Published by Entangled Teen on March 10, 2015
Genres: Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: eARC from Publisher
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…
Red is a standalone young adult paranormal. I found it very refreshing to see a standalone paranormal. And I thought it ended in a great place and the story actually felt complete to me, so kudos to Alyxandra Harvey for that. It is no easy feat. Red is a re-imagining of Little Red Riding Hood. When I first started reading Red, I was calling it a “re-telling” in my head, but the further and further I journeyed inside the story, the less it felt like a re-telling of the same old tale and much more like a complete re-imagining. Yes there are wolves and a grandmother and all those classic ingredients, but after that just about everything is totally different and fresh. Kia’s red “hood” so to speak is actually her ability to start fire. And the wolf if more like a whole menagerie of crazy and mythical creatures. Those woods around the Blackwood’s estate felt so much scarier to me than the woods in Little Red Riding Hood.
Kia is a spitfire. I found her gift to make fire both curious and terrifying. For one thing, yes she can make fire, but she didn’t seem to be immune to it. Every time she would conjure it, she would get blisters. And while she was trying to summon it, she said it felt like her insides were boiling and burning alive. That was so totally different than any other book I had read with someone that had abilities. I wish we learned more about her background and how her abilities came to be, but that aspect of the story was very mysterious. It was the one facet of Red that I wanted more detail on. Every other part was so vivid that every last claw and scale of the creatures came to life before my eyes.
I would give anything to take a (very well protected mind you) stroll through the castle’s “zoo”. I think that would be so unbelievably cool. I haven’t mentioned it much yet, but there is also a great romance in Red. I loved the dynamic between Ethan and Kia. I also enjoyed that Kia was drawn to the mystery surrounding the castle and not the persona that Ethan put on as a front. That earned her brownie points in my book. And in Ethan’s too I think. The romance was built up nicely and didn’t feel rushed. It didn’t even come to fruition until well into the second half of the book.
Alyxandra Harvey has a real talent for the paranormal genre. The writing and description were spot on, and I loved the creepy world she built. The creatures fascinated me and terrified me in equal parts. I figured out the main twist in this book, but just when I thought things were too easy, I was blindsided by another twist that I didn’t even know was a thing until it was staring me in the face. I really enjoyed being surprised like that. Red is a really good read.
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