ARC Review: Bleeding Earth

Bleeding Earth
Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward

Release date: August 4, 2015

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.

Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn’t so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can.

Bleeding Earth is a different kind of apocalyptic novel – one in which the protagonist isn’t the one driving the story, or saving the world or something like that. It’s a regular teenage girl, whose life is turned upside down when the Earth starts literally bleeding in a manner similar to the Biblical flood. Since she is a passive character with respect to the world-building, pretty much half of the book is non-exciting. World is getting worse, they are trying to cope up with it. In the midst of all this end-of-world scenario going on, she still wants to live a normal life – hang out with her secret girlfriend, go out with her friends, not get nightmares about the blood, that sort of thing. She seems irritating due to this, but then I also remind myself that she is a teen – and she can’t exactly save a world which is killing itself.

Psychologically, this story has a better storyline. The effect of dire scenarios on relationships, on survival and what you must do to survive, changing ethical values, and what can be forgiven. It would have been great from that angle, but instead focuses on the romance and the long descriptions of how much the world is frigging bleeding. I get it – blood came up, hair came up, bones came up – no need to reiterate every second page. The story picked up toward the last third of the book – but until the end the flood wasn’t explained, so I’m guessing we are going the Biblical route on this one. Disappointing climax, really.

Received a free galley from Egmont USA via Netgalley; this does not affect my opinions or review.

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