Book Review: Red by Alison Cherry

Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:

I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

Release Date: October 8, 2013
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher

The premise of Red is so unique.  I've never read anything quite like this book!  I loved how different the story was, and the fact that Alison Cherry takes a risk, deviating from the norm in young adult fiction.

Felicity lives in the town of Scarlet, which is a refuge for redheads.  The town was created as a place for redheads to live, marry and produce more redheads, thus preventing the extinction of natural red hair.  There is a hierarchy in the town, with the people with the darkest red hair at the top, the strawberry blondes (called strawbies) in the middle, and the blondes and brunettes at the bottom.  The redheads, called Reds, get the best of everything in the town of Scarlet.  They get preferential treatment wherever they go, such as going to the front of the line in dressing rooms at the mall, the best tables in the cafeteria, everything you can imagine.  I really could not believe the disparity in the town, based solely on hair color.   

Felicity has a huge secret though.  Her dark red hair, which makes her one of the most popular girls in school, is dyed.  She's actually a strawberry blonde, which in any other town would be no big deal, but in Scarlet, it's a social death sentence.  If Felicity's secret got out, she would be ostracized by everyone (or so she fears).  

Red felt shallow at times.  I think this is due to the actual premise of the book, which, while unique, still lends itself to implausibility and superficiality.  It wasn't until the very end of the story that things got serious and I wish that gravitas would have come a little earlier.

I liked a lot about Red.  I liked the friendship between Felicity and her two best friends.  I liked their interactions and thought they were funny together.  I liked the character growth, and the sweet (albeit predictable) love story.  I liked how Felicity finds her voice and stands up for herself, which showed a lot of change and strength for her character. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Red and would recommend it to fans of contemporary YA.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Word verification stinks--- but spammers are worse. Thank you for your patience!