BLEED is a collection of interconnected short stories about several teenagers over the course of one day. It’s a big day for all of them, from Nicole, who hooks up with Kelly’s boyfriend, Sean, to Kelly herself, who, on the opposite coast from all of this, hooks up with the convicted murderer she’s been pen palling with for five and a half years, Robby–who finds himself in an interesting situation with Joy, a fifteen year old waitress who wants to be a princess, after Kelly leaves him at the diner where Joy works. That’s just a part of it; each and every one of their stories is somehow connected to all of the others. People who have never heard each other’s names are connected. It’s too confusing to explain all of their connections, but they’re there, and they’re fascinating.

The whole idea of these stories is very interesting. It reminded me a little of REAL TIME, by Pnina Kass Moed, but some of that switched points of view from paragraph to paragraph, and each character has one short story in Laurie Faria Stolarz’s book. The stories themselves are powerful, haunting, and painful to the point of disturbing sometimes–but also very real. These are moving stories, each with a realistic, well-written character at its center.

These are beautifully created stories, but they are not happy and wholesome; they are real, holding nothing back, so be prepared for that if you decide to pick this collection up (as you should).

I’ll be looking up Laurie Faria Stolarz’s backlist (the Blue is for Nightmares series), and waiting anxiously for the companion to BLEED that she’s writing!

Rating: 10/10