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 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!!!!!
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.
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.