Red

Red

3.0 5
by Alison Cherry
     
 

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Contemporary teen fiction with a twist!

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

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Overview

Contemporary teen fiction with a twist!

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?

“As thought-provoking as it is enchanting.”—Rae Carson, author of the FIRE AND THORNS trilogy
 
 “Smart, funny, and full of Awesome Ladies Behaving Awesomely, Alison Cherry's RED is everything I look for in a book. It will make you laugh, it will make you think, and it will make you book an appointment with your colorist immediately."
—Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of the Hex Hall series

“Clever, wickedly funny and with so much heart.”—Melina Marchetta, author of the Printz-award winning Jellicoe Road

 “Sparkles with wit.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“A really strong commentary on superficiality and social standing.”–School Library Journal
 
 
“This may challenge readers to reconsider how they define beauty—and perhaps give them the confidence to question a pecking order or two.”—Booklist




From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
10/01/2013
Gr 8 Up—When you live in a town that was founded as a refuge for misunderstood redheads, well, you better be a ginger. Felicity St. John, popular junior at Scarletville High School and nominee for this year's Miss Scarlet pageant, lives in fear that her deepest secret will be revealed. Her copper locks are really a dye job-she's naturally strawberry blonde. With a mother who is a past Miss Scarlet, the truth is just unacceptable and so Felicity has been going to the top-secret Rouge-o-Rama salon to get her hair colored since she was two years old. As the pageant approaches, though, Felicity finds she doesn't really care about winning. Her devotion to her mother's obsession with having her daughter follow in her footsteps is truly tested when someone begins to blackmail Felicity, threatening to let everyone know she's a fake. Soon she finds herself acting completely out of character, doing things that could cost her her friends and boyfriend, all just to protect a secret that she's starting to be tired of keeping. At first Cherry's novel may seem to have a somewhat silly premise, but underneath the "ginger" focus, there is a really strong commentary on superficiality and social standing. Readers will find themselves questioning the distribution of power based on appearance and the lengths that people will go to in order to protect their deepest secrets. Inner strength and self-acceptance are also strong themes that run throughout the book. While readers may giggle their way through this fast-paced tale, they will also find themselves thinking about it.—Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MA
Publishers Weekly
09/09/2013
Felicity St. John hails from Scarletville, Iowa, a town that prides itself on its redheaded residents, where high school students take classes like “History of Redheadedness.” Discrimination in favor of gingers is par for the course, especially as the town gears up for the all-important Miss Scarlet Pageant. Though Felicity qualified for one of the coveted 12 spots, she has a terrible secret: her “bright coppery red” hair is fake. When someone threatens to out Felicity as an “artie,” she allows herself to be blackmailed into actions that hurt herself and the people around her. Debut author Cherry’s writing sparkles with wit, and she cleverly uses Scarletville’s obsession with redheadedness to raise questions about typical high school politics and the ways people determine what is beautiful, good, and worthy of popularity—all with a satirical wink to readers. Felicity is sympathetic and relatable as she struggles with the warped values instilled in her, the repercussions of having to hide her “embarrassing flaw,” and other ideas about beauty, romance, and the world beyond Scarletville. Ages 12–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
 “Sparkles with wit.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“A really strong commentary on superficiality and social standing.”–School Library Journal
 
 
“This may challenge readers to reconsider how they define beauty—and perhaps give them the confidence to question a pecking order or two.”—Booklist
Children's Literature - Sandra G. Brody
The town of Scarletville, Iowa, known as the National Redhead Sanctuary, is home to redheaded Felicity, her mom, half twin brothers and friends. Everyone who is anyone in Scarletville has one thing in common: red hair. Felicity's best friends, Ivy and Haylie, and her boyfriend Brent, also have red hair. Since Felicity can remember, her mom has wanted one thing for Felicity: to win the Miss Scarlet Pageant. Felicity has gone along because it is expected of her. The only problem is that Felicity does not actually have red hair. Her natural hair color is strawberry blonde, but since she was a baby Felicity's mom has taken her to a secret salon to have her hair dyed red. Felicity is always nervous about her roots showing and about somebody finding out her secret. Gabby, her hairdresser's daughter does learn the truth and starts using it to blackmail Felicity. To protect her identity, Felicity does what Gabby demands and in the process loses her friends, her boyfriend, and her mother's dream of Felicity being crowned Miss Scarlet. Felicity is an artist and is curating her high school's student art show. Jonathan, her co-curator, is a senior, and the only person who seems to understand who Felicity really is. Gabby forces Felicity to convince Brent to take Gabby to the prom, leaving Felicity to go alone. Jonathan rescues her and takes her out of Scarletville for the evening to a non-red town. Felicity starts to realize that being a redhead is not that important and in the end stands up for herself. Initially Red seems to be a book with an unbelievable plot. Several social implications soon are uncovered. The story addresses bullying, accepting those with physical differences and sticking up for what we believe. This is an important read for teens. Reviewer: Sandra G. Brody
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
In a town where being a redhead is everything, a teen struggles with her identity. In the book's unsubtle analogy to the theme of racial inequality, Scarletville's residents profess no prejudice toward those not redheaded, but reality proves otherwise. No dissident, Felicity's mother has spent years prepping her daughter to win the popular Miss Scarlet pageant, but she's also been secretly having Felicity's below-par strawberry locks dyed just the right copper red. Felicity has performed well and won many pageants to please her superficial mother, but her mother's discouraging attitude toward Felicity's pursuit of studio art causes growing resentment. Though she has remained with her hunky, superficial boyfriend, Felicity is attracted to Jonathan, a talented art student and a staunch supporter of rights for blonds and brunettes, as well as redheads. The real trouble starts when Felicity's dye job is discovered. Felicity's efforts in support of hair-color equality begin only when her own rights have been trampled--they are more self-serving than altruistic. There's not a lot of rich nor particularly original description here, and many analogies are stretched farther than a jumbo-sized hair elastic. Though the ending isn't predictable, it isn't satisfying enough to justify this long journey. And it's hard to get past the laughable premise; if this were a futuristic novel in which oppression was the law or even if it were simply exaggerated more for effect, it would be easier to buy. Not satiric enough to succeed in its evident aim. (Fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307979919
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/08/2013
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
363,022
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Unlike Felicity, Alison Cherry is a natural redhead. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, dance, and opera productions. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first book. Visit her at alisoncherrybooks.com or on Twitter at @alison_cherry.


From the Hardcover edition.

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