Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: In the Blood by Lisa Unger

Goodreads Summary:

Lana Granger lives a life of lies. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?
When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her whereabouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell.

Publication Date: January 7, 2014

In the Blood was a page-turning suspense read that will likely stay with me for a long time. The author took some interesting twists and turns with the story that made me keep reading in order to find out the mysteries surrounding Lana and her complex relationship with Luke.

Lana is an unreliable narrator and I loved that the story unfolded from her POV. I was never sure of her culpability in any of the crimes that take place around her. I was captivated by the way she saw the world and how self-aware she became over the unhealthy relationships she formed. My favorite scenes were between her and Luke as they attempted to best each other in the mind games Luke created.

I felt like Lana’s history was a much stronger part of the story in lieu of the parts about her missing roommate. Beck’s disappearance lacked the proper urgency and maybe it was because she was never fully developed as a character. I never felt invested in her survival. One of the villains was also not very fleshed out and the story ended with too many questions regarding his or her part in the story.

The book dealt with a lot of fascinating subjects including child psychopaths, gender identity and nature versus nurture while rearing troubled children. I liked the diary entries included and thought the author gave an honest depiction of a mother trying to cope with a “problem” child.  

This is a great suspense book for readers who like complicated narrators where the good guys are difficult to discern from the bad guys. I highly recommend the novel and I plan to check out the author’s other works.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!


  1. Sounds very suspenseful, and it is always an adventure to read through unreliable narrator

  2. Wonderful review, Heather! I love complicated narrators and books that provide me with twisty outcomes. Thanks for sharing. WRITE ON!