I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Bleed Like Me by C. Desir
Published by Simon and Schuster on October 7th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Self-Mutilation, Social Themes, Dating & Relationships, Runaways, Dating & Sex, Adolescence
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From the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy–like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.
Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just “Gannon” to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers—even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.
Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.
But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she’s standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She’s given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks—until he poses the ultimate test.
Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.
Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir is a book that I picked up because it was wicked short and also because I really, really loved her debut, Fault Line. Unfortunately, I do not think I was quite in the right mindset or place when I read Bleed Like Me. I had been hoping for something that resonated with me like Fault Line did, however, that did not happen on this go around. I ended up feeling really disconnected from the book. I am not sure if this is because of my disjointed reading where I read it in snippets instead of all at once or my inability to relate to the theme.
Bleed Like Me is about this girl named Amelia Gannon who is in high school. She goes by Gannon. So, she works at the hardware store and smokes menthol cigarettes and has this best friend, right. She is essentially single and does not mind. However, this new guy shows up at her school and their romance is sort of dangerous and alluring. He is in and out of school and might as well be that kid you are warned about in those PSA ads. He reminds me of that seedy kid who sells drugs. Anyways, so, this book is about how Gannon gets in deeper and deeper with Michael Brooks, who goes by Brooks throughout the whole book.
Amelia Gannon, main character, has a whack home life. Her parents were happily married, then, her bleeding heart mom decides to adopt three brothers from the streets of Guatemala. They all seem to have attachment disorder, probably from their lives on the streets and so, they are portrayed as jerks. I mean, they are constantly acting out and then do this one truly heinous thing. So, all of her parents’ attention is focused on the boys. Also, her college savings was raided to pay for those kids. Which, whatever. So, anyways, Gannon has no real outlet for her pain, so she decides to cut in secret. It is something that she finds addictive. So, with how messed up her life is, Brooks, who is also messed up kind of is like a balm to her soul, I guess. At first anyways.
Ok, so the romance with Brooks is something that I understand at first. I get that he is alluring and a bad boy and different from the other boys at school. However, this romance has Bleed Like Me take a very odd turn. I mean, there’s this sort of switch that gets flipped about 3/4 of the way in and it just left me feeling disconnected. I will say that this was an excellent example of an unhealthy relationship. It was also portrayed in a way that doesn’t glorify the relationship. However, I just really could not get down with that change. It felt so unrealistic to me.
Now, the self injury, while we are talking about not so great decisions – that was a theme that was hard for me to read about. Like, Bleed Like Me goes into depth on the cutting and the blood. I am totally weak when it comes to reading about this. It made me feel a bit ill. I guess I am just not a blood person, unless it’s battle related. So, for me this was really tough to read. However, I felt like it helped me to understand people who cut a little bit better.
Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir is a really quick read. I thought that it did not shy away from tough or controversial situations. However, this book was just not my cup of tea. I do remain optimistic about Desir’s other works, given how much I loved Fault Line but in all, I think that this was just not the book for me, despite having some merits.
Other reviews of Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir:
Rather Be Reading – “Obviously, a hurricane of emotions for this reader.”
Great Imaginations – “I felt that this book really dropped the ball in representing this well.”
My Shelf Confessions – “a book for those with strong stomachs”
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