost impossible to pin down, and fall hopelessly, intensely, magically in love.

"And just like that she was crying.

I felt a little like That Guy who holds a baby at arm's length because he's afraid it's going to pee on him."

While a bunch of other readers thought Blood Magic was slow at times, I didn't find this to be the case AT ALL ... if anything, despite its impressive length, I couldn't put the freaking book down ... every scene added to the overall creepiness of the story and helped to build the suspense, until I was on the edge of my seat and suspecting everybody of being Josephine, from Silla's mysterious "grandmother" to her angry bother, Reese. Then, the twists!! OMG!! :o The one thing I've learned since starting my blog is that - no matter what anyone else may say - the only way to know for sure whether you'll enjoy a promising book is to READ IT YOURSELF.

"[We] stared at each other. It was intensely surreal. Four people in a country kitchen, plotting bloody magic. With a psycho, body-snatching murderer stalking us through flocks of birds."

The very BESTEST thing about Blood Magic, though, is that it's a stand-alone!! *grin* It also has a Companion Novel in the making, The Blood Keeper, "about crows, sacrifice, and yes, kissing." Oh, Happy Days!! (",)

"I held up my hands. 'I thought you could use a punching bag.' See, this is me, the new and improved Nick Pardee, available to girlfriends and crazy people in their time of need."

RATING: 5/5 ... a wonderfully atmospheric tale of magic ... and blood ...

P.S. You can read more of my reviews HERE!! :)
Profile Image for Cas | casreadz.
140 reviews48 followers
March 25, 2022
In Blood Magic, Tessa Gratton weaves together fantasy and sorcery to create an utterly original story -- a mythology of magic and sacrifice, betrayal and death. One of the most bewitching aspects of the novel was its lore, the history and the mysteries of blood magic, the double-edged sword of sacrifice and the seduction and destruction of power. Just when readers think they've got it all figured out, Gratton sweeps them away on a tide of uncertainty. The world Gratton creates isn't black or white, the magic neither good nor evil. There's darkness inside them all -- be it sadness or madness -- and the intoxicating allure of the magic has the potential to go horribly awry, but ultimately it's all about choice. There's a beautiful symmetry to this world, a terrible price for power.

Silla is an unusual heroine, a faded, bereaved version of someone once bursting with life. In the wake of the terrible tragedy that cost both her parents' lives, Silla lives behind masks and roles, slipping into another skin on stage to escape her own tattered life. It's a relief to see a heroine with a passion (theatre), and more to her life than a boyfriend. Silla doesn't obsess over Nick when he's gone -- in fact, he seems to be the more enamored one.

Unlike many orphaned heroines, Silla's pain feels raw and authentic, coloring her whole world. Fortunately, she has family to lean on. Her brother Reese seems solid even on paper, stoic in the face of pain. It is clear that he loves his sister, even if he takes the big brother attitude a little too far at times. Their sibling bond is portrayed with strength and subtlety, an anchoring presence at the heart of the novel. Then there's fluttering Aunt Judy, who took on two troubled teens in their time of need. Though she flits in and out of the house like a social butterfly, she's an important fountain of advice for her niece, who's still trying to find her way back from the brink.

The only character who isn't entirely winning is Nick. From the outside he seems self-satisfied and entitled, almost a melodrama hero with all his slick suavity. He is more sympathetic once the reader gets inside his head, revealing the scars that made him who he is. His snarkiness is even amusing when he's not cruelly lashing out. Yet, his hypocrisy makes him rather unsavory at times -- I was outraged when he attacked Silla for behavior identical to his own. Nick has a lot of maturing to do, but his chemistry with Silla is undeniable. Their attraction is sexy and sweet, if lightning fast. Gratton knows how to write a kiss -- instead of seeming like hormone-driven lust, their unabashed awe of one another strikes a romantic chord.

The alternating perspectives, both past and present, give this novel a rich, layered texture. Gratton carefully controls the flow of information, tantalizing the reader without giving the game away. The author slips effortlessly between the widely diverse narrative voices, from Silla and Nick to Josephine -- the third perspective, portrayed through old diary entries. Josephine is a testament to the dangers of blood magic's siren call, yet her mania is perversely entrancing and her passages are some of the most striking in the novel.

This is a dark tale, full of mystery and horror and heart-pounding danger that will sweep readers off their feet and straight into its rich Gothic atmosphere. Blood Magic will keep readers guessing until its grisly end.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,851 reviews846 followers
July 5, 2011
When Silla Kennicot loses her parents in an apparent murder/suicide she cannot believe her father is capable of such a thing. Soon after shes receives a book, in her father's handwriting, of spells.

