A firey and snarky granddaughter and a forest full of hungry horrors add up to a lot of fun in Alyxandra Harvey’s Red

A firey and snarky granddaughter and a forest full of hungry horrors add up to a lot of fun in Alyxandra Harvey’s Red

While Red does have a forest, a grandmother, and a wolf, this isn’t a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.  It is a scamper into a forest full of magical and mythical creatures who can eviscerate you in ways you’ve never imagined.  It is about a secret society where membership is hereditary and you either live or die by the rules, but you never escape.  This was fun and entertaining, and if it was the equivalent of literary junk food, pass me the m&m’s.  

Kia is . . . firey, literally. When her secret abilities land her in hot water, she is sent to live with her grandmother, a housekeeper for a wealthy and private man who lives on an isolated estate. Cue the snobby, distant, and irresistible son and the jealous “friend” who thinks she has exclusive rights to him (as if) and it adds up to a pretty hellish punishment. Problem is, Kia hasn’t even seen what stalks the woods behind the mansion, and she has no idea what lengths everyone will go to in order to make sure she never does. Kia is a snarky and fun narrator who manages to gain reader empathy without coming across as weak. The story is fairly fast paced and manages to juggle moving the plot forward while developing a superficial but believable romantic relationship. All of this, though is secondary to the fun hiding inside that forest — you won’t believe it, but you’ll sure want to! This was a very intriguing setting, and I would have liked to have spent more time there. There isn’t a whole lot of depth, but I was having enough fun that I didn’t care. Fast and engaging, creative but familiar enough for readers who don’t enjoy exhaustive world building.

Goodreads summary for Red

I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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