Early Book Review: Roseblood by A. G. Howard (Buddy Read)


Title: Roseblood
Author: A. G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet, ABRAMS
Date: January 10th, 2017
Pages: 464
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads): In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

spoiler vrpca

About our buddy read

I read Roseblood with Jasmine from How Useful It Is.

Her review should be live at the same time as mine, so make sure to visit her blog and read her review.

We both composed three questions for each other, and you can read my questions here on my blog (with our answers) and hers on her blog.

1. Have you seen/read Phantom of the Opera before you started this book?

Jasmine: I have seen a movie Phantom of the Opera and I liked it. I saw it a long time ago so my memory is sketchy. It’s cool that this book reference a lot about music, but the story just doesn’t grab my attention.

Irena: I saw Phantom of the Opera movie and I really, really liked it. It has been a while since the last time I saw it and now I think it would have been a good idea if I saw it once more before reading the book.

2. What do you think about the world building?

Jasmine: The world building could be interesting if all of the remaining 25% of the book can be spread out to the first 75% of the book. It has potential to be interesting.

Irena: The world building was done pretty confusing. I honestly think that it could have been done better, maybe if more things were explained at the first third of the book.

3. What part of the book do you find the most interesting?

Jasmine:  I find the remaining 25% of the book interesting, but at the same time, it becomes too much information because everything is being revealed at once.

Irena: The legend about Phantom was the most interesting part of the story. I read it twice because I didn’t want to miss anything.


My Review:

I rarely feel guilty about writing my reviews, but this one is one of those rare cases when I do.
Because I was so excited for Roseblood. I even sent my review request to the publishing house Amulet Books, and, since so many book bloggers wanted to read this book, I know how privileged I am to have recieved a physical proof copy.

You can probably guess that my expectations for this novel were high. I read Howard’s Splintered and really enjoyed it, so when I found out about her retelling of Phantom of the Opera, one of the best musicals out there (which is based on the book I haven’t read), I was so excited. Roseblood quickly became one of my most anticipated new releases.

I am sad to say that this book wasn’t the best book I read this year. It wasn’t as excellent as I wanted for it to be. It was just good. And that is it. I can’t even say I loved it, I can only say that I loved some parts of it (like amazingly described images) and the rest I found to be confusing, boring or mediocre.

The story follows Rune who transfers to new school after a tragedy that happened.
On the very few pages we already can read one of tropes in ya fiction: a new girl finds herself opposite a school diva and becomes her rival.
I don’t mind tropes, they are tropes for a reason after all, and it is on the author how the certain story will develop, and how he/she is going to approach to a situation that most readers have already read about in some other story.
The reason why I’m mentioning it here is simply because I wanted to tell you that in that certain situation, I found myself on Kat‘s (school diva) side.

Rune was hard to connect with.

In whole honesty, it was really hard for me to connect with any of characters. Thorn was too mysterious at first (although as we get to know his story the whole book becomes so much better).
Side characters were intersting, but weren’t explored enough. Rune said she was friends with them, but we got to see them so rarely that when Rune was worried about their friendship, I couldn’t be concered. I just didn’t feel it.

The story itself is very confusing and it takes 150 pages for the story to become somewhat interesting.
150 pages is simply too long, and because I was confused most of the time troughout the whole book, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m confused because I simply don’t understand the story (because English is not my first language, or maybe my brain cells just don’t work fast enough), or maybe the writer didn’t describe the world in a way to bring it closer to the reader, to make reader understand it better…

Also, I didn’t like how succubus/incubus thing was replaced with the word vampire at times, when these are two (or three if you want) words that mean totally different creatures, so there was no need to add more confusion to already confusing story.

My favorite book character was Diable. He was the ghost cat. Smart little guy! The way author described him made me imagine him as devon rex, so now I wonder what kind of cat breed was he.

The best part of the story is Legend about Phantom. I read it couple of times just to observe everything.

Last 80 pages are the most interesting and where everything starts to make sense.

I feel like, if I ever decide to reread Roseblood, I would enjoy it more.
I am still debating whether I would reread it, because it took me forever to finish it the first time around.


