Red, a new YA novel by Alison Cherry, takes place in the Iowa town of Scarletville. In this town, red-heads hold all the power. Felicity St. John is a creative, popular Junior, on her way to winning the Miss Scarlet pageant. She has a dark secret, though...her hair color "comes straight from a bottle!" If her secret is revealed, she'll lose her friends, her boyfriend, and her social status- but someone has found out, and is blackmailing her into social suicide. In the weeks leading up to a pageant that could help her fund art school, Felicity weighs the choice to be Red, or be herself.
You KNOW I pictured Emma Stone in the movie in my mind (and she's a bottle red-head, too, so double the appropriateness). This was an enjoyable read- it was clever and funny. It took a serious issue to such a ridiculous level the reader knew the point being made, but it wasn't preachy.
It's your typical "coming-of-age-be-yourself" YA novel, but like I said- cleverly done with its over-the-top-ishness. For example, a fun little thing about Scarletville is the underground hair-dying salon; the prominent sunblock vendor; the high school class: History of Red-Headedness, where students learn about historical figures like Queen Elizabeth the First.
Downside to this novel- there's a scene with a restaurant. I read it after an intense workout. They had waffle fries with cheddar jalapeno sauce, and sweet potato waffle fries with cinnamon BBQ sauce. Seriously, I'm still drooling about this. I love cheesy waffle fries. Here's proof:
|This was right before my husband pushed my face into the neon cheese.|
Funny and thought provoking, I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who has been afraid to show their true colors. And on that note, I'm going to go pick out some hair dye.
Red is published by Random House Children's. Digital ARC provided by NetGalley.
Release Date: 10.08.2013