- Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-101-93805-8 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-101-93807-2 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 8-10
After leaving a treatment center, Heather’s off to Scotland to spend the rest of her summer with her aunt, promising her parents that her cutting days are behind her. They most certainly are not, however, as Heather continues to be compelled [End Page 273] to carve a Celtic knot into her skin over and over, and the stress of the travel, her aunt’s cancer, and her grandmother’s dementia don’t help. To make matters worse, now Heather’s dreaming about two long-dead sisters from the seventeenth century, Prudence and Primrose, who each seem to want to use Heather’s body to enact revenge on the other. The story of the vengeful sisters plays out in chapters where the siblings take turns narrating, starting at the gruesome death scene of one and then backing up to explain how it all happened. It’s compelling stuff, particularly as the sisters’ voices and motivations differ considerably. Unfortunately, the contemporary story is far less successful, as Heather herself is an unsympathetic, shallow character largely indifferent to how she treats others (she ropes her friends and new potential boyfriend into more than one troubling situation). In addition, the magic witchiness of the book is muddled, and the fact that her grandmother is lucid just often enough to explain it all is disappointingly convenient. Even with the concerns however, there’s a hot Scottish dude as a romantic interest and haunting historical material as compensatory elements.