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Bleeding Earth

Bleeding Earth

4.0 1
by Kaitlin Ward

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In this action-packed thriller from the creative team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, a Superhero who can only work for 45 minutes a day learns what it means to be human.


In this action-packed thriller from the creative team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, a Superhero who can only work for 45 minutes a day learns what it means to be human.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Debut author Ward sets teen romance against apocalyptic mayhem in this uneven cautionary tale. The premise is decidedly gruesome: blood begins seeping out of the ground, followed by clumps of hair and even bones, resulting in the breakdown of society as the blood level, and terror, rises. High school senior Lea loves hanging out with her friends and exploring her romance with her girlfriend, Aracely, but becomes cut off as schools and businesses begin to close, and the struggle for food and water begins. Nearly half the book is spent setting up the action, and Lea gives much more thought to getting closer to Aracely than what is happening in the world around her, her narration lacking the urgency that the situation would suggest. Things take a shocking, abrupt turn for Lea in the third act, and Lea and Aracely must make their way to safety while navigating hunger, thirst, and threats of violence. The ecological message is fairly unsubtle, and readers are left wondering about the origins of the blood, which goes unexplained. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary Agency. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"Morbid, gruesome, and viscerally scary—this story made my skin crawl." — Amy Lukavics, author of Daughters unto Devils
VOYA, August 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 3) - Kathleen Beck
Lea and her best friend, Hillary, are in the cemetery when blood starts bubbling up out of the ground. By the time she gets home, Lea’s shoes and pants are stained with it. Within a day, reports are coming in from all over the world of blood seeping into the streets, people’s homes, the water supply. The earth starts spitting up hair, then bones. Lea tries to pretend that it will all go away, that she can concentrate on finishing senior year and persuading her new girlfriend, Aracely, to come out so that they can publicly be together. She finds herself strangely drawn to the bloody scene outside her barricaded house. Is she going crazy? When science and government prove helpless and people start to panic, Lea realizes that she and Aracely must fight their own way to safety, using their wits and deadly force if necessary. This seriously creepy story will draw in horror fans immediately. Lea is an ordinary girl caught in inexplicable circumstances, facing both typical teen concerns (How can she wash her hair?) and mortal danger. Graphic scenes depict a town strewn with corpses and beset by the rapid disintegration of civil behavior. Biblical images are frequently and effectively used as a literary device. Eventually the blood disappears, its departure as unexplained as its arrival. Is it an ecological warning? Why does Lea long to go into the bloody, dangerous streets? Explanations defer to atmosphere but genre lovers will not care. It is the nightmare that counts. Reviewer: Kathleen Beck; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Lea can't believe it when the blood first appears, oozing out of the ground at the cemetery. She and her friend Hillary are sure there must be an explanation. But the blood continues to rise, while animals disappear and businesses close indefinitely; soon the blood steadily seeping from the ground is a worldwide natural disaster. Before long there is hair and then bones mixed in with the blood. Lea's parents board up their home and begin rationing food and water, and although she knows it is safer to stay indoors, the solitude becomes too much for Lea. She misses Hillary and her friends from high school; she misses her semi-secret girlfriend, Aracely. But the rising blood brings out the worst in Lea's neighbors—her social life won't matter if she doesn't survive. Well written and descriptive, this is the story of a regular girl forced to deal with an unprecedented event. Rising blood levels set the pace, while internal turmoil and external chaos set the mood. Lea is relatable, though her credibility is sometimes questionable. Realistic depictions of the town's reaction to the natural disaster, progressive changes to the blood itself, and Lea's developing relationship with her not-yet-out girlfriend ground the work's unnatural setting. A smattering of strong language and some sexual situations are included. VERDICT Vivid images of blood, hair, and bones, and a budding romantic relationship—this is for readers who like their apocalyptic horror grounded in reality and kind of gross.—Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University R. M. Cooper Library, South Carolina
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-11-17
"Bones Found to Be of Human Origin, Blood Beginning to Fester." In the spirit of M.T. Anderson's Thirsty (1997), Ward's apocalyptic novel will have readers checking the ground beneath their feet after each turn of the page. Readers meet Lea, a confident teenage girl who just wants to hang out with her friends and spend quality time with her new girlfriend, Aracely. But when the Earth begins to ooze blood and other body parts, Lea's hometown becomes a war zone, with citizens fighting over fresh water and food rations, and Lea becomes ever more concerned with her dwindling faith in humanity, her declining mental state, and the blood that won't stop rising. To her family and close friends, Lea's sexuality is largely a nonissue, which is refreshing (and sensible, considering the impending apocalypse); furthermore, readers looking for the next LGBT heroine will love Lea's strong-willed attitude. The frightful moments are craftily deployed, creeping up and startling readers when they're least expecting it. And the government PSAs regarding the blood that punctuate Lea's narration are enough to panic even the most fearless of readers, their commonplace mundanity highlighting the freakishness. Grisly and sickening (but in the best way possible), the novel more than delivers on its promise of the macabre for lovers of horror, and curious readers will close the book with countless questions about religion, science, and human nature. (Horror. 13 & up)

Product Details

Adaptive Studios
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years


Meet the Author

Kaitlin Ward lives in a small New Hampshire town with her husband and son. She studied animal science at Cornell University before becoming a freelance writer. Kaitlin co-founded the well-known blog YA Highway, where she currently runs the popular Road Trip Wednesday feature.

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Bleeding Earth 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
The earth is bleeding, yes bleeding. Blood is coming out of the ground, and it has scientist scrambling to find answers to why the earth has decided to unleash human blood upon itself. In the beginning it was just inches but within days the amount grows and it becomes disgusting as it begins to cause problems around the world. Just like any other major catastrophe, people panic and everyone has their theories. The religious sector start to scream their predictions, the president tries to calm his people and everyone is told that it is nothing major but when things don’t return to normal within days, things start to get out of hand very quickly. The excitement of this drama and the creep factor of the blood made a good match for this book and I didn’t put this novel down all afternoon. There was mixed feeling among the citizens, some believed that life would return to normal and then there were those who at the first sign of danger went into survival mode and started doing whatever they could think of; these individuals were serious about making it out alive. It’s bad enough that there was blood covering everything but soon there is human hair and bones mixed in the blood. Imagine walking around outside in that scenario, the mess and the stench that would follow you. Dwell on that thought for a while and you can imagine what these people are waking up to every morning and they were told to just deal with it? The characters in this novel are not only dealing these issues but also with family and relationship problems. Lea is worried that she will lose her partner Aracely, as they don’t spend enough time together. Aracely hasn’t yet told anyone that she is gay and she hides their relationship which worries Lea. Lea is told by her father when things get progressively worse to travel to his workplace where she will be safe. Trying to convince her mother to live their house, she notices that her mother is acting strangely; they don’t have much time to waste. What transpires next I was not ready for but it was exciting and great drama. I was not happy with the ending and that is why I reduced my star rating from a five star listing. The ending was too hooky for me, it was if a curtain was pulled back and we started another scene, like ta-da. I can’t say more as I don’t want to ruin the book or someone else might like the ending, I just didn’t care for it and I really loved the rest of the book. This book immediately takes off and it leads you on an interesting adventure with great twists and turns, it was a brilliant piece of work. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Egmont USA in exchange for an honest review.