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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

BBReview: "Blood, Bloom & Water 1: Fangs and Fins" by Amy McNulty



Genre: YA - Paranormal/Romance
Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing
Publishing Date: May 1st, 2018
Page Count: 330
Source: Sent for Review
Format: Ebook

Description from Goodreads.com:
A dapper vampire. A sullen merman. Two heirs to a great conflict—and each needs to claim a beloved to become his kindred’s champion.

High school senior Ember Goodwin never had a sister, but after her mom’s remarriage, she now has two. The eldest is no stranger to her—Ivy is a witty girl in her grade who’s almost never spoken to the shy bookworm before—but she’s surprised to find the popular girl quite amiable. Their burgeoning friendship is tested, however, when Dean Horne, a pale, besuited charmer, shows interest in them both and plans to reveal his appetite for blood to the one who’ll stand by his side.

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Sheppard is tired of splitting her time between her dad’s and her mom’s, particularly when her dad uproots their lives to move them in with his new wife and step-daughter. Used to rolling with her parents’ whims, she tries to make the best of it and befriend her nerdy new step-sister. Her hectic life grows more unwieldy when she catches the eye of junior Calder Poole, whom she swears she sees swap well-toned legs for a pair of fins during a dip in a lake. Now she’s fending off suitors left and right, all while trying to get to the bottom of the strange happenings in her town.

The first book in the Blood, Bloom, & Water series sets family against family and friend against friend as an epic, ancient war comes to a head in a supposedly sleepy suburb.


Review:

Wow! That is definitely the first word that comes to mind when thinking about this book. I have to say I really didn't know what to expect from this book, but I was very, very pleasantly surprised. All I knew going into it was that it had to have alternating POV's, some romance, and some paranormals. And, all of that I only got from reading the description. This is definitely not like any other paranormal romance I have read before. After reading so many paranormal romances you start to recognize patterns. They becomes a little mundane and a little predictable. I am not saying this is a fault of any authors, but I mean just like when watching a scary movies, after awhile you know the clues to look for when something scary is about to happen. Not to say they aren't steal enjoyable. I mean, I'm still reading them aren't I? My point is that this book was SUCH a breath of fresh air, because there was not a single thing predictable to me, and I am usually a very good guesser!

Let's start with our main characters. We have Ember and Ivy who are new step-sisters and "friends". I use friends pretty loosely here, because they were never friends to begin with, but they were never enemies or ever had any ill feelings towards one another. I really enjoyed both of these characters and found they were both very distinguishable from one another. I really found myself creating a bond with these two girls and could see myself in both of them. This book deals with some pretty confusing things for a human to blindly accept, and it was written so well that it wasn't the plot points that were confusing me. I was confused, because our main characters were confused. We are learning everything through them and I found that the writing so well done that I was only confused, because I was supposed to be. It didn't even make me made that nothing made sense. lol. Both Ember and Ivy are very relatable and likeable, and I think they were the perfect MC's. By the end there was definitely one I felt more kinship, but I will wait to declare my official "team" at the end of this review ;)

Books with alternating POV's are my absolute favorite. Everyone knows this, but this one did throw me a little. I don't read many books with alternating points of view where both of the main characters are the same gender. They were both very distinguishable characters so I never got confused on who was speaking right now or who was Ember and who was Ivy, BUT I did sometimes get confused on small details like who learned what first. Like I would think Ember knew something and be confused when she was acting like she didn't, but it would turn out it was actually Ivy who was told that. Nothing too crazy or annoying to affect my view of the story. Really just a reminder for me to pay more attention. I will say, though, that this instance of alternating POV probably made me yell at the book the most. I mean, I usually always yell at the book when we have alternating POV, because you learn things before the characters do. So when it comes to a romance, you're like "UGH! Open your eyes, you idiot! She loves you!". With this one, though, there are so many things unsaid between the step-sisters, because they are on opposite sides of this war. Like if they would have just locked themselves in Ordin's cabin for 24-hours and told each other everything, things could have been so much different! I loved it, but AH! it was killing me. 

I have definitely dealt with insta-love's before. Some work for me, some don't. This one did not, but the great thing was that it wasn't the author's fault. Again, it was the author's purpose. The insta-love didn't work me, because it didn't work for our MC's. They both were like, "Um...are you crazy? I literally just met you an hour ago." As the book went on I definitely thought we would get to know the guys, and their intentions, more and eventually come to terms with the romance. This kind of happened. To me, and I'm not sure yet if it was just me or the author's intention, but to me only one actually worked. The one that worked is the one whose "team" I am on so, again I will not name names just yet. 

As for for the paranormal aspect of it, I really, truly enjoyed it. Like I said earlier, this did not follow any normal tropes, or patterns, or assembly line plot that I am used to. It seemed very fresh and original and I really enjoyed getting to know these paranormals the best I could. I really look forward to getting to know more in the next book.  

Now, for the part you have all been waiting for: my thoughts on the ending and whose "team" I have officially joined. Or rather, whose "champion" I have become. I am officially "Team Ivy & Calder/Team Merpeople"! Ivy just spoke a little more to me personally. I found myself relating to her more and more, and by the end I was definitely NOT on Team Ember. I also found that Ivy & Calder's relationship seemed a lot more genuine and believable when compared to Ember & Dean. Dean definitely seems smitten with Ember, but she still seems on the fence, and I definitely have suspicion on whether or not his feelings are completely true and selfless. I kind of wonder if he is just using her. We shall see in the next book. In terms in how this book ended, again I can only think of one phrase... "That shit cray!". lol. That definitely sums it up perfectly. It was such a whirlwind of craziness and confusion. I can't wait for book two to come out so I can finally learn what exactly happened in the pool room and what the future holds. A lot of game changers happen at the very end so if cliffhangers kill you, you might want to consider waiting to read this book until book two comes out. 

Overall:
I absolutely loved this book. I read a lot of paranormal romances and I found this to be a breath of fresh air. It is completely original and unpredictable. I loved our MC's and loved that it is in alternating points of view. Since both of the MC's are female it did get confusing sometimes with the smaller details, like who was told what, but overall very easy to follow. I loved this author's writing style and I found everything to be very purposeful. I'm not sure I would write this book any other way. I did find that one of the relationships worked for me and the other didn't. I'm not sure if that was the author's intention or my personal opinion, but I will definitely find that out in book two. Overall, such a great first book to a series and I am definitely, hands down #TeamMerpeople!

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 5/5

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About Amy McNulty:
Amy McNulty is an editor and author of books that run the gamut from YA speculative fiction to contemporary romance. A lifelong fiction fanatic, she fangirls over books, anime, manga, comics, movies, games, and TV shows from her home state of Wisconsin. When not reviewing anime professionally or editing her clients’ novels, she’s busy fulfilling her dream by crafting fantastical worlds of her own.



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Giveaway:
1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.






**The books cover, description, and info was all found on Goodreads. A link back has been provided. All other work and ideas are of my own creation. This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.**

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