Monday, October 14, 2013

Red by Alison Cherry

Book: Red by Alison Cherry
Bookdictive Categorization: YA/Children's
Main character is in high school and there is no sexual content except for a make-out scene 
Rating: 3 out of 5
Procurement: Amazon Kindle
Recommend? If yes, to whom?: Yes, to middle schoolers. Preferably middle schoolers with red hair. Writing style is simplistic but high schoolers who don't read a lot might enjoy this.

I realized that other than the fact that I love books (that's an understatement), you probably don't know much about me. Like the fact that I am a marching band nerd, or that I take ASLI classes. Another fun fact is that I'm a ginger. A redhead. A carrot top. A fire siren. Call it what you will, but my hair is RED. So naturally, I was totally interested in this book I found on GR months ago called "Red." There was this redheaded girl on the cover and I was like OMG, IT REALLY IS. IT'S A BOOK ABOUT GINGERS!!! 
I mean, LOOK AT THIS COVER AND REJOICE IN GINGERHOOD EVERYWHERE!
Red is about a town called Scarletville, home to the largest concentrated population of redheads in the United States. Felicity St. John is our MC, flanked by two ginger bffs named Haylie and Ivy. Felicity is being pushed to compete in the Miss Scarletville pageant, which always has a redheaded winner, by her annoying ass mother, Ginger (lololololololol). Felicity dreams of art school and getting away from her mother, but to do this, she must win the pageant and the prize money that comes with it. However, a brunette named Gabby begins blackmailing Felicity because SPOILER ALERT: Felicity is NOT a real redhead!!!!!
Love you Joan

But this book isn't *actually* about redheads. It is, but it isn't. Redheads are used in place of more controversial topics concerning race and prejudices. It's about not accepting the status quo, and challenging what you believe is "the norm." Redheads in Red can be anything you want: Black, gay, nerdy, you name it. As a liberal, I totally dig this theme. I think the execution of this was great, because any young adult who reads this should be able to understand the theme.
But recognizing a theme isn't enough. You have to also believe it. And Red just didn't do that for me. It came off a little cheesy because of some of the side characters. Ginger is the epitome of a person who is guided by blind prejudice. But she goes just a little too far: She's more than willing to tell her daughter that being a redhead is more important than happiness. Um, what?
It's things like this that really made me just roll my eyes. Perhaps the overdone statements that come out of Ginger are used to demonstrate how serious prejudices are, but it makes the story unbelievable. Or how about Gabby? She's such a B-I-T-C-H, because even though she's the person causing all of this change to happen, she seems to have no motivation except selfishness. Honestly, she's not the only character who is just selfish. And that's a shame, because I really wanted to love this book. More than anything, I wanted to love Felicity. She had this awesome motivation to break free from her mom and the town's stereotyping, but she does it because she's feeling slightly rebellious and to stop the blackmailing. 

The last thing I have to address is the ending. I was left with so many unanswered questions! Like, what happened to Gabby? Did Felicity's hair return to normal? Did Haylie and Felicity ever go back to being friends?! Did Felicity get into art school? Did things change after she went public about her strawberry-blonde hair? WHAT ABOUT IVY, THE ONLY CHARACTER I GENUINELY LIKED??? Seriously, do you see all of these questions?! That's not okay for a standalone book! Plus, there's this "plot twist" (I'm assuming that's what it's supposed to be) towards the very end that didn't really serve a purpose. Why reveal it then? It didn't affect anything. In fact, the author even writes that this plot twist happened "too late" for Felicity. 

 Regardless of setting--another realm or even a town full of redheads--I can believe ANYTHING if it is well-written. But I just couldn't believe in Scarletville. I really, really wanted to. This author was given the thumbs up by one of my favorite authors, Rae Carson, but try as I might I just couldn't love it. 
/sob
3 stars total for Red. I should note that one entire star was taken off for that ending, because NOBODY deserves to be left with so many questions.  

5 comments :

The Guilty Bookmark said...

I like the roundabout way the book tackles the subject. And being a redhead is so cool-totally jealous. The cover rocks and it sounds like a solid read. Thanks for posting a review!

thesisterseternal said...

I am so glad that I checked out your blog! The style in which you write your reviews immediately caught my attention. You let your readers know exactly how you felt about this book in an honest and humorous way. I am about to subscribe to see more from you in the future.

I would greatly appreciate it if you took a look at my blog by clicking on my username if you have the time. Its for an e-book that I am currently writing. I would love for you to do a review once it is published :)

Mollie Leigh said...

Sisters Eternal-- Thank you so much! I actually write the way that I speak, hence all of the ALL CAPS words! That means a lot to me! I'd be happy to check out your blog and follow. I'm a big fan of supporting indie authors, so please let me know when it's time to review!

Guilty Bookmark-- I always say that being a redhead is awesome but everyone assumes that I have a temper. So when I DO have a temper, it's because everyone keeps telling me I have one. :D

Erica Dakin said...

Hi there, I have to agree with the previous commenter - love the style of your reviews. In case you're interested - my first novel's heroine is a redhead, and you can get it for free from Amazon this coming Wednesday and Thursday (23/24 October). It's a blend of fantasy and romance (adult content though). Link is here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AYYVT1G/
Hope you don't mind the plug!

Monique LeBlanc said...

I very much enjoyed your post and I'm happy that I came across your blog. Its lovely by the way :-) I'm a new follower and if you would like to check out my blog you can find it here: http://moniquesmobooks.blogspot.ca

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