Wasserman, Robin The Book of Blood and Shadow, 432 pgs. Knopf, 2012. $17.99. Language: PG-13 (3 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13.
When Nora’s brother died it seemed like everything was over. Now Nora’s life seems to be finally getting better. She has two best friends and a great new boyfriend. She is busy with her senior year of high school and spending time as a research assistant to a crazy, but brilliant, college professor. Then everything changes in the worst possible way. Her best friend Chris is dead, his girlfriend and Nora’s other best friend Adriane is in a catatonic state, and her boyfriend Max has disappeared. Everyone thinks it was Max that killed Chris, but Nora refuses to believe he is capable of an act so heinous. It all seems to come back to the research that they were doing; research for which people are willing to kill.
This book is intriguing and will keep the reader going until the end wondering how everything fits and whether or not Nora will be able to find her happy ending. It can be a bit confusing at times and there are a few subplots that are a little too vaguely resolved, but overall the story is complete and the history and mystery involved are absorbing. Younger readers will be put off by the violence and more mature themes put forward (the characters are high school and college students and behave appropriate to their ages), but the book is appropriate for teen readers.
MS/HS—ADVISABLE. AEB Social Studies Teacher