Published by EntangledTeen on March 10th 2015
Genres: paranormal, romance, romantic suspense, young adult
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...
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Before I start here, I have to take a quick moment to say that not all two & three-star reviews should be looked at badly or as a negative. I noticed that my past few reads have bordered on two-three stars at best, and this one has managed to make that same list. But does it necessarily make it a bad book? No. Just like some of the others I’ve rated the same have not always been bad either. I just have a picky rating system at times, comparing against some of my favorites that stack at four and five stars, and that can make it hard to decide what exactly to rate a book when it comes down to it sometimes. Or perhaps things happened that irked me, knocking the rating low, despite an engaging story and being well-written.
So here it is: Red. Two stars for me on this title genuinely means I did think it was okay. I would recommend it to anyone the slightest bit interested because it kept me engaged in the storyline. I was fascinated in the characters and the action that surrounded them with the various creatures. It kept me at a constant edge, and I really liked that because it’s often hard to find a paranormal action read to do that. There was a lot of mystery and tension, along with a touch of romance.
But then there were a lot of little things that began to stand out through the story that I couldn’t ignore.
Okay, I don’t mind reading some books with occasional animal death. Only if it’s like really necessary, you know? The whole food chain thing or if it’s an accident that is necessary to the storyline or something along those lines. But I can’t take reading a lot of it because it gets to be very hard on me honestly. It takes me away from the enjoyment of reading the piece. And by the time I’m reading a third extremely descriptive animal death (well, animal is already dead but the details are graphic about the state of its body and just ew) at barely forty percent into Red, I was almost ready to just put it down for that reason alone, despite that I liked the rest of the story. I found it unnecessary by the time it got around to third animal or so, tbh, because even though the animal could have been mentioned for the plot reasons, the reader no longer needed the gory-ass details.
I’m getting sad all over again just thinking of that. 🙁
I really wanted more backstory on several different things. The creatures. More on Kia and her gift–which readers do get a general idea at some point as to why she is the way she is, but I personally wanted more on that because I felt it was just too glossed over. More backstory on Abby and Kia’s mother. I could easily think of a variety of side stories with the various characters to learn more about them… Then again, I tend to over-analyze quite often. Always thinking “what ifs…” and “what about before this?” and “how did so and so get to this point?”.
Also, I felt like there was a moment where it got too ridiculous. I worried that maybe it was treating the readers as if they had no thought process or something… But after some thought, I think it was just more of an attempted plot device that didn’t work out so much.
“You’re like Bruce Wayne.”
I blinked, confused. She blinked back.
“That’s just sad,” she said when I didn’t look any more enlightened. “Batman,” she explained. “Millionaire hot guy by day, vigilante by night?”
Now, maybe it’s just me, but I really think this doesn’t make a lot of sense. To say the least without giving away much of anything, this story does seem to take place in a more present/contemporary time, he goes to what seems like a fairly large school, and is quite popular. Not to mention he is a teenage boy. Even people who aren’t interested in comics at all still know who Batman/Bruce Wayne is… I really couldn’t grasp this part. And it was hard to have the desire to continue after this part also unfortunately. Though I did, and the ending went a bit smoother at least. I could complain possibly about some of the magical creatures maybe or the romance feeling too forced and clichéd, but I can see where this was just genuinely trying to be a unique story outside of the romance aspect. I may not have been entirely fond of the romance, but it worked, and I can see an audience for it.
Other than these few small issues, I found the writing to be engaging and fun. The characters were easy to get into, and the story was interesting and an edgy paranormal. I would definitely like to give Ms. Harvey’s work another take and try for something else sometime. It’s too bad this didn’t quite live up fully to what I’d hoped, but for my first Harvey read, it wasn’t that bad. I look forward to more sometime in the future!