Saturday 21 December 2013

Book Review - Red

Author: Alison Cherry
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 2nd January 2014
Publishers: Delacorte Press
No. Pages: 320
Source: Review Copy - Delacorte Press
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Top student. Beauty queen. Girlfriend of the hottest football jock: Felicity's got everything. And it's all down to her red, red hair.

Felicity lives in Scarletville, the world's only redhead sanctuary, where red hair is celebrated, protected - and the key to success. But Felicity has a secret. A red hot secret. And if anyone finds out, she's finished.

Because Felicity's actually a natural blonde.
And in Scarletville, blondes need not apply.

In truth, I don't really know what I expected from Red. From the description, I knew how the story would plot out because once you've read a secrets/contemporary/young-adult/novel, you've kind of read them all haven't you, and yet I still requested it off NetGalley; why Amanda, why? I'd first spotted this book on Goodreads when the Hardback edition was released in October of this year and I was a little interested in the story and wondered if it would be something new, something I hadn't read before, something dramatic and with tension and the sorrowful fact is, it wasn't that tense, or that dramatic, it was mostly, and really focused on a teenage girl being blackmailed because she dyes her hair. I mean, this was a great opportunity for a fantastic and exciting plot, lots of character development and a really positive message, but it just about had a good message, let alone the rest.

Our leading lady spent a lot of time arguing with her friends and arguing with another girl in her school. From the sounds of things, you'd think it was an all girls school, but oh no, it just seems that the ratio of girls to boys is very unequal, not to mention that there's a hierarchy in the school, but not for the usual reasons; for having red hair. Now I can understand the relevance of using this aspect, the reason that some people gain respect easier because of something they have over someone else, but generally, the aspect of hair dying, well, it seemed pretty petty, but that may have just been a personal preference.

If the plot itself wasn't already predictable, vanilla and generally unimpressive, many of the characters involved needed a lot more depth and a lot more development, not to mention I wasn't impressed with how open the ending was. I wanted to see how Haylie felt in the end, I want to know whether Ivy was settled in a relationship, I wanted to know how Felicity and her Mother's relationship was after a month or two, yet Cherry didn't close off this story for me, and after such a slow paced and typical plot, that was one of the few things I really wanted. However, I was a little happier with Felicity, the leading lady's development. She decided that she wanted something that make her happy, and someone. She decided that dancing around in dresses just wasn't what she wanted to be known for, and in the end, she know there was more to life that having red hair. Whether that was down to the pretty cute relationship that ended up happening or due to her growing a pair, who knows, but either way, I was slightly swayed. That relationship though, can I have a Jonathon? He was the most wonderful and enlightening part of that book, please?

I think when it came down to Red, I was on my happy-requesting-spree with NetGalley, requesting any and all books that remotely looked interesting or fun, and it's fair to say, with a few real let downs lately, I have learnt my lesson. I have learnt to control how many requests I make and only to request those that really appeal. I knew I didn't like catwalk style events, nor do I believe that beauty or physical image is how to make yourself known. There is more to a person that what they look like, and this book did highlight this message is the most round the houses way I've ever read, however, I was too easily swayed by the romance, I'm a sucker for attractive, attentive brunettes, and so this book isn't as badly rated as it would have been. If you're fed up of the school drama routine and friends freaking out, this book really really isn't for you.

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