Monday, March 30, 2015

"Red" (ARC Review)

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Series: Stand-alone

Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural, Young Adult

Publisher: Entangled Teen (Entangled Publishing, LLC)

Page Count: 198 (Kindle)

Release Date: March 10, 2015

Places to order:
Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Indigo (eBook)


Bad girls burn hot…

Red is the color of Kia Alcott's hair.
It's her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble.
And it's the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them.

When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It's an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood.

Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries.

But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn't stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family…

My review:

Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for a digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This story is told from the perspectives of two teenagers, Kia Alcott and Ethan Blackwood. Kia is your average new girl--the one who immediately gets branded as a "psycho" because of her unfortunate past at her previous school. What those students don't know is that Kia didn't set the fire at all, or at least not intentionally.  She has the ability to conjure up fire if her emotions get the best of her.

At the beginning of the novel, I immediately liked Kia because of her witty attitude and smartass remarks which is very entertaining to read throughout the story. It's also easy to understand her feeling of isolation in her POV since she had to move to a new place with a grandmother she hardly knew and because of her strange powers that can hurt others. But when it switched to Ethan's POV, there wasn't much flow to the transition from one person's POV to the next, instead, as the reader, I felt thrown off and had to figure out where Ethan was and what he was doing. I totally understand that when there's more than one character narrating the story, it's okay to break the flow to show a different voice; but it felt too disjointed and disconnected to the point where I had to reread the beginning of the chapters to get a sense of where Ethan was (since it was mostly his POV that kept confusing me).

Despite some of the things I didn't like about the book, something that I did like was Alyxandra's writing style; it was simple, easy to understand (no complex diction or talking "pig latin") and effective. One example I saw throughout "Red" to show the simplicity/effectiveness of her writing style are the times when you can see Kia's character and attitude (which made me laugh multiple times though the story). Kia, as I stated earlier, is the classic new girl but instead of shrinking away and avoiding people like the plague, she's sarcastic, stubborn and gets herself into trouble with the "popular girl" (which would be Justine, who is also part of Ethan's strange group of friends). She's my ideal protagonist, period.

  • Beautiful cover
  • Interesting plot & concept
  • Witty, sarcastic female protagonist 
  • Multiple secondary characters to help build the story
  • When changing from Kia's POV to Ethan's POV, it became disjointed and confusing/lack of flow
  • Too fast-paced 
  • Some of the characters' personality would change drastically

Overall, I really did enjoy this book, but everything felt rushed and didn't flow right to me. The overall idea and concept of the story is what kept me wanting to continue reading since there were a couple of unanswered questions and mysteries that weren't resolved until the last 50 pages. I applaud Alyxandra for coming up with the plot and storyline for "Red," and if she writes new novel in the future, I would pick up a copy to see more of her writing style as well as if she improved on it! :)

~Whit Lo

No comments:

Post a Comment