Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: Red

RedAuthor: Alison Cherry
Publication 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?

The banner fluttering in the breeze outside City Hall read SCARLETVILLE, IOWA: NATIONAL REDHEAD SANCTUARY.

It was Scarlet Sunday, the anniversary of the founding of Scarletville, and the yearly carnival was in full swing. The lampposts in the center of town were festooned with red flowers, and the breeze carried the popcorn-and-fried-dough smell of celebration.

Because unbeknownst to the adoring crowd, Felicity’s hair color – that bright coppery red that made her so enviable in Scarletville – was completely artificial.

Starting right now, you will act like you want every brunette in this school to be your best friend. Fail to impress us, and everyone finds out what you really are.

This story is literally all about the color red. It takes place in a town called Scarletville, a place dominated by redheads, created by a redhead, for people to live and produce more redheads. Anybody who is of great importance in this town has red hair. Now don’t misunderstand, other people live there too. There are blondes and brunettes as well, but no one can be considered anyone unless they have red hair. Felicity St. John is one of the most popular girls in her school, but no one knows her secret. She really doesn’t have the deep, dark shade of red hair that she pretends to have. She is really a Strawby, someone with strawberry blonde hair. But to save her reputation and her spot in the Miss Scarlet pageant, she and her mother have been hiding that secret from everyone since she was a small child. Until one day when Felicity receives a note saying: I know your secret.

This book can be shallow at times and I honestly had to stop reading it a few times, just to make sure I was taking it all in correctly. Wait, am I really reading a book about people being popular and well-liked only if they have red hair? Yes, but it was the deeper meaning of this book that really drew me in. This book is really about real life issues like bullying, acceptance, and alienating people just because you don’t like the way they look. I think these are issues that we can all agree are still prevalent in schools and amongst adolescents today. The underlying message was there and it was very powerful by the time I finished reading.

My two favorite characters in this novel were Ivy and Jonathan. Neither of these characters play huge roles in the book, but I love the roles they play in Felicity’s life. Felicity became annoying to me at times, but even when her secret was out both of these people still cared for her and did not shun her away like the rest of the town. Jonathan is just the guy that every girl needs to find. It was obvious from the first time I met him how he felt about Felicity, and he did not care about the shade of her hair at all. Ivy is just like Jonathan, but in best friend form. She stood by Felicity no matter what, when other people that she thought were her friends did not. Felicity was never really alone, and I think that was a powerful message as well.

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Delacorte BFYR in exchange for my honest review***

No comments:

Post a Comment