Published by Quercus, January 2014.
Goodreads Synopsis: Top student. Beauty queen. Girlfriend of the hottest football jock: Felicity’s got everything. And it’s all down to her red, red hair.
Felicity lives in Scarletville, the world’s only redhead sanctuary, where red hair is celebrated, protected – and the key to sucess.
But Felicity has a secret. A red hot secret. And if anyone finds out, she’s finished.
Because Felicity’s actually a natural blonde.
And in Scarletville, blondes need not apply.
My Review: RED isn’t the kind of book I’d normally read. I often read contemporary books, but none that are about beauty pageants and hair and… well, not exactly my thing! But, I requested this after some great reviews… though I read a few bad ones too… I did enjoy quite a few parts of this, though! I’m really mixed, overall.
The world is one thing that really bugged me! Felicity, the main character, has naturally strawberry blonde hair, and living in Scarletville, the world’s redhead sanctuary, you’re destined for a life of discrimination. I kind of didn’t get that at first- I’m strawberry blonde, and I’m mistaken for being a redhead. Yet Felicity would get harassed for being one… But, I pushed that aside and then thought, as I know Debbie did, why didn’t Felicity just move? Surely that would be an easier option…
I did really enjoy the plot, on the other hand. Its main focus was on bullying and blackmailing, with a really nasty non-redhead girl controlling Felicity to get her way. I enjoyed watching everything unfold, and there were a lot of great plot twists that did keep me reading. The relationship between Felicity and one other character I won’t mention here was really well written, I loved that aspect. Also, it has a bit of an undercover agent feel, what with Felicity sneaking down to a hidden underground place to dye her hair… though I found that a bit funny at first!
Felicity was really hard to like for a large part of the book, to me. She just let herself get blackmailed by someone. If I were her, I would’ve done something back… Yet, Felicity just seemed to let it happen for the most part, and get really stressed about it. I was hoping for her to fight back more. I’ll admit, though, that I did grow to like Felicity a lot towards the ending, where there’s a certain rebellious act involved that puts everything in the line. I did love her for that!
Overall, RED is a book I’m really mixed on! Despite being largely about beauty pageants and dresses and things I generally dislike, it was an enjoyable read, and quite fun to follow. I liked the plot, though I couldn’t really get my head around the fact that Felicity had never considered moving, seemingly. Felicity was hard to like at points, not always standing up for herself, but she did definitely become more likeable as the story progressed. The unfolding love story was cute. Recommended to fans of contemporaries revolving around high school events, though I’m not sure it’s exactly for everybody!
I received a copy of RED from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.