On the Same Page: Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick | Review

On the Same Page: Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick | ReviewTitle: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Publishing Info: February 5, 2013 by Macmillan
Source: Gift from Alyssa
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 17, 2015

Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice. An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.

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MIDWINTERBLOOD was honestly unlike any book I’ve ever read. It was captivating, moving, and incredibly interesting. I wasn’t quite sure what it was about when I first started because I like to go into books totally blind so as to keep any and every possible “omg moments” still a surprise. I read the synopsis but still wasn’t quite sure exactly what that entailed so without analyzing it too much, I dove straight in.

The story opens in the year 2073 with a young man traveling to a mysterious island and what he encounters on this island as well as the people he meets both feel incredibly familiar, and this set of characters, feelings, realizations, and location set up the entire book. The book is broken down into seven parts of seven different stories, but they each share an echo of the important elements that span generations: a phrase, an item, a feeling — and I was reading, the connections between each story really started to give me not only a sense of the big picture but also a wonderful FEELING that all of the stories had such a deep connection and how it spanned beyond obstacles, beyond space, beyond time.

This story was just beautifully put together. I loved that MIDWINTERBLOOD was a tale about how strong the bonding of two souls can be and how when two souls are meant to be together, there is nothing on this earth to stop them from accomplishing that, no matter how many attempts it takes. This book was very much a love story but not necessarily a romance. Yes, there were stories in which the two souls experienced a romantic love, but the love in this book spanned much more than just a romantic kind and I loved how it was portrayed a little bit differently in each story. It was so beautiful to be reminded how many different kinds of love there are in this world and each one is equally important.

I also really loved how the book started in the future and worked its way backward in time. I think it meant that much more and held that much more weight once I got to the origin of the entire book and the last piece of history of these two characters/souls. It was just beautiful and I was totally in awe seeing every single piece of the puzzle and every clue really come together. I’ll admit that at times I do struggle a with books that are formatted into so many small, specific stories because I really like to get to know the characters and setting of the novel and short stories just don’t really allow that a lot of the time. The wonderful thing about MIDWINTERBLOOD is that I was getting to know them all along! I just really loved how everything fit perfectly together and I felt a real sense of wholeness and peace at the end of this book.

I think it’s a hard book for me to recommend to someone because it IS so different — I’ve never read a book like this before and I can’t even really classify it into a genre — but if you’re looking for a book that will transcend beyond the pages and really stick with you, I would definitely tell you to pick up MIDWINTERBLOOD. It was really beautiful and honestly so accessible for so many age ranges.

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Something a little deeper. The traveling souls concept was just so wonderful. I loved how this all came together in several different ways and a little less… unconventionally? Than another author may have written it. I just loved how different it felt.
Left Me Wanting More: Initial connection between the stories. This is probably more a personal thing since I sometimes struggle with short stories, but at the very beginning, I really wasn’t sure how they would come together. The more I read, the more I enjoyed it though and I LOVED the ending!

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Read it!

It’s hard for me to say who exactly to recommend this to, but I definitely say read it! It was really enjoyable and also made me think and I love when books get me thinking about something new and a little deeper. If you’re looking for something like this, definitely pick up MIDWINTERBLOOD!

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I read MIDWINTERBLOOD with Alyssa & Amy for our On the Same Page group read in January! They also have posts featuring this book today so don’t miss them! (They’re probably more exciting than my review, too!)

Alyssa (Books Take You Places) // Amy (Tripping Over Books)

7 thoughts on “On the Same Page: Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick | Review

  1. Tara @ The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

    Is it just a coincidence that you have featured this book (last year’s Printz winner) on the day the Printz awards have been announced? You’ve made me want to finally read the book! I bought it last year after it won and it’s been on my short TBR for months since. But I lent a friend my copy of the book and she hasn’t returned it yet 🙁

    We actually did a presentation on the book at a state conference, and the friend (the one who borrowed it) did a book talk on the book to demonstrate how to get teens interested in reading it. Because of the many unique qualities of the story, she had a very difficult time crafting her 2 minute presentation! I can’t wait to see for myself how the story comes together.
    Tara @ The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh! recently posted…It’s Printz Time: 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards Announced!

  2. Emma @ Miss Print

    I was also really impressed with how Sedgwick draws all of the stories here together. The plotting reminded me of Code Name Verity because it was so tight and I immediately wanted to see how Sedgwick had brought everything full circle immediately after I finished reading it. I’ve been recommending this one and The Ghosts of Heaven to anyone who will stand still. They aren’t the easiest sells because they’re so different as you said but also so worth it. Thanks for the review!
    Emma @ Miss Print recently posted…Blog Book Giveaway: Dearest

  3. Alexa S.

    Midwinterblood is fascinating, isn’t it? But I agree that it’s a difficult one to recommend! It’s the kind of read that won’t work for everyone, but it’s also really , really good. Glad you guys read this for On the Same Page!
    Alexa S. recently posted…Wildlife – Fiona Wood

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