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review 2018-09-12 23:21
Superbly written novel based on the tragic true story of young Italian painter Artemesia Gentileschi
Blood Water Paint - Joy McCullough

My newly-formed little book club said they wanted a book possibly with poetry or essays, so this was one of my selections. I knew Joy McCullough’s book came with glowing reviews and it had been on my TBR for a while, but I wasn’t quite prepared for what I was about to read.

‘Blood Water Paint’, based on the true but heartbreaking story of the iconic young Italian painter Artemesia Gentileschi, literally took my breath away. 


Reading a novel based in verse (with some portions written in regular prose) with historical facts at its core, was quite new to me, and thank goodness for those mental (natural) breaks that came with the way it’s written, because it was one of the most astounding accounts of rape and incest I have ever read. This may well be based in Rome in 1610 and written in a way that doesn’t reveal certain details of such events as a reader may be used to reading, but I would still put up a big, red flag for a trigger warning. I had to put down the book for a breather about halfway through because of the tragic events unfolding within the pages. It is brutal, heart-breaking, and so emotional.


Artemesia was such a talented artist, but she and other women - within the book, we also learn the stories of both Susanna and Judith - basically had no rights or the right to an opinion in those days; women were stoned to death, and other brutal punishments were served at the hands of men who saw women as property. Artemesia’s father sees his own daughter as such, having her do the paintings and call them his own, and turns a blind eye to the events in this own home while he drinks after his wife/her mother dies. It’s hard to read such things, but throughout, Artemesia stays adamant that she will persevere and not let these men steal her ability to show her truth on the canvas. 


It’s uncanny that the ‘me too’ movement resonates so strongly when reading a book like this, but four centuries later we shouldn’t be having to make the comparisons, perhaps. I was so moved by this book, and by my own experience, and I hope many young women reach for this book and get a discussion going. I’m looking forward to our book club meeting; this isn’t ‘light poetry fare’ by any means, and this book SHOULD spark a lot of conversation. Artemesia’s life (and many others) shouldn’t be in vain, for these experiences are too common place. 


A note on the writing: Joy McCullough, as a debut author, has written a masterpiece. She wrote this as a play and then adapted it to be read as a book in this form. It’s masterful, and so beautiful to read. Since she’s local to Seattle, I’m happy to say she will be at the book club that will be meeting today; I’m glad we connected. I can’t wait for our group discussion. Absolutely superbly written. 


**Update: Congratulations go out to Joy for the announcement that Blood Water Paint is on the long list for the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

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review 2016-12-19 20:38
Water and Blood (The Merworld Trilogy Book 1) by B. Kristin McMichael
Water and Blood (The Merworld Trilogy) (Volume 1) - B. Kristin McMichael

B. Kristin McMichael is off to another incredible series with the first book in The Merworld Trilogy, WATER AND BLOOD. I loved this book. My heart broke for Whitney at the end of the Skinwalkers Witchling Series. I was so glad her story continued. After being attacked by a witch and having her skinwalker abilities striped from her, she moved to Florida to live with her human relatives and start a new life. However, after meeting fellow student, Sam, she is thrown back into the night human world.

B. Kristin McMichael has wonderful imagination. She once again created another magical tale. I loved the plot. I thought it was clever how Sam and Whitney meet. I’m a certified scuba diver, so I appreciated the concept of sirens. Whenever I dive I feel like I am one with the fish, so it made it easy to visualize what it would be like in the water. I like the history of the sirens/mermaids and how they are no longer supposed to exist.

Prior to reading this book, I already liked Whitney’s character. She has never felt like she fit in. She is a good person and friend. She is smart, persistent, and brave. Sam is a great hero. He is a siren prince. He has such a better personality then his siblings. He is a smart leader. I like that he stands up for himself and Whitney. Whitney and Sam have great chemistry. I love that they met briefly in Washington State when they were kids.

Amber and Sam’s brother, Tim, caused some interesting conflicts in the story. Amber is selfish. Tim is evil. They both added to the excitement of the story.

B. Kristin McMichael is an amazing writer. I have enjoyed every book that I have read by her. Her stories flow skilfully. Her characters are well developed. They contain mystery, action, and drama. Her stories are creative and original. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the trilogy. I am interested in how the story will play out. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

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review 2016-06-02 16:00
Review: "Blood in the Water" by Megan Derr
Blood in the Water - Megan Derr

This was a nice little short story about a cursed merman shifter and a prince. It did a good job with the world building, but unfortunately it lacked in the romance department.


I liked the description of Seree's family, his magical knives, as well as the sea-influenced dialogues:


"The reason he has no interest in sanding me-"

"Language!" Seree snapped.


But I missed some relationship development. The MCs where hardly together on-page. The ending was also very abrupt.


But if Megan Derr decides one day to turn this into a full novel, I would definitely read it.




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review 2016-04-30 00:00
Blood in the Water
Blood in the Water - Tash McAdam Blood in the Water - Tash McAdam 3.5 stars
This was a really quick read and although it was a bit slow to start, it was a very exciting story. Hallie is a little whiny but she grows into a character you root for and she is pretty entertaining as well.
I would be interested in reading a full novel set in this world.
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text 2015-12-02 02:39
December Wrap up
Girl meets boy - Ali Smith
The Girl in 6E - A. R. Torre
Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood - Joshua Williamson
Nailbiter Vol. 3: Blood In the Water - Joshua Williamson,Mike Henderson
Nailbiter Vol. 2: Bloody Hands - Joshua Williamson,Mike Henderson
Sweet Tooth, Vol. 3: Animal Armies - Jeff Lemire
Sweet Tooth, Vol. 4: Endangered Species - Jeff Lemire
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened - Allie Brosh
The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed - Patrick Rothfuss,Nate Taylor

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