Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz

December 16, 2010
When I first started this book, I got a little uneasy. In the very first story, they lead with a disturbing tale of a girl who finds pleasure in other people cutting her. This book is made up of 10 teenager’s stories: Nicole, Maria, Kelly, Derik, Sadie, Robby, Mearl, Ginger, Joy, and Sean. The main message behind this book is really a great one, however how she reaches that point is almost a little over dramatic. These stories are just a little weird. I mean, I usually like dramatic, realistic fiction stories but sometimes books are just too dramatic. This would be one of them. It just seems like all these people are really selfish. Like they don’t even care about what others think. They’re going to do what they want to do, no matter who gets the short end of the stick, for instance in the story of Sean and Nicole. When Sean’s girl friend Kelly is gone for a trip, he starts chasing after Nicole who is (of course) Kelly’s best friend. They end up having sex, ultimately to never really talk about it again.
By the end of the story it seems like Stolarz never really reaches an ultimate point. I mean, yes, the theme of this book is really good: we are all connected in one way, we are all human, and we all bleed. I like that part but these stories never seem to come to a conclusion. And if they did, they had no happy ending. That kind of left me more depressed than anything. I like when books are kind of deep, I like when I learn from them. I feel like this book however, dropped the ball. It was a good attempt though. I think it would have been better if there hadn’t of been so many characters. Maybe if Stolarz just stuck with a few stories such as Kelly’s, Nicole’s, Maria’s, and Sean’s. Those were the ones that stuck out to me the most.

While this book wasn’t horrible, I don’t feel like it was very good. I learned something from it which is always nice. But ultimately “Bleed” left me feeling sad and pretty disturbed. Stolarz had a good idea and it was a good attempt at a rather complex book (due to the vast list of characters) however, I feel like there could have been many improvements. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys watching soap operas or really dramatic shows such as “The Hills” or other dramas. For people that don’t like reading sob stories however, I would say to not read this book, due to its overly dramatic nature and intense theme.

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