Release Date: October 8th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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?
I was not entirely impressed with RED, even going in with relatively low expectations. I was expecting a fun, light novel but this one was a little too cliquey and middle grade for me. There is a great moral and life lesson attached though, which was RED’s redeeming quality.
RED takes place in the town of Scarletville, where, you guessed it-everyone who is anyone is redheaded. Felicity has the most coveted hair in the whole town, and is revered by her fellow redheads. The only problem is Felicity’s hair is absolutely fake, and someone knows her secret.
RED basically tells the story of one big clique. Our main character, Felicity, is the girl we love to hate from the usual YA novel. The gorgeous one who is smart and has everything. RED is unique in the aspect that we actually see the world out of the usual antagonist’s eyes: what is is like to be in a clique? To feel superior to others? To have the constant pressure of being perfect and not disappointing anyone? Unfortunately, it takes blackmail and a huge life lesson for Felicity to learn that all of these things are not what is truly important in life.
Felicity’s mother is not a good role model at all. Even for the purpose of this novel, I found myself absolutely hating her. She was not supportive of her daughter’s true dreams and encouraged negative values. Nothing like a real mother should be.
Because of the obvious moral lesson here, RED impressed me with its coming of age story. However, it was not the most entertaining journey. I can recommend this one to younger teens but would otherwise suggest skipping out on it.