Thursday, August 18, 2016

So, I've seen a few others doing early reviews for books pre-release by doing a less formal review and sorta just fangirling over the title prior to publication, which may be months away, depending on when they read the book. Jamie from The Perpetual Page-turner has a Save the Date feature, and Heather over at The Flyleaf Review showcases her pre-release thoughts in a Mark Your Calendars post. I have the same problem. I want to tell the world about some of the awesome books I read pre-publication, but I can't wait until just a few weeks before the release date to shout it from the rooftops. And sometimes there just aren't words for a book, ya know?

My dilemma led me to an awesome idea: Reviews in a GIFfy. I already (sometimes) post my reactions to a book via GIFs on Goodreads. (The one I did for World After was very well received.) But I wanted to make it a thing for those titles that I just can't wait until they appear on the ole reading schedule -- or for the ones that it's really hard to adequately express my feelings -- and I wanted to share my reactions via GIF with all of you. Essentially, these are going to be GIF-only reviews to tide you -- and me! -- over until I can expand on my thoughts in a legitimate review closer to the book's release date...if ever!

Title: Blood for Blood
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf by Wolf, book #2
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin's Wolf by Wolf.

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.

Bloody verdammt book that made me cry all the tears and feel all the things. This follow-up to Wolf by Wolf was very different in tone and content but it was every bit as good and interesting and heartbreaking. Where Wolf by Wolf was all witty banter and racing and unbelievably sad flashbacks, this sequel was basically all of those sad flashbacks times a million.

Blood for Blood was essentially the antithesis of Wolf by Wolf. Wolf by Wolf was by no means a light-hearted story, but it was full of wit and snark and moments of levity interspersed with moments of immense pain. But Blood for was mostly harrowing ordeals and narrow escapes punctuated by instances of frivolity.

I think my GIF-tastic review below will sum it up best, but before I get to that, here are a few more things I appreciated about this sequel:

  • Multiple perspectives but with Yael always being the focal point - In the first book, I constantly wondered what the real Adele Wolf was doing while Yael was parading around as her, and you get that in this sequel, though not from the horses's mouth. The multiple points of view really help to form a complete picture.
  • I applaud the author's choices, that she did what was right by her characters - Big risks and hard decisions make this a tragic story but also make it all the more genuine. This is war and with war comes loss and devastation.
  • Unpredictable and thrilling story - I legit never knew what was coming in this book. I was blind-sided time and again and still kept coming back for more, even though it felt like my heart was being torn from my chest.
  • Incredible character growth - Going from kids trying to win a race (well, except for Yael, sort of) to people with loved ones to save and sacrifices to make and fuhrers to kill and making all kinds mistakes along the way, these characters change so much.
Okay, before I get to the GIFfy portion of this review, I just wanted to share a short video that perfectly depicts my reading experience:

So, when the novel opens, Yael is on the run after her disastrous assassination attempt from the previous book.

But that's nothing new, as Yael is pretty much always on the run. Her life is nothing but one big chase with one singular kill this guy:

Yael finds herself escaping with the two boys she took turns racing beside in the first book, and even this early in the story, I just knew there was no way things were going to end well.

My money was on the fuhrer, but I like to be prepared.

Basically, I felt like Yael was always backed into a corner, ready to claw her way out if need be.

Didn't make it any easier to read, though.

Not only does Yael's past come back to haunt her ten-fold in this sequel, but you also get a peek at past-Luka and past-Felix, and though their stories don't even compare to the torture Yael has suffered, they definitely still had difficult upbringings.

Meanwhile, well-thought plans crumble. Betrayals abound. Truths can no longer remain buried.

And good intentions pave the road to hell.

And through it all...

So much pain. It's been a month since I finished this book and still the pain is so fresh.

This story is definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you have a heart, it will definitely hit you in the feels. HARD. Don't say I didn't warn you.


About the author:

Hello! I’m Ryan. This is me in a nutshell.

Sherlock Whovian Browncoat.
Wife to a talented and handsome photographer.
Mother to a fluffy and winsome wolf-dog.
Drinks Chai Lattes.
Loves vintage Christmas lights.

And this is me in the officially-official version:

Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of Wolf By Wolf, Blood For Blood, The Walled City and the All That Glows series. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog.

Find Ryan:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Tumblr

Previous posts in this feature:

Of Metal and Wishes
The Kiss of Deception
Between the Spark and the Burn
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
This Shattered World
A Court of Thorns and Roses
Heart of Betrayal
Of Dreams and Rust


  1. I'M NOT READY, JEN! I'm definitely not ready for this pain. But I am still super excited to find out what happens next. I waited to read Wolf by Wolf but I cannot wait to read this one. Great review.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. So. Much. Pain. I can't wait to hear your thoughts...I couldn't wait to read it, either. And I had to get my thoughts out there so that I could finally move on.

  2. This sounds amazing! I loved Wolf by Wolf, and I'm glad to know the sequel is able to keep up. I think the part I'm most looking forward to is the backstory; the world Ryan set up is so cool, and I can't wait to learn more about each of the characters! Great review :D

    - Eli @ The Silver Words

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