Thursday, May 28, 2015

Flesh and blood by Simon Cheshire

There's nothing remarkable or special about Sam Hunter - he's a pretty typical teenage boy.  The most remarkable thing to happen recently is that his family has come into some money and they are moving up in the world a little starting with a new address in a posh street.  The house is pretty amazing, even if it does seem a little empty with their limited number of possessions.  The local high school is just a few minutes up the road and it seems like it is just another neighbourhood - until Sam and the rest of the students stumble across a dead body on his first day!  

With a journalists eye for detail Sam soon realises that somerthing is not quite right in the sleepy town he now calls home.  The neighbours on his new street seem nice enough, although they seem oddly happy and all seem to have the same runny nose.  The exception is the Greenhills, a family of respected doctors and surgeons, whose daughter Emma happens to be in Sam's class.  Something niggles at the back of his mind about the family, starting on the night he hears a scream and sees something strange at the Greenhills home.  If he had stopped to think of the consequences, if he had stopped to plan better then the events that unfolded may never have happened - but hindsight is always perfect.

I picked up Flesh and blood after reading Frozen Charlotte, another book in the RedEye series and I was really surprised to find they were completely different (but equally enjoyable) reads.  Frozen Charlotte was a traditional ghost story, tantalizing and creepy in turn.  Flesh and blood has more in common with classic R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike - a twisted story that is more about people doing dark things and twisting you in knots as you try and uncover what is really happening and wondering how it will all end.  I was hooked right until the end of the story, partly because you never really know what is going to happen next or who the "bad guy" really is.  

Told from the first person perspective, Flesh and blood is really creepy and twisted.  Seeing events unfold through Sam's eyes adds to the suspense and the mystery.  Because it is first person rather than the "eye of god" you don't know what the other characters are thinking or feeling, you don't get to see their motivations - which is what makes the story so much more twisted.  I had my suspicions about how things were going to play out in the story, and I was mostly right, but I was also quite wrong about other things.  This is a book that deserves to be read in a single sitting (partly because it will drive you nuts trying to figure out what happens next).  

This is one of those great gender bending books - it is not a book for boys or girls - it is a book that will appeal to readers who enjoy a good book that is going to give them the creeps.  I have read Frozen Charlotte and enjoyed it, but I couldn't get into Sleepless by Lou Morgan which is in this same series, so if you don't like Flesh and blood try other books in the series as they are written by different authors with different styles and all have their own niche in the dark and creepy reading corner.

If you like this story then try:
  • Blackbird by Anna Carey
  • Every other day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Sleepless by Lou Morgan
  • Sister assasin by Kiersten White
  • To die for by Christopher Pike
  • Nearly gone by Elle Cosimano
  • Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
  • Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake
  • Don't stay up late: A Fear Street novel by R.L. Stine
  • The hunt by Andrew Fukuda
  • The killer's cousin by Nancy Werlin
  • Proxy by Alex London
  • Party games: A Fear Street novel by R.L. Stine
  • Asylum by Madeleine Roux
  • Locked inside by Nancy Werlin
  • Thirteen days to midnight by Patrick Carman
  • The kidnapping of Christina Lattimore by Joan Lowery Nixon
  • Reboot by Amy Tintera
  • Altered by Jennifer Rush
  • ACID by Emma Pass
  • Burn bright by Marianne de Pierres

Reviewed by Brilla

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