25 thoughts on “Early Book Review: Roseblood by A. G. Howard (Buddy Read)”

  1. I don’t think this sounds like my kind of read, although I do love the theatre and would love to see Phantom in the theatre. You did a great job of writing a fair review, I can see this would be difficult as it is an ARC that many people want and you were lucky to get the physical copy so soon.
    I like that you did a Buddy read of it too, nice idea to add questions in from each other. I don’t think I would re read a book that was so long that I didn’t think was excellent, but if you do, maybe you will like it more the second time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. # questions thing was Jasmine’s idea, I should have stress that out in my review I guess. She often has buddy reads with other bloggers so she’s a pro when it comes to them. 😀
      Thank you Amanda for saying that my review was fair. I know what you mean, and I guess maybe I would enjoy it more because now I know the whole story so confussion wouldn’t be present anymore (at least I hope so), but I am debating bc it is a long book and there are so many great books I’d rather reread instead…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your review! I like all of the pros/cons you mentioned here.. Your English is really good, especially since you self taught. I don’t think English being a second language play a role in this because it didn’t prevent you from enjoying many other books. This book just wasn’t well organized.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought you were aiming 3.5? In this case, it’s less than 3 stars? Also I think the author mentioned succubus because if only mentioned vampire, we may think don’t they eat by sucking blood instead of energy?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When I finished the book I thought I would give it 3,5 stars bc I was in love with that Legend about phantom, but then I thought about it and decided that if book takes you 10 days to read and you feel like you’re reading a never ending story, 3,5 stars is not realistic rating. I read better books in few days and rated them only 3 stars, so that’s why I rated this one the way I did.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ☹ Ohh, I was so excited about this one, but from your review, I don’t think it’s my kind of book. I’ve read the original book, watch many versions of the musical, know the songs, and watched the most recent film, so you could say I’m a fan with high expectations haha. But I don’t know, I’m still curious and what you said about the legend of the Phantom sounds quite intriguing, so maybe if I ever see it at a library, I’ll get it. Great review Irena!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see many phrasing reviews on goodreads, and twitter is full of fangirling about this novel, so I suggest you to give this one a try. Who knows, you might end up loving it! This book wasn’t my cup of tea, but maybe it will be yours. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t read this book yet and I’m sorry to read that you felt let down. I know how it feels to have such high hopes for a book then it doesn’t meet your expectations. I do love the Phantom of the Opera music and saw the production live and loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your honest review. I love the format of this post. I’m sorry you were not able to truly enjoy the book. Will there be a sequel? Maybe the sequel will be better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. According to Goodreads, there is still not official sequel, but I think there will be sequel, because the book left space for it.
      And I have a feeling it will be better then this book, because we got answers in this novel. so hopefully there won’t be confusion inbook two.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is great to know! I loved the Splintered series and I’m really interested in getting this but if this is a series, I will have have to wait until all the books come out before I make the purchase. 😀


  6. Oh I’m dying to read this book! A. G. Howard is one of my favorite authors and I love the Phantom of the Opera story. I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this book, I’m a little scared now LOL but I’ll read it anyway, of course 😀
    English is my second language too! But I think this book is going to be tranlated… I hope so xD
    Oh and I really like the Phantom of the Opera movie!
    Loved your review! It’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about this one. It doesn’t seem like my kind of book but I’m actually looking forward to reading it.
    Awesome review.


  8. It’s all because of Hype: authors don’t realize that sometimes their own hype is hazardous to their book’s health!
    I am lucky that Gretchen from chicnerdreads messaged me on Twitter today and since she saw how much I have been wanting this book, she is mailing me her ARC. I mean, seriously, how nice is that??
    I’m going to send her a book back in return even though she said I didn’t need to. I think it’s the right thing to do. And she’s in the US so shipping won’t be as high as the two packages I just sent to Sammi in AUS and Anne in The Netherlands! $122!! Geez.
    Anyway, I am just going to bring my expectations down bc of your and Jasmine’s reviews and just hope for the best. Cause I still hope it’s something I will love, and not another case of Stealing Snow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, that is really nice of her! I hope you will end up liking it more then Jasmine and I did.
      OmG, 122$ is A LOT!! Too much. AUS means Australia, not Austia, right?
      But still… I had no idea Overseas post was that expensive, I always posted packages only to Europe, and yes, it is expensive, but not that expensive!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Australia you got it! I was surprised at how expensive it was…I got Sammi’s package today and posted it on Instagram but will make a post about the book mail. And even though it’s pricey, I still want to send you a book. I think it was higher bc the weight: I sent Sammi five books and Anne five books and some goodies for SFATW (Souvenirs From Across The World). I was shocked at the prices too. But it will never deter me from book mail!!


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