Monday, December 5, 2011

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

Title: Red Heart Tattoo
Author: Lurlene McDaniel
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 84% or B
Buy It: Amazon

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.

My Thoughts:: 
These tragic stories like this always pull on my heartstrings and grab my attention. I'm still in High School, so something like this happening is something that I occasionally think about. It's a scary thought which becomes even scarier as we watch it come to pass and the results of it in this book.

This book started out with a bit of a flash forward then rewinds to the present time. I was confused. About a third of the way through I finally realized that it didn't happen yet, and we were working our way up to it. This actually pleased me because I was disappointed about how boring the book looked like it was going to be.

Morgan was such a sweet main character, which we don't see that often. Authors tend to try to make them witty, or fabulous, or tough, but this made Morgan easier to relate with. I loved that the story wasn't just about her. It wasn't even just about her and Roth. It was about the school and community as a whole and how it affected them all. We knew that each of these people had a story, but the author just decided to choose Morgan and Roth out of the bunch.

Now of course let's jump back to the surrounding conflict of this novel. This of course being the school bombing. I really liked how we got glimpses here and there of the two teens who committed the crime. The relationship that they had was strange and the leader of the two was clearly having some serious issues. So not only are we in the minds of the victims, but also the perpetrators. The title though, was only significant once we got to the end, which might alienate some readers since the title barely touches on what the book is about.

Overall I think Red Heart Tattoo was a sweet little love story masked in a horrific event. I would recommend this book to those who enjoyed Hate List or Nineteen Minutes or just those who take an interest in tragic school events.

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