A review by Danielle.
Kia Alcott is sent to live with her absent grandmother after being expelled from her school in the city and being labeled a troubled teenager in a downward spiral. She didn’t mean to set that fire or hurt her best friend Riley but no one would believe her. After all, it’s not like people are used to hearing that someone can set fires with their mind. Being shipped off to live in the country, in a mansion that’s more like a castle, with an eccentric billionaire and his family is not Kia’s idea of a good time. Sure Ethan Blackwood is gorgeous and rich but he’s also rude and spoiled and so are his friends. Kia tries not to make waves or draw attention to herself at her new private school, a feat that is almost impossible with Ethan’s friend Justine and her unrequited crush constantly finding ways to make Kia’s life miserable. In fury, Kia accidentally sets multiple small fires and is almost expelled from the prestigious school, where only money and power buy you the option of screwing up.
Soon Kia begins to notice something strange going on at the Blackwood castle involving Ethan, his friends, his dad, and the woods surrounding the house. Strange noises in the middle of the night, secret meetings in the woods with Ethan and his friends smearing blood on each other while dressed in weird clothes. Or Mr. Blackwood’s trophy room of dead animals and more exotic items on display of creatures that couldn’t exist, like the paw of a wolf with a plaque that reads “werewolf.” A terrifying ice monster in the woods that would have killed Kia if not for her fire ability. Ice monsters don’t exist, rich privileged teenagers don’t hold secret bonfire meetings dressed in tunics, and girls shouldn’t be able to start fires with their minds, but somehow it all was real and happening at Blackwood castle. Will Kia find out Ethan’s secret? Will Ethan discover Kia’s? What is that monster in the woods and who is going to stop it from hurting anyone else?
Red by Alyxandra Harvey was an interesting read. I enjoyed the concepts in the book; not a lot of YA paranormal fiction cover these specific topics. As an avid lover of the horror genre, there were several familiar concepts that I appreciated reading about from a new perspective. The type of love triangle in this book is also very refreshing while still managing a twist at the end. I give author Alyxandra Harvey a big thumbs up for breaking out of the traditional love triangle archetype presented in almost all the YA fiction in the last couple of years. I actually found myself more drawn to Ethan’s character than Kia’s. Ethan wore many hats in Red and he seemed to have more depth than any of the other characters. I wish all the characters had a few more layers to them, and in general I would have liked to see more back story and dialogue in this book. While the book definitely tied up the loose ends and gave the reader closure, I wouldn’t mind reading another story about these characters, maybe a few years from where the first book left off.
Rating: 3/5 stars.
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