Cover Image: Blood Moon

Blood Moon

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Member Reviews

This is really important piece of YA literature. Told through the medium of verse it looks at the shame and taboo attached to periods. You really empathise with characters and feel fully part of their journey through the book!
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What a powerful, challenging, necessary book. It's a tough read because Cuthew is unflinching in her portrayal of the all encompassing nature of online bullying - there is literally no escape - and the impact of this cruelty is painful to see. She lays bare the culture of sexual double standards that exists in society and even addresses the taboo of menstrual blood. This is a phenomenal debut and one that myself and colleagues have already started discussing about how to use with our Year 9-11 students, One of my top reads of 2020.
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I LOVED THIS BOOK. From start to finish this book was captivating and everything I need in school. A story about friendships, relationships, school, firsts bullying, periods and social media. As someone who just left school in August, i could have done with someone giving me Frankie's story to let me know everything was ok. Lucy's writing is incredible and she tells the story beautifully
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This is a great YA book!

Written in verse, it is a quick and engaging read.

It explores so many issues around bodies, body image, period shaming and embarrassment, attitudes to female bodies and bullying.

I think this is essential reading for any young person so that they understand that periods are nothing to be ashamed of, or to mock, and that it is something all humans should be able to have an open conversation about. Even adults who may feel squeamish should read this - particularly if you have an adolescent who you may need to talk to this about!

The fact that it also covers bullying/public shaming is a good thing as this happens over many issues and it really shouldn't.

I loved Frankie and how she managed to turn the situation around. I also loved Benjamin - a mature young man that other young men should model themselves on!

I look forward to more of Lucy Cuthew's writing.

Thanks to Walker books and Netgalley for access to this eARC.
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What an important book! Obviously I'm a little older than the target audience but the whole way through I thought I wish I had this book when I started my NORMAL monthly cycle. As a kid at that age when you start your period it's seen as an embarrassment but it isn't. Most females go through it and it shouldn't be seen as something to hide.  Share with your friends, dont be embarrassed by it. OWN IT!

I read it in a day!!!

I will be sharing this with my nieces when it gets to the time that they will need it because I really think it will help! Stock all the school libraries with this book 😂😂
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During astronomy loving Frankie´s first sexual experience, she gets her period. Whilst she is cringing inside, she feels reassured when Benjamin agrees with her that it is “only blood”.  To her horror, Harriet is then confronted with a ´period shaming´ meme that goes viral, turning their experience into something disgusting and shameful. The online shaming takes on a life of its own and Frankie begins to see her life spiral out of control.

Blood Moon exposes the often harsh realities of what life can be like for teenagers today. It is shocking but working with high schoolers, I see how sometimes it can be that brutal!

I love verse novels and devoured this book in one sitting. The structure lends itself well to the fast paced intensity of plot and character emotions.

Blood Moon gave me all the feels with its exploration of those giddy feelings of first love and the emotional rollercoaster of close friendships. But more than that, this novel breaks new ground by normalising our stories of menstruation. In putting this issue front and centre, and within the current context of social media ´period shaming´, online bullying and teenage fears of ´going viral´, Blood Moon helps to build empathy and destroy negative myths surrounding menstruation. It is personal AND political and I shall have no hesitation in getting this book into the hands of my students when we return to school in September. A clear 5 stars from me!!!

Unfortunately, the Netgalley file of Blood Moon I received was corrupted. However, after waiting (months!) in hope of a replacement copy, Walker Books YA kindly gifted me a hard copy, which is now in my school library with an order for more copies!
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Ah, that's a hard one to rate and review. It's such an important book, I love what it's trying to do... but I don't think that the verse book format works for it at all. I normally enjoy verse books but it didn't really read at one - it read as a regular novel with random length of lines. It didn't convey extra emotions this way and it would need so much more to fill in the gap. I really wish it was written in prose.

Apart from that, I loved it. It perfectly conveys what (I imagine) being a teenager is like right now, with smartphones and social media everywhere. It's feminist as hell and it's feminism at its best. Frankie is an amazing main character and I loved all her relationships: with her parents (!), her best friend, her extended group friend, with her boyfriend. They were all messy and felt so real. Also, Frankie is so strong and I admired her for that.

