Blood for Blood – The Book that squeezed my Heart into Dust

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Publication date : November 1st, 2016goodreads

Publisher : Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre : Young Adult | Historical Fiction

Page Count: 481

Synopsis : There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.
For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.
Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?
This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.
(From Goodreads)

Rating : 5 stars

blood-for-blood

(No Spoilers)

So… The wait for this book has ended and I. AM. BROKEN. I know I kept ranting since I finished Wolf by Wolf but I WASN’T READY FOR THIS. Blood for Blood was equally brilliant and horrifying. I loved it as much as I hated it. It not only lived up to all the expectations I had built up for it, it also exceeded them by a lot. I.. I just feel like I have so much to say that I will be struggling to write this review because I am destroyed and heartbroken and sad. But I also feel happy because of how everything wrapped up even though I want more of these characters.

This book is 100% different from the first. Story wise which I’ll get into later but also some aspects of the writing. What’s similar is the feeling it conveys, it is as intense, if not more than in the first book, I felt it in my gut, twisting my heart and stomach in all kinds of way. The chapters are short which helped me fly through the book like no other. Now what’s different is that instead of having everything from Yael’s point of view we mainly have 3 POVs (with some other popping up here and there). Yael, Luka and Felix. And that I appreciated because it gave me a more rounded perspective and a clearer view of what was happening and when it was happening.

As its prequel, Blood for Blood goes back and forth between our characters’ present and their past with very well placed flashbacks that allowed me to get to know the characters a lot better, especially Felix and Luka and how they were shaped into the people they were during that period.

The story picks up a few minutes before Wolf by Wolf’s ending from Luka’s POV so we get to see things from the outside, so when Yael jumps, he follows and the action picks up -to never slow down. In the first book we don’t get to experience WWII much because it’s mostly the Axis Tour, so it’s mostly a competition but in this one we get to see the full impact that Hitler’s win had on the world, it’s was destroyed, angry, robbed of all freedom. The things happening were terrifying and heartbreaking. Ryan Graudin doesn’t chew on her words and portrays war in such a detailed, raw way that I was really impressed with all the research she must have done to have such a mind-blowing result.

Here, our MCs are essentially on the run so imagine how action packed that is. And multiply it by 10 to have it how it REALLY is. It was seriously unputdownable, I stayed up really late at night reading and read it every chance I got during the day which I don’t normally do. It is also unpredictable. When picking the book up, I imagined A LOT of ways it could go them, but none of them were the actual thing. It is so intricate and well thought out that I don’t think it is possible for anyone to predict the course of things from the beginning.

I also loved the book for the strong relationships it was built on, from romantic ones to friendships and family bonds (not just blood-family). Some characters were made stronger because of them, some others weak. Not only that but it has amazing women as leaders and I LOVED that, Yael, Henrika, the soviet commander (I can’t say her name because that is kind of a big spoiler).

Yael is as kick-ass as ever but she was vulnerable as well, which was a very interesting side of her to get to know. She was doubting herself and her decision as if she was just realizing that the future of the world was depending on her. I will never say this enough, she is one of my top 2 favorites female characters and I don’t think she’ll ever be detroned, she’s just too amazing for it. The other POVs made me realize just how intimidating and mysterious she seemed from the outside which a gave me a fresh side to look at her from.

I LOVE LUKA, YOU GUYS!!! He completely won me over in this book. He’s so cocky, sexy and snarky, even when it’s inappropriate and I think that his humour is what kept everyone sane when things got rough. Felix! Oh, Felix! I DESPISED HIM, things only got worse between us from where Wolf by Wolf left us, he was weak and easily impressionable and put them in extreme danger more often than not because of his stupidity. UGHH!!

The romance in this is PERFECT! I loved the way it evolved, how Yael and Luka started trusting each other, sharing personal things without even realizing they were actually getting closer. I shipped them with every fiber in my body and how they had each other’s backs through everything.

Last but not least, can we talk about that ending for a bit? IT RUINED ME. I AM SHATTERED. I AM DESTROYED. I cried non-stop through the last few chapters because I just couldn’t process and be okay with the things that were happening. But I guess that made things all the more brutal and realistic and my brain gets how appropriate that is but my heart can’t deal. To sum up this book, it is all chase, war, roth and death, with a tinsy bit of swooning that thankfully didn’t take front stage.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read Blood for Blood? If so, what did you think?

Who was your favorite character? What did you think of the ending?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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32 thoughts on “Blood for Blood – The Book that squeezed my Heart into Dust

  1. Lovely review, Fadwa! I haven’t actually read Blood For Blood nor have I read Wolf by Wolf, but I am dying too.
    Every time I go to the library, I see Blood for Blood is available, but not Wolf by Wolf! Maybe 2017 I will get lucky. 😀
    I am glad that you enjoyed it though – I’ve heard so many good things and all my friends adore the series. I can’t wait to pick it up one day! I will come fangirling to you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review for this book Fadwa, I was reading yours and I completely agree with everything you wrote. I was nodding along thinking back to my own experience reading this book and then writing my own review. There was so much to love about this book, but for me the main thing was the characters. I loved seeing things from Luka and Felix’s perspectives in Blood for Blood, especially the glimpses we got into their past because I felt it gave a lot more depth to their characters. The plot was definitely intense, there was so much happening and I really enjoyed that it felt more closer to World War II than in the first one; there was a lot more at stake than just the winner of a motorbike race in this one!
    I never saw that ending coming (in a way I kind of did but at the same time I never imagined it would end like that!) and I was in tears as well. I just wanted a happy ending for them all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’m getting this one for Christmas and I’m so excited to finally get to it! I’m glad to see a review from you too, I hardly see anyone talking about these books! I’m really intrigued to see the world how you described it – more of the effect of Hitler’s win rather than focusing on the Axis Tour. I adore seeing the difference in the world when it comes to historical fiction (well, maybe “adore” is the wrong word since it’s all so grim), especially considering it was actually real at some point – apart from the Hitler winning thing. Wow, I’m rambling ahaha 😆 Point is, I’m REALLY excited for this one and your review made it even more so! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Uh oh, now I don’t know if I want to read these books after all; books that leave me a sobbing mess are firmly on my DO NOT WANT list. Guess I’ll have to be in an especially rare mood to be brave enough to give this series a go.

    But hurray for books that are realistic rather than giving out free happily-ever-afters to their protagonists! I really admire books like that, even if I don’t enjoy reading them. We need those books, for sure.

    Excellent review, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my lord, this book killed me in about 502871 different ways. LUKA IS THE BEST EVER. I was very, very, very, very, very upset with the ending and just dead for several days after finishing it! I was definitely really impressed with Graudin’s work and how far the story has come from the first one – you’re definitely right in how different they are but I think it’s a good, logical different. I can’t wait for her next book!

    Liked by 1 person

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