Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review: Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: July 24th, 2012
ISBN: 9780385734622
Pages: 224
Series: None
Source: From online book club for review

Goodreads Synopsis:
At 7:45 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving break, a bomb goes off at Edison High. Nine people die instantly. Fifteen are critically injured. Twenty-two suffer less severe injuries. And one is blinded. Those who survive, struggle to cope with the loss and destruction. All must find new meaning for their lives as a result of something they may never understand.
Lurlene McDaniel's signature expertise and finesse in dealing with issues of violence, death, and physical as well as emotional trauma in the lives of teens is immediate and heartrending.

My Review:
received this book from my book club without having read the synopsis, and based on the cover alone, Red Heart Tattoo is not a book that I would have chosen to read myself. But Red Heart Tattoo is nothing like the cover would make us think it is about. It follows the lives of everyday high-school students - the popular crowd, the jocks, the ones who are known as the 'losers' - with the narrative changing between 5 main characters. Then one day, something happens that will change the lives of each character forever. This book is such an emotional book to read because the characters are so well written that I couldn't help but feel for the people who were affected by the school bombings. 
The cover is what I'm still confused about. It screams romance, and honestly there isn't a whole lot (or any) real romance throughout the book. As someone who judges books by their covers (and I know I'm not the only one), this is a book that I'm sure a lot of people have passed over, unless you're a Lurlene McDaniel fan. But I think that this is a book that should be read by many. It's such a powerful novel and McDaniel gets the drama, the struggles and raw emotion right. I liked the simplicity of the book. To me, McDaniel didn't spend a great deal of time with a lot of character development. There was enough there for us to get a glimpse into their lives without giving unrelated facts. She kept it simple and focused on other parts of the story.
Overall, Red Heart Tattoo was quick and easy but a very intense and emotional book.

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