Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel 
Release Date: July 24, 2012 
PublisherRandom House Children's Books 
Source: Publisher via NetGalley 
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.
When I was in the 8th grade, I discovered an author named Lurlene McDaniel. I decided to randomly pick out one of her books and read it. By the end of 8th grade, I had read every book she had published that I could get my hands on. After reading all of these books, I knew what her future books would be about. Red Heart Tattoo was a story about love, loss, and moving on when a devastating event occurs.

This book was short. Like really short so it didn't leave a lot of room for character development, which wasn’t the best thing in the world, but I'll get to that. The plot was fast and things simply happened in the blink of an eye. That aspect went really well with the story line, which dealt with a bomb being set off, and the fact that life can (and will) change within a blink of an eye. But I wanted more. Certain things happened WAY too fast and I wanted Lurlene McDaniel to take her time expanding on everything...for instance, how fast the kids who set off the bomb were caught.

Now for the characters: I didn’t particularly love them but I didn’t hate them either. They were rather clich├ęd, which didn’t surprise me all that much. One of the characters is that popular girl and her boyfriend is the jock and then there’s the bad boy who’s in love with the popular girl. The difference being that they go through something traumatic and they have to figure out a way to get out of it.

Lurlene McDaniel’s writing wasn't...mature. These are high school kids, y'all and even though they don't always have a ver large vocabulary, they can have a mature voice to them. This book did not and it felt like it was written more for younger children but with older characters. So, overall, I thought this book was okay. I didn’t love it all that much: not much character development occurred but you felt for the characters anyways.
Cover Comments: 
This cover makes it seem like the book is all sexytimes and hotness but really, it's about grief and moving on. I don't like it. At all. Just...NO!
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