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Wow. My mind was just blown. What a twist ending. There were so many surprises. I was constantly guessing about who the suspect was, and it was so much fun.
I loved Nora. Every step of the way you can see how she thinks, her chain of thought, and how she interprets the world around her. She is just so smart, it's great. Wasserman's portrayal of a family devastated by grief is so real and convincing.Nora's brother was killed in a drunk driving accident, and her family was forever changed. Each one losing themselves in their own way, and what Nora did was immerse and console herself with the language of Latin. You can feel their pain. The way that Nora falls in love is also quite believable, it's not just a mega insta-love, but a slow build up where she eventually comes to recognize her feelings. Nora always has questioned her place in the group, and thinks of herself as the third wheel, which is totally understandable, Nora is just a character whom you can really relate to. The best part of The Book of Blood and Shadows are the relationships, and how everyone relates to one another.
I will admit it, I had at one point given up on this book. It just took too long for everything to happen and for you to be invested in the outcome. The world building was long but needed, you really had to understand Nora and the history of the mysterious manuscript, but eventually, there was just not enough to keep me interested. The plot is very complicated and intricate, and it takes time to get going, it can be a lot of Nora just translating. I had other books to read that were more interesting. After a week or so, after I had finished all of my books and had nothing to read, I decided, just for the heck of it, to try to finish The Book of Blood and Shadows. About half way through is where it really picks up, and from then on it's like a wild roller coaster ride with every unexpected twist and turn imaginable. There is almost too much that happens at the end, and it would have been better for Wasserman to spread it out more, that way keeping readers interested.
I give you fair warning, this book revolves around God, and how to connect with him/ know everything and be like him. The manuscript is the instructions how to do this. It works though, because there is so much mention of God that you just get used to it.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves secret societies, and is patient enough to get to the fast paced action. The wait is worth it however, because by the end you are just astounded at the turn of events and how crazy it gets. To those without patience, don't read this. With that said, good luck, and give it a chance.
~M @YA Novelties