It's a book about destigmatising periods and about sex positivity. Half of humans have periods, get over it. Teenagers have sex, whether you like it or not, get over it. Actually, the sex component was so present in the first half that it was one of my "wow, I'm so ace" moments but these are precisely the sort of books teenagers need today because they sure as hell didn't exist 10 or so years ago when I was the intended audience. Just for that, I can't recommend it enough.

Overall, I definitely recommend it. I wish the format was different but it doesn't take away from the message and it's a superimportant one.
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‘“Are you sure?” he says, 
Still looking at his fingers.

I don't know
Whether he’s talking 
About hurting me
Or satisfying me.
This is so embarrassing. 
“I’m really OK”, I say,
“It’s just my period.”

“Phew”, he sights, nodding
Like he's trying to catch up.
“I guess it’s only blood.”

Frankie is a teenager who is a lover of physics and astronomy. She spends most of her spare time working at the planetarium or spending her nights in her tree house with her best friend Harriet looking at the stars. Frankie has a crush on Benjamin, the shy guy at school, and is ecstatic when she gets close to him and has her first sexual encounter with him one day after school. 
During this encounter however she gets her period. She is mortified, but Benjamin comforts her and states, “It’s only blood”. 
The next day however, someone has made and shared a meme of her encounter and it's going viral. Frankie’s universe implodes and she feels like she cannot trust anyone. 
I wish I had this book when I was younger. I could feel myself being pulled back to that time and how horrible it can be especially when people are so immature about getting periods. I can't imagine what it is like these days with social media being what it is. 
This is a beautifully written story and the prose did not put me off reading it. It touches on the wonderful and hard aspects of friendship and it hit home for me.
The story would have been better for me if there was more focus on the rebuilding of friendships after Frankie and Harriet's fight. I’m glad they didn’t lose their friendship but it would have been nice to see it have a more realistic path. 
TW: Online bullying, period shaming, ‘slut-shaming’.
I felt the story was especially strong in the area of discussing periods. It shows how hard it is to experience your period in a society that is so quick to shame it. I like that it did not hide away from how easy it is for online bullying to take place and that it can be quite hard to stop something once it has gone viral. 
I especially appreciated that there were a lot of feel good vibes to the story and how it tackled the menstrual shaming. Everyone should read it.
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Blood Moon is more than a story about removing the stigma of having periods; it's cleverly woven narrative blends friendships, romance and sexual experiences with the horrific fallout from online shaming. The situation Frankie finds herself in is all too real in a school setting, a time when young adults can feel extremely vulnerable, yet one in which they can struggle to show maturity, empathy and understanding. I loved Frankie's geeky nature; her love of physics and astronomy, her tentative steps into a relationship with the equally geeky Benjamin and her best friend Harriet. I spent a lot of time worrying about Harriet and I think there is a lot about her behaviours and background that scream for help and attention, but I was really glad that Lucy Cuthew didn’t go into further detail, it would have distracted things too much. I love it when an author leaves me wanting to know more...
This is a fab book, an important book, but thankfully it doesn't feel 'worthy', it’s simply a cracking read with a really important message (or two). Women have periods, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, or to be made fun of, it’s only blood.
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Blood Moon is one of those books that I'm still thinking about and can vividly remember the things I loved about it.

Blood Moon is written in beautifully flowing, lyrical verse. The way it's presented on the page enhances the story and I found that the verse form made for a really emotive, sensory reading experience.

The subject matter of period shaming is one I've never seen tackled in a book before, and actually I rarely come across books that acknowledge characters even having periods. It's definitely a subject that needs more discussion and Blood Moon does this in an honest, compassionate way. There's also plenty of humour and relationship dynamics so the plot feels varied.

I found the characters in this book really interesting and fleshed out well. They have flaws, strengths and interests, and definitely come across like real teenagers. I loved how the book explores Frankie's passion for space.

Blood Moon is an absolute must read for everyone. It's thought provoking, smart, funny and so many other wonderful things in between. I loved it!
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This should be a must read for all teenage girls.

Exploring the premise of peer pressure and bullying, Blood Moon is a perfect example of young adult at its finest.

With the sexualisation of females at its highest in the 21st century, Lucy Cuthew shows what it means to be a woman and the traumatic experiences endured by millions.

