T. A. Hernandez
Book Review: Blood and Water by Briana Morgan
I read this for the first time probably about a year ago, but it was such a pleasure to read again after its rerelease and rediscover the characters and their struggles. Morgan's writing style is beautifully clear and poignant, and the book provides all the elements of a great story: an interesting premise, intriguing characters, unexpected twists, emotional depth, and more. I loved it.
The story follows Jay Harris, a teenager just trying to survive after a deadly virus has claimed the lives of his parents and many others across the globe. Now, he and his sister are both sick, and the clock is ticking. With the help of their friends, they decide to travel to France in the hopes of finding a cure.
This is very much a character-driven story more than it is a plot story, so the book focuses more on characters and their inner journey rather than external plot and conflict, though there was definitely enough of that to keep things interesting. The author embraced that, allowing the story to remain centered on the characters throughout, and I thought it worked really well. Jay was particularly well-written as the novel's protagonist. The relationships between him and other characters in the story were developed nicely. Since much of the story centers around those relationships, I appreciated that the author did such a great job with that aspect of Jay's character. I easily identified with him and his emotional struggles (and there were a lot of those), rejoicing in his triumphs and aching for his sadness and heartbreaks.
I'm a huge sucker for bittersweet endings and this story definitely delivered in that regard. It was still a satisfying conclusion though, and I can't imagine things turning out any other way. If you're looking for a great YA book with strong characters, this is one worth reading.