Could this bring her answers to her parents shocking death? Could spells and magic be real? She goes to the cemetery where her parents are buried with spell book in hand to test this out. Witness to all of this is newcomer Nick Pardee. Nick, who has secrets of his own, bands together with Silla to unwind the mystery surrounding her parents death.

This is definitely a dark tale. A thoroughly enjoyable, dark tale! The mystery behind Silla's parents and Nick's mother is revealed gradually through the book. Their entwined pasts, keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire book(that, and a bit of steamy romance!)

A definite recommend!!

Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 9 books33k followers
November 19, 2012
Un libro realmente bueno. Me recuerda a la literatura de antes, la de hace unos cuantos años, en las que lo importante no era hacer diez novelas de lo mismo, sino un buen argumento con un buen desarrollo. Me ha encantado.
Profile Image for Jessica Lewenda.
Author 1 book259 followers
September 27, 2011
Ugh, what a mess. Completely unlikeable characters (Nick, at least. Silla wasn't too bad, and she felt real-ish). The story was all over the place, and the writing was far too purple for my liking.
Profile Image for nαомι αndιno.
175 reviews53 followers
April 13, 2021
The Good:
➢Creepy plot
➢No love triangle.

The Bad:

This book is called blood magic and is part of a series called blood journals but oh my god, there was so much blood. It was disgusting. At first I thought it would have been the classic cut the palm of your hand but I lost it when Silla killed a RABBIT. And that wasn’t the only animal sacrificed over the course of these very long 400 pages.

The general plot was interesting but the instalove romance made it so hard to read. Also, Nick calling Silla “babe” all the time was really freaking me out. I don’t know, maybe it’s because he called her that after their first kiss which was like one week after they met.
Profile Image for Patrícia.
229 reviews41 followers
January 21, 2012
Um amor que roça os contornos da eternidade, uma magia pulsante que transporta a marca da morte, um sofrimento que se estende perpetuamente, dormente e oculto, em Magia de Sangue nada é o que aparenta ser... e tudo é possível.
Numa estreia surpreendente, Tessa Gratton agarra num tema por si só aliciante e transforma-o num enredo provocador, sombrio e extremamente sangrento. Não sendo uma história com um desenlace alegre ou um final propriamente feliz, a forte camada dramática e lúgubre que a sustém apresenta-se logo nas primeiras páginas, estabelecendo o ritmo e o ambiente exactos, e que persistirão até ao último parágrafo.

Drusilla e Nicholas são dois jovens adolescentes unidos pela dor de um passado negro pontuado pelo abandono e pelo amor que nutrem um pelo outro, no presente. Quanto ao futuro? Esse é incerto, pois quando se apercebem da real magia que lhes corre no sangue e de todas as coisas que conseguem alcançar através dela, uma presença malévola toma conta de Yaleylah e promete não descansar enquanto não lhe for entregue um livro muito especial que Silla recebeu aquando da perda do pai, e os ossos de um Kennicot. Com o perigo sempre à espreita e nas mais variadas formas de um observador, Silla e Nick terão de ter cuidado e tomar as decisões certas... ou arriscam-se a não sobreviver.

Opinião completa, em:
Profile Image for Connie.
1,465 reviews24 followers
September 23, 2021
I own this book.

This book is about what it says in the title: Blood Magic. When Silla's parents die, and everyone blames her dad, she comes across a mysterious book filled with spells that her father seemed to know about and while trying them out at her parent's grave in the town graveyard, she meets Nicholas. Nicholas is a somewhat troubled teen who's runaway mother used to practice blood magic too, so he knows immediately what he has seen when he finds Silla in the graveyard. They then uncover secrets about Blood Magic, immortals and so on and so forth, and Silla's parents death and the circumstances surrounding it is suddenly thrown into question. What is actually going on in their small town?

It's always Small Town, USA, huh?

I think if I had read this book when it was first released, I would have eaten it for dinner. Hot bad guy, independently minded main character, insta love? That sounds right up 2011 Connie's street. However, 2021 Connie's? Not so much. This book felt long, tedious and very difficult to get through in spots. I found myself getting gradually more and more annoyed at the characters and their actions making me in the end, dislike them all a bit. I just didn't care for this too much if I'm honest.
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