Gr 10 Up-Block is known for her fantastical, edgy, and highly feminized stories of young women, and this book fits neatly into that mold. Blood Roses consists of nine loosely connected short selections focusing on elemental and magical changes in each character. In "Skin Art," straitlaced Elodie Sweet finds tattoos mysteriously appearing on her body as romantic tension-and obsession-builds between herself and an older tattoo artist. With each new tattoo, her perception of herself grows and changes, but she ultimately finds that the tattoos are only superficial and disappear as she realizes that she is not in love with the man. In "Wounds and Wings," Audrey finds a fairy whose wings have been cruelly torn off. She takes him home to nurse him to health and learns to see the similarity between his injuries and insecurities and her own. The characters walk a fine line between the mundane and magical. It is impossible to decide if they are sane or not, or if it even matters. Blood Roses, like Block's other books, brims with sexual suggestion that is meant for more mature teens. This short book will appeal to reluctant readers, though Block's fans will find it on their own.-Stephanie L. Petruso, Anne Arundel County Public Library, Odenton, MD Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"Individual stories that are riveting and memorable.an overall collection that invites rereading." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books