October 10, 2013

Red Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the RED blog tour presented by Random House Children's Books! Today I have my review of the book to share and don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the post to enter to win a finished copy!

Author: Alison Cherry
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers


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?

Red is a smart and thought provoking young adult contemporary novel that follows popular girl Felicity St. John as goes about her normal life in the small town of Scarletville, Iowa. Only, Scarletville isn't your normal town. It was founded to be a safe haven for red-heads and has continued to allow anyone with red hair power and popularity. Red hair is everything that matters in Scarletville, from high school popularity to getting into the local community college, and getting good jobs in town. Felicity is riding high as one of the most popular red-heads in town and has been prepping for the Miss Scarlet pageant with her mom since she was old enough to walk. Only Felicity has a big secret - her brilliant red hair is fake. It's dyed - which is a crime and a sin in Scarletville. When Felicity finds a note in her locker that states "I know your secret," she must put everything and everyone she loves in the line of fire to keep her secret safe - no matter what.

This was a very interesting book that has a fantastic moral to it. It took me awhile to get into the book and the pace was a little slow until about halfway through, but once the mysterious notes start showing up - things get really interesting fast. The characters were well written, especially our heroine Felicity. She's the perfect example of a teenage girl - on the outside she has everything: popularity, beauty, smarts, a gift at creating art, and her beautiful red hair. But on the inside, Felicity harbors the secret about dying her hair and it haunts her every day of her life. She feels like she's hiding who she truly is and with her mom and the rest of the town shoving the pageant down her throat and a secret blackmailer threatening to expose her darkest secret. There were times in the book that I really wanted to yell at her or smack her to get her to open her eyes to what was so obvious to me, but in the end it all works out. The plot hits on really important issues that teens and people of all ages deal with today - prejudice and bullying. In the book people are treated differently based on what color hair they have, with redheads being at the top of the chain and everyone else being almost second class to them. When prejudice and bullying over something so stupid as hair color is described in the book - and the extent that it goes - it really opens the readers eyes to what prejudice and bullying is doing to our society (or at least it should). I almost feel like the prejudice against hair color was a stand-in or metaphor for other prejudices that happen and if one stops to think about it, just how close minded and ignorant it is. I remember high school vividly and such prejudice and bullying occurred on a daily basis and usually over the stupidest things like not having the right brand name clothes or not wearing the cool new shoes or whatever fad that was "in" at the time. People were pushed around for everything and anything that set them apart - and it's a truly horrible thing. I'm glad that the schools are trying to adhere to a zero tolerance policy on bullying, but some things just won't change that easily. This book really opened my eyes to lots of issues that affect most people - self-esteem issues, bullying, prejudice, overbearing parents, and self acceptance. This story might read as a light, fun, and witty book, but it definitely deals with deeper issues. Definitely recommended for fans of contemporary YA fiction and those looking for realistic teen fiction.

A HUGE thank you to Delacorte for sending me a copy for review!

Alison grew up in Evanston, IL. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, opera, and dance. Now she lives in Brooklyn and writes young adult novels full time. Her debut, RED, is coming from Delacorte in October of 2013. She is represented by the lovely and amazing Holly Root of Waxman Leavell. (Taken from Goodreads)

Author Links:

Giveaway: The awesome people at Delacorte are offering (1) finished copy of RED to a lucky reader! US only!

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  1. I've read some mixed reviews for this book. It does sound like it could be a good read even with a few quibbles. I do enjoy reading this premise

  2. Much like Vivien, I have also read some very mixed reviews for Red. I do think it sounds interesting though, so I still want to give it a try!