Monday, September 9, 2013

Review, Interview, and Giveaway: By Blood

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By Blood by Tracy E. Banghart

Publication Date: February 18th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please. 

Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it's a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can't fix. Even worse, there's (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he'll be witness to her family's dysfunction all. summer. long.

But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom...and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It's all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.

Trouble is, intriguing doesn't often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.

By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others - or tear us apart. 

---Now, a review!----

By Blood by Tracy E. Banghart was an extremely entertaining read, and I would definitely recommend the book to fans of Young Adult Paranormal. The story is one you will read in one sitting, and I will definitely get my hand on the sequel, Moon Child, sometime soon.

The main character, Emma, was fun to read about. She felt real, vivid, and she is in no way a wishy-washy character. Another one of my favorite characters was Josh, who I found sweet, and Emma's new friend, Ash. However, I did not like Simon, who I kind of hated from the start. I kind of wished Emma had the same feelings as me about him.

I also liked the family drama aspect in the novel. It is very relatable, and, as the author states in the interview below, both of the parents are alive. *Whew* Also, I found it more amusing than I should have that Emma called her brother Fermin "Vermin". I liked the way things turned out in the end.

Now, may I mention the setting? Oxford, England was an amazing place to set By Blood! I have always wanted to go to England... and it is England! Who couldn't love a book set there? I also feel that the author is passionate about the setting, which brings much more life to the story and writing.

The only problem I had with this book is that sometimes Emma seemed a little too naive, especially about Simon. However, I know this was just a way to show she was flawed. That doesn't mean I didn't want to shake some reality into her sometimes. Fortunately for her, she continued to redeem herself with her bright personality.

The pacing was perfect, and kept me on my seat. The writing is mysterious, funny, scary, and an array of other type of tones. So, really, you will enjoy this book no matter what mood you are in. I would also call this s "quick and addicting read" so don't be afraid to pick it up! You will have it finished in no time. There are literally no boring parts.

Overall, I really enjoyed By Blood and would award it a shining 3.8 stars! It is an amazing read, and highly recommended by me. There is a great heroine, an adorable love interest, and great mystery/paranormal aspects. Also, I loved the dialogue and the way it flowed realistically and didn't seem forced. Go pick up this book!

-----3.8/5 Stars----

Here's an interview with Tracy E. Banghart!!!

1. Could you Describe your By Blood series in 3 words?
Unique, romantic, mysterious

2. How did you get your inspiration for your novels?

Moon Child was inspired by a blustery fall day and remembering how trapped I felt in high school. Also, by some trends in YA books I didn't like: weak, passive main characters, dead/absent parents, characters being really blasé about fellow classmates being killed, among others.  By Blood was inspired by me missing England (I went to grad school there) and wanting to tell an Emma-centric story.

3. Who were the characters you had the most fun writing about? And why?

Definitely Emma. She's got such a vibrant personality, and always felt very real to me - she's got flaws and makes mistakes, but she's also really fun and dramatic and confident too. I would have loved to have a friend like her in high school. It would have made things interesting!

I also loved writing Nicholas, in Moon Child. He's so mysterious, but also has this vulnerable side…I felt at the time like he was a really interesting, well-rounded love interest for Diana. *I* would have been interested, if I'd met him in high school!

4. When did you know when you wanted to be a writer?

I've known as long as I can remember. This is going to sound really cheesy (and maybe a little pathetic!) but books were my best friends growing up. I always knew I wanted to tell my own stories.

5. Where did you mostly write the By Blood Series?

Moon Child was written mostly in the living room of my house in Maryland…By Blood was written In Georgia, where my husband and I stayed for several months while he was preparing for a deployment.

6. What is your favorite color? 

It's a tie: turquoise and hot pink

7. In a game of Truth or Dare, which option do you normally pick?

Probably truth

----Giveaway Time!----
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!


  1. Great interview, ladies! And I'm glad you enjoyed the book, Emily! It sounds like a fun read! Thanks for being on the tour! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by... and for hosting! :)

  2. Thanks so much, Emily! I love your perspective on the book and Emma. :-)

    1. Thanks you! I enjoyed the book so much :)

  3. That sounds really interesting! Great review and interview . I like learning few things about the author.
    Thank you for the giveaway :)