Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer Book Review

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer is a very quick read, wonderful for the reluctant reader in your life, as it’s not a struggle to get through. Willa Coffey, the protagonist, lives a perfectly happy life with her mom, stepfather, and two stepsisters. Everyone in her blended family seems to get along. Life for Willa, however, is interrupted when her estranged father murders his wife and children in Texas, then makes his way east towards Willa and her mother.

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer Book Cover

Blood Wounds

Blood Wounds is a book of secrets, from Willa’s cutting to her mother’s buried past. These secrets keep the book fast paced. The pages keep turning quickly with each new reveal. However, I’m not exactly sure there were enough pages for the scope of the story to be maximized. It’s almost as though there is too much stuffed within the pages.

For example, the bit on cutting. Now, cutting is a very real, very serious problem, but it seems as though it’s merely used as a toss away plot device in Blood Wounds and the catalyst for one of the final events. To me, it did not feel like an integral part of the story. Honestly, it was more superficial than anything. I think perhaps I would feel differently if more time in the plot was spent on the cutting aspect.

As for Willa as a character, she is very likable with her shyness and vulnerability. She’s not perfect at all, although she tries to not make waves or cause confrontation, yet festering below the surface is years of resentment for her affluent stepsisters who have many more opportunities and privileges in life than Willa ever will have. I thought Willa’s motivations were sensible and logical, however, I wish the story had shown more of her motivations through action, rather than the narrator telling us.

If you are looking for the next Life As We Knew It, Blood Wounds isn’t it. While Life As We Knew It had well developed characters, plotting, and voice, Blood Wounds really only has pacing going for it. I think it tries to do too much. However, if you go in simply expecting a solid plot and a fast read, I think you will enjoy Susan Beth Pfeffer’s latest.

Disclosure: Received for review via Amazon Vine.

Other Reviews of Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer:

Waking Brain Cells
Proud Book Nerd
Minding Spot

Blood Wounds is available for purchase on September 12, 2011. Purchase your copy here. *FYI I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you buy things from Amazon after clicking link. Proceeds used for upkeep of sit


About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Meh. I was REALLY disappointed in this one. Partly because I just thought it was poorly written, but also because, as you mention, the cutting is used as a throw away. The book doesn’t make it seem like something serious at all, more like something that’s just- whatev, it’s this thing I do. Sigh. Very disappointed in this one. One of the very few books I honestly can’t think of a single person I’d recommend it to. ;(

  2. I don’t know that this is the book for me. I am currently reading a book that has cutting in it too. I hope it will not be used as just a plot device and that the character will deal with the issues behind the cutting. It is too bad when a topic like cutting is handled so poorly. Willa sounds like an interesting character at least.

  3. Thank you for linking to my review. I was quite surprised by the cutting, although I suppose that with the title of the book perhaps it was implied? I dunno. I agree that it’s a very quick read. Again, thanks for linking!

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