Young Adult Book Review: Red by Alyxandra Harvey
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
What lies in this dark forest is more than some fairy tale creatures, and Red Riding Hood never had the power of fire before.
WHY I READ IT
Red promised to be a mysterious read with its dark forest setting, the secretive Blackwood Family and Kia with her power of fire, how could I resist? This is my first read by Alyxandra Harvey and Red turned out to be a fast, entertaining read with a surprise twist on the theme "What lies beyond the forest?"
GIVE ME THE PLOT
The plot revolves around two very interesting mysteries. Kia's power to manipulate fire and what the Blackwood's are trying to hide in their enchanted forest. The story is told from the alternating point of views of Kia and Ethan which worked really well for the story. Kia has just been expelled from her school for setting fire to it, and Ethan Blackwood is the gorgeous boy who knows the deadly secrets of what lies in the forest. The action in Red takes off immediately with no info dumps and lands us right in the middle of the mystery behind the Blackwood family and some mythic and paranormal twists along the way that I really enjoyed.
SETTING AND STYLE OF WRITING
I wish I could just blab about what's in the forest, but I will just say it surprised me and was probably even better than I had anticipated. The castle like house and forest gave me some light chills, and the mythic and the paranormal aspect gave me the delightfully darker tones of danger I was craving.
Kia is a winning combination of fiery attitude, snarkiness and a smart heroine. She has realistic flaws, building up emotional walls. Having the power of fire, which often seems to manifest whenever she's feeling an emotion strongly, makes her feel like she can never truly fit in. But, all that changes when she enters the forest. Wow, she becomes badass - no damsel in distress here! A fiery girl with red hair that kicks some butt and is smart. Yay!!
Ethan Blackwood is daring, gorgeous and has a sweetness about him (that we thankfully get to know through his alternating chapters and inner monologue) beyond the first initial cocky attitude he presents to Kia. I loved the mysterious aspect about Ethan, and how well interacted with Kia, as well as the other characters. Ethan was a real treat and I loved getting into his thoughts and emotions. Here's a taste - so sweet!
"She was so different from the other girls I knew. She wasn't polished or elegant. She was fiery and raw and totally distracting." -Ethan
Red has a nice, slow build of a sweet romance that never overpowers the mystery aspect. Ethan and Kia have a great spark of chemistry with an initial antagonism that makes for great interest. But don't worry, there are a few swoony moments for kisses in between that were perfect. Hearing Ethan's thoughts and Kia's just added the right amount of romantic tension.
"You love him." I widened my eyes incredulously. "Dude, I only decided not to hate him like twenty-four hours ago. Slow the shit down." -Kia
The cool surprise of what's in that forest! Great setting, fast-paced, and alternating, well-done, points of view made this such a fun read.
I have one tiny con. I wanted to know more about one of the mysterious groups involved. But, I suspect that may have slowed down the great pace too much. Still, I couldn't help but be curious about them.
IN THE END
Red ended up being a great read! It's setting, mystery and twist made it a great fantasy/paranormal to escape to. Perfect for readers who enjoy alternating point of views.
MY RATING: 4 Stars! I really liked it!
PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Entangled Teen in exchange for my fair review. Thank you, Entangled Teen for the review opportunity!