Saving Red

Saving Red

by Sonya Sones


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Sonya Sones, award-winning author of What My Mother Doesn’t Know, delivers a gripping, funny, and inspiring novel in verse about what happens when the person you set out to save ends up saving you.

Right before winter break, fourteen-year-old Molly Rosenberg reluctantly volunteers to participate in Santa Monica’s annual homeless count, just to get her school’s community service requirement out of the way.

But when she ends up meeting Red, a spirited homeless girl only a few years older than she is, Molly makes it her mission to reunite her with her family in time for Christmas. This turns out to be extremely difficult—because Red refuses to talk about her past.

There are things Molly won’t talk about either. Like the awful thing that happened last winter. She may never be ready to talk about that. Not to Red, or to Cristo, the soulful boy she meets while riding the Ferris wheel one afternoon.

When Molly realizes that the friends who Red keeps mentioning are nothing more than voices inside Red’s head, she becomes even more concerned about her well-being. How will Molly keep her safe until she can figure out a way to get Red home?

In Sonya Sones’s inspiring novel, two girls, with much more in common than they realize, give each other a new perspective on the meaning of family, friendship, and forgiveness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062370280
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 410,467
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

Sonya Sones has written seven novels in verse: The Opposite of Innocent, Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy; What My Mother Doesn’t Know and its companion, What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know; One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies; To Be Perfectly Honest; and Saving Red. Sonya’s books have received many honors, but she was especially thrilled when she learned that she was on the American Library Association’s list of the Most Frequently Challenged Authors of the 21st Century. She lives near the beach in California. You can visit her at or write her at

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Saving Red 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
runnergirl83 3 months ago
Molly, a 14-year-old, is volunteering at an event for the homeless when she meets a girl a few years older than her. Something about Red intrigues her, she is different and Molly feels a pull to reunite Red with her family. It will be Molly's something good to do. Molly and Red do have something in common. Red won't talk about her past, which makes it difficult to reunite her with her family if she doesn't talk about them, or give Molly their number. And at the same time, something happened in Molly's past that she isn't talking about either. Molly soon learns that Red hears voices and she is sick and should be taking medication. Molly wants to help her even more as they become friends. When I picked this book up, I wasn't sure if I would be able to get into it. I wasn't aware that it was written in that poetry prose verse instead of just a regular novel. I don't like poetry, but decided to just read a few pages to give the book a chance. I was pleasantly surprised, while I would have preferred a regular novel since I just feel like so much more depth could have been accessed there, it was still a good book. This might make me actually give other books written in this format an actual chance.
Bookyogi 4 months ago
I am going to throw out a thought about this book that may be crazy, as I haven’t seen anyone else say it in their reviews. What if this book happens inside the narrator’s head? What if the only part of this story that is real are the scenes with the mother and father and the only real people in the story are them and Noah and the dog? I know, crazy right? For this review, I am going under the assumption this is the case because, the story is more believable for me. Most unbelievable is Molly meeting Cristo on a Ferris wheel and him being so utterly perfect and understanding her so well, from the moment they meet. Cristo is like comfort and acceptance of the difficult parts of herself Molly can’t quite face or accept and Red are all those parts she fears, especially the fear she may be mentally ill herself and feeling the guilt she feels in her role in her brother’s disappearance. What if Red and Cristo are an escape to deal with those deep and dark parts she is having trouble facing, in light of having a mother who self medicates with marijuana and a father who escapes his guilt with work. The parents are absent and Cristo fills that void of love and Red allows her to step away from her fears and come to terms with them by looking at them in someone else. That’s how I will look at it, otherwise, the story has some serious flaws for me, most notably the instant relationship. It’s just a thought, but it makes sense to me when dealing with a story in verse about mental illness and the pain of loss.
Beth_Rodgers_Author More than 1 year ago
'Saving Red' by Sonya Sones is an unabashedly riveting tale of Molly, a girl who has fielded her fair share of trouble, yet doesn't back down in the face of what could be considered nothing less than overwhelming. Molly's relationship with her parents is strained, to say the least, and she makes mention of her brother, Noah, who has disappeared from her life. At times readers may wonder if he disappeared in the literal or figurative sense, but it is made clear soon enough, compounding the issues that Molly is dealing with when she comes upon a homeless girl named Red. Red is homeless, yes, but she is unwilling to accept charity, citing her oft-used phrase, "I better not," to turn down any offer presented to her. Molly tries unflinchingly to provide Red with necessities, sometimes with help from Cristo, a cute boy Molly meets on a Ferris wheel. Whereas in some books the fast-paced nature of a 6-hour long in-person relationship would seem rushed and maybe even forced, Sones is at her best yet again, making readers see that Molly and Cristo share a connection at the tender age of fourteen that makes them eager and willing to get to know each other through texts, Facetime, and phone calls when Cristo leaves on vacation mere hours after happening upon Molly originally. Their relationship and ensuing troubles when Cristo seemingly disappears brings out the teen angst that any fourteen-year-old would have if in a similar situation. Yet Molly doesn't have time to worry about Cristo as much as she'd like to wallow when he doesn't respond to her texts. She has to deal with Red and the voices that inhabit Red's mind. By trying to help Red, Molly finds that her understanding of what happened when her brother Noah went missing comes to a head, and she has to focus on the ensuing internal battle that she feels, and which Red tries to help her come to grips with. Despite Red's craziness, which Red fully understands she herself is dealing with, Molly can see the truth and wisdom in Red's words, as she tries to help Molly cope with the losses she has sustained. In 'Saving Red,' relationships are tested on all levels, including family, friends, and romances. Sones has a way of captivating readers' attention and making them see the readers as nothing less than real people with real problems, who deal with them as only as those people could. They are all unique, independent, strikingly unsure characters who find their truth in their own ways as the story goes on. It is a testament to Sones' writing style that she can capture all of this in short, to-the-point verse. The last few words of the novel leave room for a whole new story that Sones will hopefully write one day. Those last words should provide hope, making anyone's heart leap - especially those invested in the outcome of Molly's story. Beth Rodgers, Author of 'Freshman Fourteen,' A Young Adult Novel