Friday, March 13, 2015

Red by Alyxandra Harvey blog tour with review @AlyxandraH

On this Friday the 13th in March we think it's fitting to host a paranormal blog tour. The tour is for Red and we're sharing our review of this fun and exciting YA read. Have a great weekend!

by Alyxandra Harvey 

YA paranormal
eBook, 198 pages
Release Date: March 2015
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Bad girls burn hot…

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…

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Upon seeing the cover for Red I immediately thought it would be another retelling of Red Riding Hood, but under Alyxandra Harvey's capable hands, I would definitely read it. When I read the synopsis, I understood this YA paranormal was something different and since I loved this author's vampire series, the Drake Chronicles, signed right up. Once again, the author showed me why I enjoy her novels so much.

Red isn't the color of Kia's cloak, she doesn't wear one. It's simply the color emitted from her fingertips or from the various items she singes. Red is for fire. She's a firestarter and the story takes place after she's sent off to stay with her grandmother at the castle-like Blackwood estate. The seventeen year old keeps her ability a secret, just like the inhabits of this new home. The owner's son Ethan just happens to be in the same grade as Kia and he's quite the charmer. Kia's middle class with a plumber father, is accustomed to city living in a small apartment, and is the typical loner. In her case, her status is warranted since being a firestarter could upend her life. After an accident with her only friend back home, her dad ships her off to see the only grandmother whom she's seen during her once a year visits. At the new private school she attends, Kia is surrounded by the town's elite, trust fund kids accustomed to getting what they want. And she doesn't fit in.

There were some tiring YA tropes used here, especially with the Academy and the entire rich girl hating on the new/poor girl and making her life miserable (though Ethan quickly explains the girl's reasoning later), the hot guy not liking the new girl when he does, the big mysterious house, and the new girl falling for the hot guy. This could have made for an eye-rolling reading experience and it didn't. Harvey ramps up the mystery with creepy and different supernatural creatures, bringing in a Hunger Games-like secret group called the Cabel, along with magic-infused property wards, hunting trials with rewards, and a vast property to roam.

I enjoyed the whole supernatural creatures being hunted by warrior-trained teens and Kia's fiery ability. The dual narrative of Kia and Ethan filled us in on the necessary background info and kept the pace steady. It took a while to like Ethan but I quickly liked Kia's sass and strength. With such a rich group of mythological beings, Red could have easily been the first book in a series and I understand it's not. I thought some areas definitely called for more expansion in their own stories (Ethan's aunt Simone's reaction to Kia, Kia's mom sending post cards, Tobias and the dryads, the other kids from the trials, Nix in the lake). Plus, Kia still needs to learn more about her ability.

Red is an exciting, unique YA read where the main character is a true girl on fire and the guy she falls for is a blond warrior hottie. 

Rating: 4
Cover comment: Gives the story a fairy tale feel with the title and the girl in the woods. There are werewolves.
Book source: Netgalley

About the Author

Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

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