All sixteen-year-old Heather MacNair wants is to feel normal, to shed the intense paranoia she’s worn all year like a scratchy sweater. After her compulsion to self-harm came to light, Heather was kept under her doctor’s watchful eye. Her family thinks she’s better—and there’s nothing she wants more than for that to be true. She still can’t believe she’s allowed to spend her summer vacation as she always does: at her aunt’s home in Scotland, where she has lots of happy memories. Far away from all her problems save one: she can’t stop carving the Celtic knot that haunts her dreams into her skin.
Good friends and boys with Scottish accents can cure almost anything…except nightmares. Heather can’t stop dreaming about two sisters from centuries ago, twins Prudence and Primrose, who somehow seem tied to her own life. Their presence lurks just beneath the surface of her consciousness, sending ripples through what should be a peaceful summer. The twins might hold the key to putting Heather’s soul at rest…or they could slice her future deeper than any knife. – Goodreads.com
This isn’t my one of my typical reads, but the mention of Scotland and hint of witches reached out and grabbed me.
Heather is a girl who clearly has some issues – not only with cutting, but recurring nightmares involving twin sisters, Prudence and Primrose, both witches from the 1600s. Throughout the story, the POVs rotate between these three characters, although the sisters’ chapters are much shorter. The historical flashbacks, witchcraft, and the author’s take on a ‘blood witch’ are my favorite parts of this novel, but these aspects aren’t really delved into until nearly halfway through the book. Heather and her supporting cast of friends have some fun scenes and Robby is sweetly charming, but I’m relieved the teen romance didn’t overshadow the plot.
Once the pace really got rolling and the building suspense drew me in, the story wrapped up rather abruptly, leaving me a little frustrated. When I noticed so few pages remaining near the end, I even wondered if there might be a sequel. Admittedly I might have missed something, but I had trouble buying into the initial conflict that pitted the twin sisters against each other. Their later conflicts – absolutely, but it seemed a weak springboard.
A wonderful setting, believable characters, and suspenseful mystery interwoven with witchcraft and magic – I just wish it would have been a little longer.
Bad Blood is scheduled for publication March 14th, 2017. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital ARC.