The book takes you on a roller coaster of emotion, feeling nothing but sympathy and pain for the protagonist.

Strong women are pushed down and told to be quiet but Cuthew ensures that her characters are heard and are perfect texamples of female empowerment.
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I have reviewed this book as part of my What I Read in July Video

It has also featured in a book haul video
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I read Blood Moon... and I bloody loved it! Okay, it's not perfect: it's sometimes too heavy on the good intentions and tries too hard to sound cool. But it's a debut and I'm confident Lucy Cuthew will fix all these small details in her next books. Because there has to be more books!

That's the YA literature we love and need. A novel without taboo, about what it exactly means to be a teenage girl in 2020. And if it feels a bit too much sometimes, we can forget it while enjoying the musicality of the verses. The voice is beautiful, the story important, the cover gorgeous: time for women to reclaim their body - and their reading.

For fans of: Elizabeth Acevedo, Angie Thomas.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.

I binged this book in one go and I wish it was longer so I could still be reading it! This book is so important for all teenagers - particularly girls, but it would be great if boys would read it too to solidify the message. Breaking the taboo about periods is a key area of modern feminism and this book goes miles towards making a difference to this. But Cuthew also deals sensitively with issues of family, sex and friendship, particularly female friendship and all its complexities. I will recommend this to everyone I know!
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"I stay in my room / almost all day. / Mum and Dad / keep popping in / to see if I'm OK / but there's a universe / between us / and I can't seem / to reach across / the abyss of this / online mess / to ask them / to help me."

Frankie gets her period during her first sexual experience Benjamin and while they both agree it's only blood, online trolls armed with a graphic viral meme and low emotional intelligence turn something mature and intimate into something violent and vicious. Frankie is a protagonist you really root for and sympathise with, and so it's interesting to watch her navigate such a horrific circumstance.

Alongside the YA standards of female friendships, family relationships and romance, this also tackles important ideas of soxial media, shame and young women's bodies, which is very much needed. I'm not entirely sure this needed to be a verse novel but there are a few moments where the form does elevate the emotions of the story. For the subject matter predominantly, I gave this four stars - I can see this being a revolutionary book for lots of young people today.
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I read from page 52 right through to the end in one sitting. 
It became completely addictive. 
Blood Moon is a very powerful, prose story. It’s a story of friendship, love, loss, slut-shaming, sex and periods.
I found it really moving at times. Particularly the moment where going viral was impacting Frankie very negatively. Those scenes were absolutely heartbreaking.
Parts of this novel were definitely difficult to stomach. Largely because in this day and age, the events of the book happen all too frequently. Sex shaming, slut shaming and period shaming happen daily. I know on more than one occasion during high school it happened to me. Not to the extent of what Frankie goes through, but I remember being called a slut, a slag, frigid. Every name under the sun. At a young age it definitely has a lasting detrimental impact. 
Even now, as a 24 year old woman I feel embarrassed to talk about periods, because from a young age we’ve been taught that it’s not an acceptable topic of conversation.
But why isn’t it? As Frankie points out, it’s only blood.
This novel really got me thinking.
I sincerely hope others will read this, specifically people who have slut shamed or period shamed someone in the past for their own comedic purposes, and I hope this will have them second guessing their actions.
Beautifully written and fantastically executed.
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A young adult story told in verse about a teenage girl in high school who gets her period during her first sexual experience and is then the victim of online trolling and sexual harassment. Content warning for harassment and rape threats.

This was a very powerful and emotional read which highlighted some very important and necessary discussions. I really appreciated the main character's views on periods, "it's just blood", and how it raises the idea that periods are viewed as something to be ashamed of when they aren't. 

While this was empowering to read about, I didn't always agree with the main character's relationship with her "best friend". Even before THE THING (spoilers!) happened, they were awful to each other, calling each other sluts or 'nuns' and looking down upon each other. This really didn't sit well with me and although they do make friends and apologies are made for certain things, the fact that they acted like this from the beginning was not really addressed. I do believe that the effect of this dialogue was intended, but it just felt jarring to me.

