Title: Blood Roses
Author: Chloe Testa
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Horror
It began with a rose and the girl nobody else could see.
Her eyes follow Tom wherever he goes. Watching. Waiting. She leaves him gifts of roses and blood. She is constantly surrounding him. Her touch is like fire and ice and her scarlet eyes haunt him. She will hurt him. So…why can’t anybody else see her?
Reality turns against Tom as he desperately clings to shreds of his sanity, knowing she’s real. Knowing she isn’t just in his head. With time slipping away from him, the battle between the unseen girl and the voice of reason is a dangerous one Tom knows he can never win. He has too much to lose.
As the battle commences, he has to overcome the cruel voice clawing at the back of his mind, whispering in agreement with those around him that he is rapidly falling into madness.
Who do you trust when your own mind rebels against you?
Blood Roses starts off giving you the chills. You’re introduced to Rose House, which is an average family’s home until strange things start to happen. Murder and disappearances occur when blood, red roses fill the grounds. The abandoned house is now home to nothing but urban legends. Despite these awful things that happened within the house, Tom and his friends, Sabastian, Oliver, and Mariana set a bet to enter Rose House.
Tom a well-developed character enters the house on a dare. Time passes by quickly and before he knows it times up and nothing happened…well that’s until he turns to leave and the myths now become a reality. After coming face to face with a young girl with crimson red eyes, he shrugs it off as his mind playing tricks on him…from him being scared of being in a house where someone was murdered. However, after leaving Rose House Tom has this never ending feeling of being watched. And when red roses, identical to the ones that fill the yard of Rose House show up everywhere from him locker to his house, he knows that the girl with red eyes is after him.
Contemplating whether he’s crazy or not tom confides in his friends. They are more than willing to try to catch this Alyse, but they can’t see her. No one can. Tom begins to spiral down a dark path as this girl who is a creature from myths torments and tortures him without the help of his friends. Hell bent on getting them to understand she’s real he invites his friends back to Rose House to see her for themselves. But they still can’t see her and not everyone makes it out alive.
Tom is blamed for the murder and put on some pretty heavy drugs when he’s diagnosed with some mental disorder. If only a mental hospital would keep him safe from Alyse. She’s expressed that once she wants someone she gets them.
The book was pretty enjoyable. There were parts that did repeat themselves, such as when Tom felt Alyse watching him he kept repeating that he knew she was there, he didn’t know how or where, but she was there. Once the novel got to the big plot line along with the ending it put me on the edge of my seat, which is good.
The characters were realistic and well developed. Each had their own personality and it came across clear within the book. Alyse, this supernatural demon of sorts is grotesque and described very well from her paper thin wings and her distinctive smell, death.
Overall, I give the novel three stars. It was a little slow in beginning, but it does pick up and it doesn’t disappoint. It also ends very openly, so one can only hope that a sequel is in progress.