Friday, 31 August 2012

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

Red Heart TattooRed Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

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Source: Bookurious Blog it Forward!
Publisher: Delacorte BFYR
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Release Date: July 24, 2012

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.

While Red Heart Tattoo succeeds in portraying the grief and horror that comes with a tragic event, it ultimately fell flat for me.

The novel opens with regular high school life. For me, this served two purposes. I had the chance to be acquainted with the characters and I also got to know them a little bit before tragedy struck. This way, when it did happen, the full range of emotions was felt. I will say though that at times, the first part of the novel dragged for me. It was interesting to a point but not terribly exciting.

When the book did start moving, in part two, was when I really started liking it. I really liked how the events were shown to affect the characters afterward. It felt very realistic and although it never got to the crying stage, I was emotional reading it. This look on the bombing - the way that people comprehended and coped with it - was probably my favourite aspect of the book.

Red Heart Tattoo features five different perspectives. While I appreciated the insight into the lives of different 'types' of characters, I feel as though it also prevented me from getting as deep into a single one as I wanted to. For this story, I would have preferred fewer points of view and a more in-depth look at just one or two characters to really connect with them on that personal level. By the end of the book, a lot of them still felt cookie-cutter and clichéd to me.

Overall, this is a heartfelt portrayal of a high school hit by destruction but not the book for me. I would have preferred more well-developped characters and a closer, deeper look into them.

Cover Comments: I really, really thought that this was a romance novel just from the cover. But... it's not. I mean, there is a bit of that but it's in no way the main point of the story. Not really a fan of the cover.



  1. That is the risk when having 5 different POV's , often one doesn't have a change to get connected to the characters and this often leads to a disappointing read. However, it does sound great so it's sad you didn't like it more!

  2. I agree with Danny. It's always risky to have that many different perspectives and it looks like it didn't work here. I'm glad to hear the second half picked up slightly but I'm sorry it failed to impress! Brilliant review, Sonia. :)

  3. Five POVs is maybe a bit much, I can see why you had problems. It's a shame the characters weren't really developed enough - sorry you didn't love this one. Thanks for the review! :)

  4. Yeah I totally understand the point about the 5 POVs! I'm all for multiple perspectives if done right, but for that number, you really need to NAIL it. It's a shame this overall didn't live up to expectations for you, but I'm happy to hear that part two was more of an emotional reader. BRILLIANT REVIEW, AS ALWAYS <3

  5. It's great to hear that the author takes the time in having you get to know the characters before a huge incident, I can see how that makes the emotional part of the story more intense. But 5 POV's... I think that's too much for a story like this, I can totally understand why you had issues and why the story fell short for you.