Book Review: Blood Brothers by Colleen Nelson

Blood BrothersBook: Blood Brothers
Author: Colleen Nelson
Published: February 4, 2017
Publisher: Dundurn
Number of Pages: 240
Format: ebook
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 Stars
Tags: YA, Contemporary, Five Stars, Received for Review


Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Jakub Kaminsky is the son of Polish immigrants, a good Catholic boy, and a graffiti artist. While his father sleeps, Jakub and his best friend, Lincoln, sneak out with spray paint to make their mark as Morf and Skar.

When Jakub gets a scholarship to an elite private school, he knows it’s his chance for a better life. But it means leaving Lincoln and the neighbourhood he calls home.

While Jakub’s future is looking bright, Lincoln’s gets shady as he is lured into his brother’s gang. Jakub watches helplessly as Lincoln gets pulled deeper into the violent world of the Red Bloodz. The Red Bloodz find out Jakub knows more than he should about a murder and want him silenced — for good. Lincoln has to either save his friend, or embrace life as one of the Red Bloodz.

My Review
It's been a while since I read a book that I connected to, that I loved, that I read in less than a day. This book was exactly what I needed right now. Not only did it make me think about real issues that are happening today, but it gave me a new perspective on the people who are living the lives like those in this book.

My favorite part of this book had to be our main characters, Jakub and Lincoln. Jakub is the son of a Polish immigrant, who moved to Canada with his late wife to try and live a better life. Jakub is a deeply constructed character. He lives with his father in the only apartment his father can afford. It was interesting to watch Jakub develop through the book. Especially when it came to how he thought about his friendship with Lincoln. Lincoln and Jakub had been friends for as long as they could remember. It was really interesting to see Lincoln change from when his brother got home, to him getting involved in the Red Bloodz, the local gang his brother runs. Both of these characters were so real, and very complex. Their reactions were real and human. They were, quite literally, the kids from across the street.

And I think that that was one of the big things about this book, this really does happen. The people who are being pulled into gangs sit next to your daughter in school, are the kids down the street who are "just little trouble makers." I feel like when we talk about people who are in gangs, we talk about them as if they are not actually people, and they are. 

Another really mentionable aspect of this book was the atmosphere Nelson was able to create. Nelson was so descriptive when creating the setting and all the people that showed up throughout the story. I was picturing everything that was happening in my head as I was reading, and it was awesome to have her very well put together writing to help propel the story along.

So overall I'm not doing this story justice. This was a wonderfully written story with a heart breaking story line, and amazingly developed characters. This is the type of book that everyone should read at least one; not only because it shows the heart breaking reality of who is involved with gangs, but because it also shows the horrifying ending that a lot of these people face.                 

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  1. This sounds good! And nice that it makes you think, those are the best kinds of books, especially when it's about something uncomfortable. Great point about how the kids in gangs could be the kid next door, and that they're people too. The character development sounds awesome.

    1. It was! Had to be one of my favorite parts. :)

  2. It sounds like this is an important book with something urgent to say - thank you for a passionate review:)


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