• Ian Conner

BOOK REVIEW The Blood Inside Me -- Ann Brooks

Ann Brooks prologue works wonderfully, drawing the readers in and keeping the pages turning. The following chapters tantalize a mystery for our protagonist and the book lovers. Elly’s life in New York has been destroyed. There is built-in tension of the move to Georgia and between her and her estranged grandparents, who she barely knows. Elly is cast adrift with no parents, no friends, and less than cooperative relatives. Nothing is as it seems. Brooks is an expert at teasing, keeping details just out of reach until much later than you would expect. Enticing readers on to the next chapter looking for answers. There is always an atmosphere that no one is willing to tell the whole story without disclosing why. Elly’s search for the truth is complicated by her grandmother, the failing family matriarch whose need for control and her own fears muddy Elly’s search, thwarting her pursuit of answers in many cases.

Brooks writes her story in the fashion of a slow-moving train, too slow sometimes, the train eventually picks up speed as secret after secret are revealed. She surprises readers on several occasions like a barrel roll on a coaster followed by a drop into this new information. Like so many young adult novels a great deal of time is spent laying out the school scene and potential friends and enemies. Too much in my opinion. Characters are unpredictable and Elly in particular undergoes a change throughout the book. As steady as the first part of the book is the last third is moving with hurricane force wind pushing the plot along.

Eventually questions are answered, well almost all of them. Book two is in work and well teased in a two-page preview. Reader’s persistence is well rewarded and a satisfying end without giving away the farm is in store.

Ian Conner Black Raptor Reviews Five Stars

Reviewed on October 12, 2022

Teen and YA Fantasy

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