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Bleeding Earth

Culver City, CA : Adaptive Books, an imprint of Adaptive Studios, [2016]
Physical Description:
247 pages ; 22 cm
High school senior Lea wishes she could ignore the blood oozing from the earth, causing her New Hampshire town and the world to panic, but the blood, hair, and bones that grow from the earth turn Lea into a prisoner in her own home, and eventually she will have to rescue her sanity, herself, and her girlfriend.


Call Number
TEEN Ward, K.

On Order



Between Mother Nature and human nature, disasters are inevitable.

Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood oozed out of the ground, even through the concrete, even in the water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.

Lea wishes she could ignore the blood. She wishes she could spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn't so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and her girlfriend however she can.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Lea can't believe it when the blood first appears, oozing out of the ground at the cemetery. She and her friend Hillary are sure there must be an explanation. But the blood continues to rise, while animals disappear and businesses close indefinitely; soon the blood steadily seeping from the ground is a worldwide natural disaster. Before long there is hair and then bones mixed in with the blood. Lea's parents board up their home and begin rationing food and water, and although she knows it is safer to stay indoors, the solitude becomes too much for Lea. She misses Hillary and her friends from high school; she misses her semi-secret girlfriend, Aracely. But the rising blood brings out the worst in Lea's neighbors-her social life won't matter if she doesn't survive. Well written and descriptive, this is the story of a regular girl forced to deal with an unprecedented event. Rising blood levels set the pace, while internal turmoil and external chaos set the mood. Lea is relatable, though her credibility is sometimes questionable. Realistic depictions of the town's reaction to the natural disaster, progressive changes to the blood itself, and Lea's developing relationship with her not-yet-out girlfriend ground the work's unnatural setting. A smattering of strong language and some sexual situations are included. VERDICT Vivid images of blood, hair, and bones, and a budding romantic relationship-this is for readers who like their apocalyptic horror grounded in reality and kind of gross.--Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University R. M. Cooper Library, South Carolina © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Debut author Ward sets teen romance against apocalyptic mayhem in this uneven cautionary tale. The premise is decidedly gruesome: blood begins seeping out of the ground, followed by clumps of hair and even bones, resulting in the breakdown of society as the blood level, and terror, rises. High school senior Lea loves hanging out with her friends and exploring her romance with her girlfriend, Aracely, but becomes cut off as schools and businesses begin to close, and the struggle for food and water begins. Nearly half the book is spent setting up the action, and Lea gives much more thought to getting closer to Aracely than what is happening in the world around her, her narration lacking the urgency that the situation would suggest. Things take a shocking, abrupt turn for Lea in the third act, and Lea and Aracely must make their way to safety while navigating hunger, thirst, and threats of violence. The ecological message is fairly unsubtle, and readers are left wondering about the origins of the blood, which goes unexplained. Ages 14-up. Agent: Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

"Bones Found to Be of Human Origin, Blood Beginning to Fester." In the spirit of M.T. Anderson's Thirsty (1997), Ward's apocalyptic novel will have readers checking the ground beneath their feet after each turn of the page. Readers meet Lea, a confident teenage girl who just wants to hang out with her friends and spend quality time with her new girlfriend, Aracely. But when the Earth begins to ooze blood and other body parts, Lea's hometown becomes a war zone, with citizens fighting over fresh water and food rations, and Lea becomes ever more concerned with her dwindling faith in humanity, her declining mental state, and the blood that won't stop rising. To her family and close friends, Lea's sexuality is largely a nonissue, which is refreshing (and sensible, considering the impending apocalypse); furthermore, readers looking for the next LGBT heroine will love Lea's strong-willed attitude. The frightful moments are craftily deployed, creeping up and startling readers when they're least expecting it. And the government PSAs regarding the blood that punctuate Lea's narration are enough to panic even the most fearless of readers, their commonplace mundanity highlighting the freakishness. Grisly and sickening (but in the best way possible), the novel more than delivers on its promise of the macabre for lovers of horror, and curious readers will close the book with countless questions about religion, science, and human nature. (Horror. 13 up) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

As Lea and her friend exit a cemetery, they make an ominous discovery: they have stepped onto blood. Looking closely, they realize blood is seeping into the grass, covering the roads, lapping the sidewalks. The earth itself is bleeding, and this is only the beginning. As the blood levels rise, it becomes mixed with hair and bones. Eventually schools and businesses close travel is too treacherous and everyone is confined to home, rationing food and water. Inevitably the worst of human nature surfaces. Debut author Ward paints a horrific, Bible-inspired Bloodpocalypse, but the secondary story line is just as interesting: Lea and her girlfriend, Aracely, exploring their feelings for each other in spite of the terror around them. Lea is a typical teenager ­obnoxious, rebellious, and determined to be with her friends, regardless of the danger. It's a situation that begs for resolution, though some readers may find this one frustrating. Still, expect plenty of chatter around this, as well as suspicious glances at squishy ground.--Bradburn, Frances Copyright 2016 Booklist