RoseBlood by AG Howard
Star Rating: 3.25/5
Genre: Teen, Paranormal, Adaptations
Buy the book: Amazon
Synopsis (from Amazon): Rune Germain moves to a boarding school outside of Paris, only to discover that at this opera-house-turned-music-conservatory, phantoms really do exist. RoseBlood is a Phantom of the Opera–inspired retelling in which Rune’s biggest talent—her voice—is also her biggest curse.
If you follow me on Instagram - @danafraedrich – you’ll probably have seen me mention (to an annoying degree) that I am absolute trash for Phantom of the Opera. I love it so much! I don’t know how many times I’ve read the book by Gaston Leroux, and I’ve seen the stage play three times, twice in London and once here in the US.
Like Erik and Christine’s love, RoseBlood and I were doomed from the start. How’s that for dramatic? 😜
There were a lot of things I liked about this book and more that I didn’t. Firstly, I think AG Howard got the drama of the story down to a T. The angst! *dramatic flailing* I loved that about this book. I could practically hear the characters belting out their worry and pain. The overall concept was really interesting too. I won’t say exactly what that is because this is a spoiler-free review, but I think the overarching story was so clever and took a really fun angle on the Phantom. And the romance… *fans self* Whew! I dig it, y’all. And the landscape/atmosphere descriptions were beautiful without being overbearing. I really love the pictures Howard painted of bleeding roses and chipping, lichen-covered graves. I could feel the chill and gloom of the garden and chapel as I read.
Unfortunately, there’s another side of that last item which really annoyed me. I have a pet peeve about characters being described in too great detail. Go ahead and tell me so-and-so’s head rests against this person’s chest, but I do not need to know how tall everyone is to the inch! And of course everyone is stunningly beautiful, which also annoys me. I dislike books that promote unrealistic beauty standards, even more the idea you have to look just so in order to be important. Blergh.
I would also like to point out a huge characterization issue.
“Katarina. The soloist you threw under the tractor when you came plowing into tryouts.”
“You know, there are buses in the south."
~Me, just now
Sunny is a terrible caricature of someone from the American south. Just awful. I’m not generally a stickler for accuracy considering I write about magic and mythological creatures, but I’ve lived in the south my entire life and I can tell you no one talks like that.
There’s also an issue with the way students view one of the teachers (totally inappropriate), and it’s mentioned that one of Rune’s best friends back home is a “bulimic ballerina” before moving right along with the story. Um, wait. What? That is a serious enough issue that, because it was just glossed over, it was really distracting for me. I’m still wondering if that character is at least in some kind of counseling, or if Rune is keeping this potentially fatal secret for her.
And finally, the thing that’s gotten me with several books lately…the ending. I can’t say what I dislike about it because spoilers, but I think it was the wrong choice. I suspect I understand why AG Howard wrote it the way she did, but I don’t agree with it.
All in all, the story was enjoyable in places. I’m glad I read it because, as mentioned above, I love me anything POTO related, but I ended up disappointed.
Have you read RoseBlood? Share your thoughts below and thanks for reading!