The Book of Blood and Shadow, by Robin Wasserman
This story is about a girl called Nora Kane. Ever since her brother died in a car crash and was labelled a murderer, everyone has hated her. Her dad locks himself in his room and her mum hardly talks to her. Her only comfort is translating latin. Then Nora moves school and she meets a buy called Chris and a girl called Adriane. The three quickly become friends, and Nora and Chris even closer because Chris is the only one who knows about Nora’s brother. Chris and Adriane become boyfriend and girlfriend, and Nora starts to feel a bit left out.
Then one of the teachers of the school tries to decipher a book which is in code that nobody, for centuries could ever begin to understand. Chris and his dorm mate Max, work on the book and try and decipher some of the latin that is written on it. Nora is left with the job of deciphering Elizabeth Weston’s letters, step daughter of the man who wrote the book. Nora finds a connection with herself and Elizabeth Weston that she can’t describe. She ends up spending more time in the school and at night and finds herself mostly with Max. They talk about the wonders of latin and other stuff. Then one day, they are walking up a tower’s steps, and they kiss. From then on they’re boyfriend and girlfriend and things are brilliant and they all live happily ever after.
But real stories don’t have a happy ending… Chris is murdered, Adriane can’t speak and Max goes missing, framed for murder. Nora struggles to live her life. It’s going back to how it was when her brother was labelled a murderer, but now it’s her boyfriend. Then a boy turns up who claims to be Chris’ cousin. His name is Eli. While visiting her brother’s grave, Nora finds a postcard and some flowers that she knows are from Max. She solves the riddle on the postcard and it leads her to Peru. Adriane has recovered and she goes to Peru with her. Eli, follows them and ends up saving their life a few times. They find Max but Nora feels that somethings changed between them. They seem more distant and are afraid to trust each other.
Is Max still on their side?
Is Eli really Chris’ cousin?
And what are the mysterious organisations, Hledeci and the Fiedi Defendors, and how are they connected to the book?
I loved this book, even though I think it’s for older readers. It had a gripping story line and had me hooked throughout.