Published by Amulet Books on January 10th 2017
Genres: Adaptations, Europe, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, General, People & Places, Young Adult Fiction
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.
I don’t know anything about The Phantom of the Opera, but the kindest thing I could say about Roseblood is that it has inspired me to want to read Leroux’s version despite not being curious enough to care before.
RoseBlood started off okay (more of a meh instead of a wow). I wasn’t hooked on the storyline or as Rune as a main character. She was all right in her good, levelheaded moments (rare as those were), but really bratty and self-centered about a majority of the time. Didn’t see a legitimacy in her friendships or in that cheesy how-is-this-even-romantic romance. And one recurring, annoying aspect in the plot was the usage of ‘gypsy’ in a negative, stereotypical light (“Cursed gypsy blood”). It was so unnecessary and cheap.
The writing, I thought, was beautiful in the first few chapters. But it became too much. Everything, even the most ordinary things, was described in long over-the-top flowery paragraphs that I just wanted to skip over. I’m almost certain that if all the overwritten fluff was taken out, the book would be half its size and probably more pleasant to read.
The romance was tedious. I didn’t care for Rune and Thorn’s relationship. It all felt very forced and convenient. I’m not saying that I don’t like soul mates or destined lovers, but not like this. It was so cheesy it could make a cheese manufacturer sweat. When I finally reached the ending, I read it with the blankest face ever. It was supposed to be cute and make you feel things—but ehhh. I would have rather seen the two suffer at the hands of the Phantom (what a total pushover he was).