Thursday, December 26, 2013

Red by Alison Cherry [Review]

Red4 out of 5 Robots!

Red by Alison Cherry
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release: October 8, 2013
Hardcover: 320 Pages 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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?
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
On the surface, Red is a fun, fluffy read.  I was intrigued because I'm a red head (although it pains me to say I'm more strawberry blond now). Felicity lives in Scarletville where being a red head is all that matters. Blonds and brunettes are considered second class citizens.  Felicity has been groomed all her life by her mother to win the Miss Scarlet pageant.  Winning the crown should give her everything she would want in life.  But Felicity harbors a secret - she is really a Strawberry Blond who dyes her hair in secret.  But then she starts to receive blackmail notes by someone who threatens to tell her secrets.  Now Felicity is put in more and more precarious position as she tries to stay ahead of her black mailer.

Again, I think if you take this book at face value, it is a lot of fun.  It is well written and bops along nicely.  But if I thought about it too hard, I started to squirm a bit.  Scarletville exists in the present (or very near future) and it's citizens can travel outside of the city anytime they want.  But if you aren't a red head, living in Scarletville means discrimination.  The part I get hung up on is why would they continue to live there if leaving was easy?  Sure, sure there could be factors working against them, but on the whole...why are there blonds and brunettes living there in the first place?  Some of them even seem to just shrug their shoulders and soldier on.  But even that made a me a little uncomfortable.  And even at the end when Felicity tries to make a stand it seems like nothing has really changed. 

But really, I just don't think Allison Cherry had a lot of time to really devote to that aspect.  It is briefly touched on, but on a very superficial level.  I think the enjoyment of this book is best had if you don't read too far into the red hair only mandate too far.   Because all concerns aside, I really did enjoy this book.

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