Released: March 10, 2015
Format: E-Book, 198 pages
Genre: YA, Paranormal
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
Red, by Alyxandra Harvey, is one of the rarities in today's young adult genre. It is a standalone that doesn't really need to go any further for readers to enjoy it. Harvey tells her story by alternating first person narratives between Kia Alcott, and Ethan Blackwood. I enjoyed the premise behind Red, and Kia and Ethan for different reasons. I love that the Blackwood estate is surrounded by magic, secrets, and unusual creatures right out of mythology. It's also a plus when storylines come together and the pacing of the book is quick and not discombobulated.
Kia is a troubled teen who has a bit of a problem. She is a firestarter with an attitude and her sarcasm knows no boundaries. When Kia sets part of her school on fire, and hurts her best friend in the process, her father banishes her off to stay with a grandmother, Abby, who had forbidden her from visiting the Blackwoods estate. Kia soon discovers why. She's not even close to being the most dangerous person living on the property. Abby is living in a place where wild beasts like phookas, trolls, mermaids, basilisks, wyverns, goblins, werewolves, and wendigo's roam freely. With Abby's abilities, it's only a matter of time before someone catches on, and forces her into doing things she doesn't enjoy.
There is also something called the Cabal, and that is where Ethan, his father Holden, Sloane, Tobias, Justine, Colt, Ariel, and Justin come in. Each is expected to pass their own individual trials, and become members of the Cabal aka Hunters and protectors who try to make sure their monsters don't kill indiscriminately. When you look into each of the characters trials, you will be amazed that more people haven't been killed by pure lunacy. In the end, I liked Sloane the best, and really didn't understand Justine's hatred for Kia which reminds me why I am glad I am no longer a teen and in high school.
As for Ethan, I will say that he is the most intense character in the book, but I do believe that's because of who is father is, what is expected from him, and what he has lost over the years. To me, he's allowed to be a bit out of reach, closed off, and therefore I am giving him plenty of leeway. Ethan, of course, is the love interest in the book. I do believe that Kia and Ethan come together in a situation where they both need someone to understand what they are living with. It is not love at first sight. There isn't any love triangles either. Their relationship grows over the short span of this story, and doesn't immediately involve sex and heavy petting.
In the end, I will recommend Red to those who like a different kind of story about paranormal, mythology, and romance. There are those who are stating that Red is a re-imagining of Little Red Riding Hood. I will leave it up to YOU, the future reader of this book to decide whether that is true, or not.
**I received this book for free from (Entangled Teen ) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**