Author: Alison Cherry
Source: Thank you to Netgalley and Quercus Books for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review
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?
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This book has left me extremely conflicted. As a red head myself I wanted to feel connected to this novel and the characters. Unfortunately this didn’t happen for the majority of the book. Despite the lack of a connection the reader may feel the plot is very unique and made this book worth the read. Alison Cherry has created an original novel full of drama. It deals with many issues such as discrimination against people because of the way the look. The main ideas this book creates is the desperation some teenagers feel to fit in and whether popularity is really worth hurting those closest to you. This book is a frustrating read as there are a lot of good aspects within it but it is difficult to feel any connection with the characters.
Felicity is a secret Strawbie and in a town like Scarletville where only the true and darkest red heads are popular, her mother takes drastic measures to secure her daughters popularity. Now in her final year of High School and with the towns beauty pageant looming keeping her secret has never been more important. When her darkest secret is discovered and she begins to be blackmailed Felicity must do everything she can to stop her world from crumbling around her. Despite her mothers constant training for the pageant all Felicity wants out of it is the winner’s money to pay for art school and discover her dreams. Felicity’s mother is a very self-centred woman who seems to care extremely little for her own daughters happiness and only worries about her own reputation. She appears to want to re-live her pageant days through her daughter. Felicity’s mum is a horrible woman who I strongly disliked throughout the book. One thing Alison Cherry has done very well is she has allowed the reader to understand a variety of issues within society in her own original way. Despite the problems I had with this novel I thought this really added to the book overall and made it worth the read.
The main issue I had with this book is I did not understand some of the relationships between characters. Particularly between Felicity and Brent at the start of the novel. At some points when they were together Felicity seemed genuinely happy but then within a few minutes she just appeared to be with him for the sake of it. When they broke up neither of them seemed particularly upset and the break up was very quick and abrupt. In the beginning as the reader I found it difficult to like Felicity as all she appeared to care about was her popularity but as the book progresses we discover this is only due to her mother drilling it into her from a young age. What really saved the book for me were the characters Ivy and Jonathan. Ivy is one of Felicity’s best friends she is an extremely easy character to like, unlike a lot of the characters her whole life doesn’t revolve around the beauty pageant. Also she cares for Felicity and supports her decisions. Jonathan is another brilliant character he is kind, sweet, charming and despite having brown hair he is not bitter.
Overall this was not the best book I have ever read but it is worth the read as it has many good factors. The second half of the book is much better than the first and the characters are also much easier to like. I would recommend readers give this book a chance as it is worth your time especially the end.
Links: If you like the sound of this book here are the buying links
Find the author on her website http://alisoncherrybooks.com/