Friday, 10 January 2014

Review: Red by Alison Cherry

Publisher: Quercus
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: January 2nd, 2014
Rating: 7/10

Amazon summary:

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. 


I had a feeling I'd like Red, and I was right; I usually like any YA books set in high schools that follow the social hierarchy and how it can all crumble away. This book is part Mean Girls and part Desperate Housewives, if they were all red-headed and slaves to their hair colour. It's like a bad dream really, where everyone is the same and there's no way out. Sounds stifling, but it's a great, fun read!

Felicity lives in Scarletville, where most people have the reddest hair you've ever seen. Anyone without red hair is seen as an outcast, especially in high school. They're usually called Strawbs, though anyone caught dying their hair red is immediately labelled an Artie. It's a vicious, ruthless cut-throat world in Scarletville, and it's not a place where you want a secret to be revealed. Especially when that secret can destroy everything you are and everything you've worked for. Felicity has a secret, and she struggles with it every single day. But what happens when people realise her scarlet hair isn't real?

Red has a lot to say for itself, and is deeper than it appears on the surface. It covers topics such as what's wrong with society and how people are quick to judge. It almost seems satirical at times, which is one of the things I really liked about it. It doesn't take itself too seriously, rather it tells a story that weaves truth and lies into one big, messed up web. These girls with red hair think they own the world, not just their school, and they think that without red hair they're doomed to fail. It's a fanatical way of living, extreme to a point of ridicule, and it's only Felicity who, through force, begins to see that there's more to life than a hair colour.

Red is an interesting, fun book with a plot I haven't come across in YA before. Using hair colour as the main driving force is a clever idea, and a surprisingly effective one. I felt sorry for these girls, Felicity included, with how they've been brought up and the ludicrous values they've been taught. It presents a lot of points to think about, which I honestly wasn't expecting - I stupidly thought it would be a book as shallow as its red-haired characters. How wrong I was!


Lizzy said...

This one sounds like a fun read. I'm having a book hangover right now, so anything that is reminiscent of Mean Girls seems perfect. Thanks for the review!

caroline.taylor078 said...

I have to admit when I first heard about this book I thought it sounded like a frothy shallow read too but it seems to have quite a bit of depth, I am much more interested in reading it now.

Jesse Owen said...

I really like the sound of this one - and the idea of using hair colour as a discriminating factor I haven't come across before. Fab review :)

Carmen McCarter said...

I really liked your review on this book my book club and i are currently reading it and i agree with a lot of your points on the reading.