Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.Precious Blood (The Blessed, #1) by Tonya Hurley
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on August 2, 2012
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal
Format: Paperback (432 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a dark and thrilling trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy. Previously published as The Blessed.
What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?
Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief.
Proceed With Caution
This book contains attempted suicide, substance abuse, blood, and mentions of rape, torture, and death.
The narration is in third person present tense and mainly told from the perspective of our three leading ladies: Agnes, Lucy, and Cecilia. There are occasional scenes told from other supporting characters such as Agnes’ mother, Dr. Frey, and Sebastian.
The setting is Brooklyn, New York, USA. Most of the book is set in one location: The Church of the Precious Blood.
Precious Blood opens on Halloween night in the emergency room. Agnes has been admitted for her attempted suicide. After receiving a blood transfusion, she is kept in the psychiatric ward overnight for observation. Cecilia was found nearly drowned in a pothole after a show. Lucy was found ODing at a club and is being bombarded with paparazzi. All three girls receive a mysterious bracelet before being released. Upon returning to their normal lives, something drives them to The Church of the Precious Blood where they’re stuck for three days while a tornado rages through the city. This is where they meet Sebastian and are told their purpose.
Precious Blood was super weird as other reviews have mentioned. I was expecting weird, but I wasn’t quite ready for this. It was also quite boring at times. It opens with a bang. I was immediately hooked and wanted to know what was going to happen to these girls. I didn’t like any of them, but I was intrigued, which is what’s important. However, once they’re out of the hospital, I was bored. It was until they meet Sebastian in the church that my attention was piqued again. Particularly, when they venture to the chapel in the basement and all hell breaks loose. Possibly, literally.
Once again, after the girls leave the church, it feels like it drags. It’s obvious that they need to go back and fulfill their purpose, but I just wasn’t interested in these in-between scenes. The author was also setting up some twists, people not being who they pretend to be, and trying to make us question if Sebastian is suffering from delusions or if everything is real. It didn’t quite work. It just felt messy.
In the end, I finished Precious Blood feeling more confused than disturbed. What the heck just happened?! Did any of that actually happen? Are the saints real? Were the ghosts real? Was Sebastian telling the truth? Was all of this a big coincidence? I don’t even know. The ending didn’t leave me feeling satisfied or wanting more. I was just glad to put this madness away.
Quotes from Precious Blood:
“What is this place?” she asked.
“The Church of the Precious Blood,” he said. “Used to be, anyway. Condos soon.” (pg 99)
“So here we are: a squatter and a runaway, a dropout, and a would-be suicide. Four sinners in a giant church, and none of us knows why?” (pg 137)
“I feel like I’m in limbo. Not really happy with who I was and now sure of who I am now. Something definitely changed in me, even if it was all just some kind of weird fantasy I got caught up in.” (pg 309)
“It doesn’t matter whether you believe. The truth is what matters.” (pg 332)
“A child believes. In magic. In fairies. In monsters. Faith is knowledge. Certainty. Without it, we fail.” (pg 369)