Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Book Review: Precious Blood (The Blessed #1) by Tonya Hurley

Title: Precious Blood
Series: The Blessed #1
Author: Tonya Hurley
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a dark and thrilling trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy. Previously published as The Blessed.

What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief.

Precious Blood was a book I'd been dying to read since it first became available to buy. Everything about it sounded super interesting. Whilst a lot of other reviewers didn't really care for the book, I absolutely loved it! This book had so many feels for me, and it's definitely one of my favorites so far this year.

Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy are all admitted to the emergency room on the same night. Agnes has slit her wrists, Cecilia had drowned (and has been resuscitated), and Lucy has overdosed on some pills. On that fateful night, they are all given bracelets by the mysterious Sebastian. They seek him out and find him at a church. Sebastian tells the girls they are saints, but Sebastian has escaped from a mental institution and is listed as being very dangerous. Is Sebastian telling the truth or are the girls' lives in danger?

The world building, like the cover, was creepy and beautiful all at the same time. For the most part, it was easy to picture everything that was happening to Sebastian, the girls, and everyone else in my head. I love how Hurley makes it seem like something such as what happened in Precious Blood could actually happen at any time. The one thing that sort of bothered me was the insta-love between Sebastian and the girls. Perhaps it was more of hero worship, but it still happened quite quickly.

The pacing is what lets Precious Blood down a bit, but not by much. The pacing is not slow at all, yet it's the opposite. There are a few times where the pacing just totally takes off which left me feeling very confused and wondering what had just happened. In fact, I counted this happening as three times during the story. Maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention, but the story did seem to be missing some leeway those few times. Other then those times, the pacing really worked and definitely held my attention especially during the first two-thirds of the story.

I loved the plot! It was super interesting reading about these three girls' lives. They each brought their own baggage to the table. I was constantly wondering if Sebastian was delusional when he told the girls that they were reincarnated as martyred saints and were in danger or if he was actually being serious. I really enjoyed the way the story played out.

I thought the characters were very well written. I loved the innocence that Agnes seemed to have. The only thing I didn't like about Agnes was how she treated her mother. She was very rude to her. I don't know if there's more of a back story between Agnes and her mother, but if there was, it wasn't mentioned much in the book. My favorite character was Cecelia. She came across as being very hardcore and like she didn't care about many things, but she was actually quite a loving and caring person. Even when she had no money, she'd still buy some food and a drink for the homeless guy who lived on the top of her building. Cecelia had a very big heart. Lucy started off being selfish, but even she has a change of heart. Sebastian was very charismatic. I like how dedicated he was to his cause and how he was willing to risk everything for it.

Trigger warnings include profanity, death, and some graphic violence.

Overall, Precious Blood is a very creepy but beautifully written book. Yes, there were some pacing problems but nothing too serious. I would definitely recommend Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley to those aged 17+. The plot is interesting and the characters are likable. I loved this book so much that I bought the next in the series after finishing this one.

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