A review by hldavids
Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz


Stolarz, Laurie F. Bleed. New York, NY: Hyperion, 2006.

Abstract and Mini-Review
Bleed tells the story of Nichole. As is often with first impressions, when we are first introduced to Nichole we think we know exactly who she is -- the popular girl, the one everyone likes, the do-gooder. Each additional chapter tells the inside story from the point of view of a character connected (even if only tangentially) to Nichole and through their stories we are able to see additional layers of Nichole. At the end, we are left with a very new understanding of Nichole that will hopefully make us realize that everything is not always as it first appears.

Recommendation Justification
The characters represented in this story collection range from age 11 to 22.

Uses in the Library/Classroom
This book contains many "red flag" issues.
1. Maria is a cutter and asks friends to cut her as well.
2. Maria's mothers boyfriend pays her to strip for him.
3. Sadie and Ginger's mother is obsessed with food. She pins signs to Sadie that say "Do not feed me," and locks the cupboard doors to keep Ginger thin for dancing.
4. Nichole loses her virginity to her best friend's boyfriend.
5. Kelly has been writing to a convict in prison for five years.

Because of this, I would certainly not recommend it as a whole-class read. Despite the red flags, I would still order this for my high-school library. The red flag issues are issues that do occur today, and students need to see the effect of these decisions. The technique of changing point-of-view for each chapter and how they tie together is also an excellent example for writing.

Appropriateness of Artwork
Jacket Design: Elizabeth H. Clark

The cover art is a fingerprint heart in red ink -- alluding to the title and the one element that ties all of the stories together -- blood.