Book Tours, Received for Review

Book Tour Review: By Blood by Tracy Banghart | #Gifted

By Blood by Tracy Banghart
Series: By Blood #1
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Length: 368 pages
Published on 18th February 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Purchase: Amazon
Tracy Banghart: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
eCopy recieved for review as part of a book tour

Synopsis:
For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please. Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long. But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom…and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners. Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how “not simple” her life really is.

“By Blood” is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of By Blood for part of a book tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours, this will in no way effect my opinion on the book!

By Blood follows Emma Wong on her summer vacation in London, with the half of her family she isn’t too fond of lately – her Mum, Vermin (baby half-brother) and Dr Mike (the new fella). Don’t broken families suck? Luckily, my parents split when I was very young so whilst it probably effected me at the time, I didn’t harbour any negative feelings towards either of them. Unluckily for Emma, she was old enough to witness her family get torn apart as her Mum left her and her Dad for this new man, and also to see how badly it effected her Dad too.

I feel that was worth mentioning because I remember reading the start of the book and feeling all this anger that Emma felt towards her Mum (especially when she got the cupboard room – boo hiss that sucks) and I highly doubt I would have felt that if the writing hadn’t been as great as it, it has a lovely flow to it.

As mentioned in the blurb there is also another tenant in her family house – Josh. Not only is he hot, him and Emma click from day one, whether she wants to admit that to herself is a completely different story though and whilst I would like to say its frustrating when people don’t recognise their own feelings, in this case it didn’t bother me.

It still didn’t bother me even when another guy was introduced on the scene – Simon – even if it did mean it now had one of those YA Love Triangles going on. This one I was happy to read about.

We’re introduced to Simon after Emma meets a strange girl called Ash, who is part of a Grove that practise and follows Druid beliefs, interesting huh? Yes very.

I was thrilled to read about the Druid rituals (have you read the House of Night series and they perform the ritual asking and thanking the elements for strength and such? Yeah its similar to that but it adapts over time), how they effected Emma and the others, emotionally and physically, and how they adapted over time. It was really interesting and I’m afraid I can’t really expand more than that because of spoilers. You have no idea how I wish I could.

Instead, lets focus on the boys. I really enjoyed the development of friend/relationships between Emma/Simon and Emma/Josh. First up Simon, *squeals*. So ahem whilst he might be drop dead gorgeous and British (represent~) is he all that he lives up to be? Is there more to his history with one of the other Grove girls? hehe. Oh yes Simon is pleasantly surprising. I can say that much. To me however, Josh is perfect. From day one. He does what he sees as the right things to do to help Emma out with her tense family situations and isn’t the geeky assistant that Emma expected him to be.

As the story comes to a close, Emma learns a lot about herself, her family and the boys. It sucks that I can’t really delve into these things too much for fear of giving them away, but her vacation in London is certainly an eye-opener for many parts of her life and its great to see just how much she evolves, and learns about herself from this trip..
4.5 stars / 5 stars
Check back next week for review of the companion novel Moon Child.

About Tracy Banghart
Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.

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