Publisher: Random House Children's Book
When Nora takes on an independent study translating ancient letters with her best friend, Chris, she never expects him to end up dead, or for her boy friend to be the accused murderer. In a search for answers, Nora ends up in Prague, hunting down a machine that may not exist, all the while being followed by the very people who may have killed Chris.A lot of bloggers said this book was The Da Vinci Code of Young Adult literature, and I definitely agree. There's murder, suspense, questions on God, betrayal, and so on. It was a book, that if I had had time, I would have read in one sitting. Nora is a narrator reminiscent of Mara Dyer, with a good sense of snark. Her family life added a layer of depth to this story, and it was fascinating to see the correlations between her life and Elizabeth's.
The themes of belief, doubt, the benefits/detriments of religion, etc. are what make this book really stand out. Anyone who says that YA lit is all fluff and cotton candy is definitely proven wrong by The Book of Blood and Shadow. While Nora is certainly more of a skeptic, Wasserman displays the more religious side of thinking through supporting characters.
The mystery is the real focus of the novel, and with almost each chapter ending on a cliffhanger, I kept reading as fast as I could. The combination of the letters and the Latin is intriguing and the setting of Prague is surprisingly perfect. It's easy to picture secret societies hiding out among its streets.
The Book of Blood and Shadow is definitely a book I want to reread in the future!
If You Like These Authors, You'll Like This: Libba Bray, Dan Brown