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BLEED FOR YOU
By MICHAEL LOUIS CALVILLO (Delirium Books; 2010)

Iím sorry, but this bookís fucked up!

     BLEED FOR YOU is a 128-page novella by Michael Louis Calvillo (of the novels I WILL RISE and AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT and the collection BLOOD & GRISTLE), who was in a mean mood this time around. BLEED FOR YOU may lack the maturity and intelligence of Calvilloís other works, but as a straightforward exercise in nastiness and perversity it more than succeeds. Itís also a fast and easy read.

     The opening chapters portend dark things, with the nerdy teen protagonist Freddy infatuated with way-hot Emily. Sheís clearly out of his league but Freddy doesnít let this slow him down, and nor is he deterred by the fact that Emily already has a boyfriend, an asshole jock named Ray who loves tormenting Freddy.

     Freddy has recently been released from a mental hospital where he was interred for unspecified violent behavior. Itís immediately clear that Freddy still has issues, and his troubled psyche isnít helped by the fact that heís writing a term paper on the life of the Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, who murdered hundreds of virgins and bathed in their blood.

     Emily makes the mistake of leading Freddy on, telling him sheíll break up with Ray even though she has no intention of actually doing so. This is proven when Freddy follows Emily and Ray to a local make-out spot one night, where Freddyís illusions--and whatís left of his sanity--are irrevocably shattered.

     Iíll refrain from giving away the remainder of this twisted tale, but will reveal that it contains murder, mutilation, necrophilia and true love (of a sort). Itís drafted in admirably focused and straightforward fashion, with a good eye for how modern teenagers interact (and no surprise, as the author teaches high school English). Readers desiring refinement and sophistication will be left hungry, but those in the mood for a bloody (and I do mean that literally) good time will be sated. 

     

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