Friday, July 26, 2013

Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley

Image Credit: Tonya Hurley/The Daily Quirk

Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley, pub. 2013, 432 pg.
Rating: 4/5 stars

To say that Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley is a unique or interesting book would be a gross understatement. This novel is full of spiritual moments, social issues, surprises, and action sequences that would make Quentin Tarantino proud.
Unlike most novels with a supernatural theme, this one doesn’t focus on vampires or werewolves. Instead, it’s a story about modern incarnations of famous saints and martyrs. Cecelia, Agnes, and Lucy each end up in the same hospital on Halloween night, and when they wake up in the morning, they each find a gift from Sebastian, a dark, brooding, gorgeous guy none of them really know. Only Sebastian knows who they truly are, and only he can prepare them for the truth and for the very real danger they each face, simply because of who they are.
One of my favorite things about this book was the concept itself. I’ve never heard of any other Young Adult novels that focus on saints or martyrs. It felt completely original to me, and I had no idea what to expect when I actually began reading. I’m not very familiar with the many different saint stories, but Precious Blood did a great job of filling me in as the story went along.
What I liked even more was that this isn’t a re-imagined version of any saint’s stories. It focuses on modern teen incarnations of traditional saints, and it gives them a purpose that’s custom fit to the society we live in today. It doesn’t feel overtly preachy or religious which I really enjoyed, because books that deal with religious topics can easily feel alienating to those who don’t subscribe to the same philosophy. Hurley easily sidesteps this barrier by focusing more on moral messages than religion-specific ones.
Hurley also created a number of fantastic, unique characters. Cecelia, Agnes, Lucy, and Sebastian are each flawed. They come from different backgrounds and struggle with different problems throughout the book, and their problems help them grow as individuals. As the book progresses, we get to see each of them change and mature. By the end of the novel, each main character has gone through a metamorphosis and become a new and improved version of him or herself.
One of the most surprising things about this book was the intensity and action. READ THE FULL REVIEW AT THE DAILY QUIRK!

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