Red - The Book I'm Not So Sure About (review)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Red by Alyxandra Harvey
Title: Red
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: March 10th, 2015
Genre: Paranormal
Age Group: YA
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3 stars
“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…”

My Review

*Received a copy for an honest review.*

I read some of Alyxandra Harvey's works before and I enjoyed them. So I was really looking forward to reading Red. It sounded interesting and promised me paranormal elements so I had high hopes.

I hate to admit it, but Red was not what I had hoped.

Red started out interesting enough. Kia had spunk, and a smart mouth. She was being forced to go stay with the grandmother she didn't know and start a new school because of the accidental fire she started. No one wanted to hear her explanations, they just made their assumptions and she's dealing with the consequences. As a minor, Kia did not have any say in the matter, but she wasn't going to cower from the challenges.

But then we met the boy. Now, I love me a Bad Boy. But he really bored me. He's pissed at his father, and doesn't want to be part of the cabal, yet remains for his friends. He's rich and hot. He drives fast cars and plays hard. Blah, blah, blah. He was hot then frigid when it came to Kia. I get that he wanted to protect the secrets and didn't want her to learn the truth because it put her in danger. But the way he went about it made me feel second handedly put down. (See quote #2 below.) It just bothered me. In a sea of bad boys, nothing about him stood out to me.

This book would have been so much better if the romance wasn't really its focus. Hot guy + new girl with powers = given. So I knew something was coming. But the guy was everything annoying about rich people/hot people stereotypes, so there was no appeal there. Oh, he was nice to you for 30 seconds so we get to love him in the next however many chapters the book covers. Only I never saw why I should love him. The boy was so focused on his dead love I really couldn't buy that he had a thing forming with Kia.

Kia was so special, but as the pages crept by, we don't learn anything. The first half of this book was slow and repetitive. Things really picked up in the second half once we focused more on the paranormal/creature aspect of the book.

The book also suffered from bitch queen syndrome. Of course we have pretty girl, who flirts with the boy, and therefore must be horrible to our heroine. Oh, look, she wants to protect her sister....she's not all bad. Except I don't buy that, and I don't buy later events with her.

The thing is, I don't feel like we got any answers. I still have no idea why Kia has powers or where they came from. Sure we get hints, but nothing more concrete. I have no idea what the rules of this world are. Yes, I know we are in a rich man's hunting grounds but there were plenty of vague comments about their world that had no foundation. If anything was said at all that is.

For a big scary group, the Cabal wasn't really seen. Sure we saw the aftereffects of the mind wipe thing on the relative. One incident that was never shown was not enough to make me fear these unknown people. When they do finally show up, it's like hushed, pushed under the carpet and rushed over. I feared the psychotic father more than them.

I'm not happy with the ending. I don't like the way certain plotlines were tied up. And this kissy-kissy romance? I'll pass.

Yet, I didn't hate the book.

The concept was interesting. I really liked how some of the creatures that made appearances were not the typical overused paranormal representatives. The book managed to keep my attention. I didn't skim, so that is a plus.

But I'm not sure I care enough about the characters to read what the last chapter promises is coming next chapter of their lives.

Words To Live By

"I'd stumbled into someone else's story. I was in a strange house with a strange woman; the fact that she was my grandmother didn't change that I barely knew her and she definitely didn't know me." (3%)
"The Prince had returned. And clearly I was Cinderella, relegated to the back kitchen." (15%)
"I guess you get your wish. You're turning me into one of them." (Ethan)
"Cabal? Good, they're survivors." (Holden)
"No, Dad. You're turning me into one of the monsters." (Ethan) (44%)


I liked it enough to give it an initial rating of three stars, so I'll just keep it with that. The book is average, it just doesn't stand out. I wanted, and was promised more, but in the end, I don't think this is a story that will stick with me for long.


  1. I do like the cover and the sound of this book - it seems like an average read so I might skip this one. Thank you for the honest review x hopefully your next book is five stars for you :) Benish| Feminist Reflections

    1. Yeah, average seems to be what people are saying about this one. Which really stinks, because of the potential it had. Thanks, I'm hoping I get a string of 5star books soon. It feels like I am due for some.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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