Overall I felt this is a really important and necessary read that should be used in educational curriculums or promoted to teens and young adults of all genders.
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A astronomy-obsessed teenager gets her period during her first time having sex, and goes viral online. It's such a big story that I would have thought it impossible to pull off in poetry, but Cuthew's writing is sharp and economical, not pulling any punches in writing that dances across the page (Sometimes literally -the design is gorgeous). Really effective and important.
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Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow. This is probably one of the most gushing (pardon the pun) reviews I've written. I finished reading this book at 2:10am because I couldn't put it down. What was going to be a quick few chapters before bed, turned into reading 350 pages in one sitting. Usually at some point in my book reviews I mention some form of constructive criticism, but I honestly can't think of one single thing I would change in Blood Moon. This was one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read and is a masterpiece in its own right. I don't say that lightly, I loved this book for so many different reasons. 

The writing was superb and I throughly enjoyed reading not only Frankie's story, but Harriets too. Blood Moon's main focus is sexual shaming, periods and sex, but it also discusses friendships. Harriet and Frankie are best friends and next door neighbours. They've known each other since they were young and are inseparable. Cuthew writes about their friendship and the strains it faces so well. Everything in this book felt so real, including the ups and downs of teenage friendships.

Often with YA books that are trying to convey a message, the situations can feel a little forced and unrealistic, but Cuthew's characters were so real, honest and relatable. They were all a little morally grey in parts of the book. For example, even Frankie who experiences online shaming herself, has shamed others. Cuthew emphasises how toxic a school setting can be and how teenagers give in to peer pressure and easily follow the crowd.

I absolutely loved that Blood Moon was written in verse, this style of writing is perfect for the story. It helps convey the plot in a concise way, yet the book doesn't feel as though it lacks attention to detail at all.  There is often a disconnect with books written in verse between the characters and readers because there’s less descriptive language, but this is not the case in Blood Moon. I felt all of the emotions along with the characters, I laughed, I teared up and I got mad at societies views of periods and women.

This is SUCH an important book for teenagers and I don’t say this lightly. It focuses on so many things that affect those still in school and into young adulthood. Periods, breakdown on friendships, toxic language, slut shaming, cyber bullying, peer pressure and everything ugly that comes with growing up. There are some parts of the book that are tough to read, some language used is horrific, but this is the reality of growing up in today’s society where something so insignificant can be taken out of proportion and used against a person online. It emphasises the damaging affects of trolling and cyber bullying can have on a person. It's true in today's society that something so minor can be taken completely out of context and have detrimental affects on others.

Slut and period shaming is so prevalent in today’s society amongst teenagers and Cuthew addresses these issues very well. She shows the ugly side of them, but also emphasises that no one should feel shame for something so natural. Blood Moon is the perfect book for female empowerment, it shows girls and women that they can own their periods and what is said about their bodies. It normalises bleeding and intercourse during menstruation. For teenagers, knowing that they shouldn't have to feel shame when on their period is so important. Blood Moon opens up the conversation about feminism and a women’s right to be sexually active without being looked down upon for it. It tackles the double standards how how men and women are treated different in regards to their sexual history.. Normalising periods and also period sex is so underrepresented in books and it’s fantastic that Lucy has focused on this. This is something that needs to be talked about more, especially to young adults.

The spelling, punctuation and grammar was perfect and I absolutely loved Lucy’s writing style. Everything flowed and read so well and she is brilliant at creating complex characters within prose. I felt that I knew each character and nothing was skimmed over. Everything was explained in detail and rounded off perfectly. I would highly recommend this book, it's moving, educational and so so important.

Final thoughts:

Blood Moon is a beautifully written book that everyone needs to read. It's one of the best books written in verse I've ever read. It deals with many important subjects and is a powerful and moving book! I can't wait to read more of Cuthew's work in the future. At the end of the Blood Moon arc it says that she has began work on a novel that focuses on porn and its negative effects. This sounds like it will be an equally as important book! Cuthew's writing style is fantastic and she draws readers into the story so effortlessly.
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When Frankie has her first intimate experience with a boy it coincides with the onset of her period. It inadvertently leads to very upsetting social media posts which go viral and also causes a rift between Frankie and her oldest and best friend Harriet.  
As the reader you can really feel the isolation that Frankie feels as things get more and more out of control. While she has very loving parents, you can also feel the generational divide; it's difficult to share  with them, not only the subject matter but also simply because it's outside their experience.  A powerful story showing that girls should not be ashamed of their natural biology.
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