Saturday, 1 February 2014

Red by Alison Cherry

Title: Red
Author: Alison Cherry
Published by: Quercus
Publication date: 2nd January 2014
Pages: 309
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

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 a natural blonde. And in Scarletville, blondes need not apply.

'Red' is set in Scarletville, Iowa; a town where redheads are the superior race, and blondes and brunettes are thought less of. Redheads are popular, more successful, prettier and well respected, whilst people with other hair colours are invisible to society. Felicity is one of the most popular girls in school, and she has everything to lose. So when someone finds out she's not naturally a redhead and threatens to tell everybody, Felicity does whatever it takes to keep her secret exactly what it should be. A secret.

I expected to enjoy this book. It looked intriguing. Exciting. Different. Sure, the summary sounded a little unrealistic but I thought 'Maybe the writer can make it believable.' She didn't. It wasn't. My hopes of the plot maintaining any realism were crushed when it said Felicity was on her way to 'History of Redheadedness.' Really? I'm sorry but that just made me cringe. I appreciate it was probably an attempt at humour and, don't get me wrong, I'm all for humourous books, but this just failed miserably.

The book was very cliche, and it was all a bit too Disney for my liking; the ending genuinely reminded me of High School Musical. The concept, I'll admit, was an interesting one and I liked that the author was exploring racism in more depth and putting a twist on it. I kept reading because I wanted to see if Felicity would be exposed, and I was desperately clinging onto my hope of Felicity finally standing up for herself and what she believed in.

That brings me to another point. I liked Felicity a lot, but some things about her just really annoyed me. She wouldn't stand up for herself against her mother, and instead of telling anyone responsible about being blackmailed by Gabby, she just did what she was told. I just wanted to shake her, to be honest. There was such a clear route in which everything could go right, and it got a bit frustrating to watch, after a while.

Contrary to what I've said, I did enjoy this book, just not as much as I'd hoped. There is a character called Jonathan who became the main love interest, and he made the book so much better! I wish there had been more scenes with him and Felicity as he was the only character I genuinely liked. It was interesting to see how the redheads acted towards people who didn't have red hair, and I felt sorry for all of them. It made me sad to think that hair colour could be so important to people, and it was definitely thought-provoking.

So, 'Red' was an interesting read and not your mainstream YA contemporary. I liked it, but I wouldn't really recommend it. It just felt like it was lacking something, and the writing style was very simple. The concept had a lot of potential, but I don't think it lived up to what it could have been, unfortunately.


  1. Ah I heard great things about this one, really. I also really, really like the cover, even though I'm personally not a big fan of models on the cover. But I like this one. I'm glad you enjoyed this one though, but too bad you had higher expectations.

    1. I don't really like the cover, to be honest! The only part I like is the typography. Thanks Sandra! :)

  2. i love disney do you think this for me? because me really went read this myself

  3. When I first heard about this book, I just thought it sounded a bit ridiculous. I mean, History of Redheadedness? Seriously?! Thanks for the review, Amber - I think I'll be steering clear of this one.

    1. Finally, someone else who thinks the same! Everyone else seems to have loved it 100%. Thanks Maya :)

  4. I thought going into it, not expecting too much (since I'd had a look at the ratings before reading) would allow me to enjoy it more than I would have, and in a way It worked, but in a way it didn't. I was still disappointed, and I thought it was supposed to be a comedy, but like you said, it wasn't funny, and it was kind of like it was trying to be serious, which made me dislike it more. It could've had some depth, but it just missed the mark. :( I so wanted it to be good. Great review! :)

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

    1. I completely agree with everything you said! It definitely needed more depth. Thanks Kirsty!

  5. I totally agree. It was okay, good, readable but not believable. WHY DIDNT THEY JUST MOVE?!

    1. EXACTLY. All of their problems would've been solved!