Blog Tour & Review: By Blood & Moon Child
by Tracy E. Banghart
Book Crushin is excited to be hosting a review stop in conjunction with Xpresso Book Tours for the By Blood Series by Tracy E. Banghart. In this post we will spotlight & review both books and there is an awesome giveaway!
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.
By Blood was a totally different story than any I have read. Yes, I did expect this book to be about vampires since it was YA paranormal and with a title about blood, but it is nothing of the sort, the title has deeper meanings to the story that I will not divulge. However, it is about Druids & I have never read any fiction about Druids before and was worried about it being too spiritual and possibly too deep in religious metaphor. But it was nothing of the sort. By Blood is a fantastically written, fast-paced, summer romance story! I was intrigued the entire time, even if I knew from the beginning what was most likely to transpire, I still wanted to turn the page and read more. The characters are unique and everything felt very realistic for 17/18 year olds. Plenty of teenage family drama, fun and fantasy made the story much more than just a summer romance that involves magic and Druid ceremonies! It’s hard to talk much about the plot while keeping this review spoiler-free!
Emma Wong is a fantastic character! Like I mentioned, she is very realistic 17 year old to me. She has ideals that revolve around fashion and boys, major issues with her family life and ultimately just wants to escape the situation she is currently stuck in. She knows what guy she is interested in but tries to keep her distance, while the typical summer fling guy is easily attainable. She makes choices based on rebellion and inclusion. All in all she starts to discover who she really is all wrapped up in some mystery, suspense and good ole make out sessions!
This was worth the 4 hearts I gave it for its uniqueness, character development and of course the hot crushes!
Moon Child (By Blood #2) Tracy E. Banghart
Before Emma’s adventures in Oxford, her best friend Diana came face-to-face with a killer…
Diana Calvert is so over high school. Who cares if Olivia hates her? And David needs to forget about having a crush on her STAT. Even Emma’s crazy fashion choices can’t keep Diana entertained. All she can hope for is a dance scholarship to a college as far away as possible from too-small, too-boring, too-nothing-ever-happens New Freedom, PA.
Then Diana meets Nicholas Woodhaven. He’s pale, angry…yet weirdly charming. The more time they spend together, the more she wonders who – or what – he really is. Because he isn’t anything like the other guys she knows. Not with the whole only-going-out-at-night thing. And living with his creepy aunt. And not going to school.
Just when Diana thinks she’s got Nicholas all figured out, people in her small, nothing-ever-happens town start dying. She has to wonder – can she trust him? And even more alarming – could she be next?
A murder mystery with a paranormal twist, Moon Child is best read under the covers with a flashlight…if you dare!
Moon Child is another fun read! Tracy E. Banghart has an energetic, easy writing style that grips you in mystery and keeps you reading. Just like in By Blood there is a ‘paranormal edge’ to the murder mystery that revolves around Emma’s best friend Diana back home in New Freedom, PA. This book keeps you thinking & reading until the very end.
I wasn’t as in love with Diana’s story as much as I liked Emma’s but that doesn’t mean the story wasn’t intriguing. Again, Tracy writes fantastic characters that are angsty and feel true to life. This might actually be why I didn’t like this book as much, as I felt less connected with Diana as I did Emma (full disclosure I read the books back to back so they were both fresh in my mind budding up against each other). So as a testament to the writing, if you just can’t connect with a well crafted character then it is harder to like the overall story. Again, this is in no way a negative review! I am just grasping for an explanation, but I can barely write a thing about this book without giving something away! And trust me you don’t want me to give anything away as the twist in this book is what makes it so intriguing. I just felt it lacked the punch and intrigue that so captivated me in By Blood. However, the romance in this book between Diane and Nicolas was done extremely well and was the highlight of the story for me. So, if you like murder mystery, romance and a paranormal twist than check out Moon Child.
Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.