Review of “Bleed” by Laurie Faria Stolarz


“Over the course of a single day, the lives of ten teenagers will intersect in powerful and unexpected ways.
Among them are Nicole, whose decision to betray her best friend will shock everyone, most of all herself; Kelly, who meets the convicted felon she’s been writing to for years; and Maria, whose definition of a true friend is someone who will cut her. Derik discovers his usual good looks and charm won’t help him get the girl he really wants, while Joy, a fifteen year old waitress, hoping for true intimacy, narrowly escapes a very dark fate.
Seamlessly woven together, this collection of interconnected short stories paints an authentic portrait of today’s teen experience that is at once funny, moving, and often very haunting.”

Laurie Faria Stolarz does an outstanding job of making things complicated but well written. “Bleed”, published in 2008 and distributed by Hyperion Books for Children, will make you wonder how drastic each character can get.

Okay, I’m not going to lie, when I first read this book, I was weirded out by some of the storylines. Like Debbie’s balistic mother who is obsessed with her weight and staples “DO NOT FEED” signs on her chest when she eats junk food. And how Maria only has friends who will cut her with a safety pin…then she saves the safety pins in a lunchbox. Or how Joy’s…er..’childhood toy’ is her best friend- which she uses to get revenge on one of the boy who crossed her. Derik meets a girl who has completely different intentions other than staying with him and more about finding her family. Although this book has some mature content, it was claimed to be “Short stories that perfectly capture the angst and folly of the teenage world” courtesy of Teen Reads.

Not only will the shocking story lines- like fifteen year old Kelly who writes letters to a convicted felon in his thirties, then meets with him in person- catch your attention and surely make you want to keep reading, but how at least one of the characters are easy to relate with, whether it has to do with problems with family (like Debbie) or friends (like Maria or Nicole) you’ll always find some way to connect yourself to the book. Laurie Faria Stolarz writes carefully constructed stories that will make you want to write a book of your own.

Bleed, is definitely a must read- I give it: ★★★★

Willow Evans – Washington Surveryor

A/N: I will be updating every week talking about a different book! Stay tuned for more reviews.