if you were the one of the most popular girls in high school, thanks to
your beautiful coppery tresses. Now suppose someone found out that
you've been a lifelong fake and is threatening to reveal you're a
natural strawberry blond. For Felicity St. John, such exposure would
destroy her life and dreams, seeing that her home town gives
preferential treatment to redheads.
Every town has a dirty little secret. Some have underground drug rings. Others look away while prostitution flourishes. A select few shelter branches of the Mob.—Red by Alison Cherry (Random House Children's Books / Delacorte Press, 2013, p. 20; uncorrected proof)
Scarletville's secret was Rouge-o-Rama.
There was rampant speculation among the town's residents over where the underground hair salon was located and what it looked like.
- Setting: Scarletville, Iowa, the National Redhead Sanctuary
- Circumstances: Redheads have all the advantages in Scarletville; Felicity is pretty, kind, and popular but has a secret: she's not a natural redhead; if her secret is revealed, she will lose the Miss Scarlet beauty pageant and with it the money she needs to attend art school; a blackmailer makes her rethink the town's priorities
- Characters: Felicity St. John; Ginger St. John, her mom; Haylie and Ivy, her BFFs; Brent, her football-playing boyfriend; various classmates and their parents; other townsfolk
- Genre: contemporary young adult; satire; humor
- Major themes: the superficiality of prejudices; friendship; mother-daughter relationships; staying true to oneself; secrets; navigating the high school social scene; peer pressure
- Miscellaneous: although the premise seems silly, substitute hair color with weight or religion (for example) and you'll see that the novel makes some serious points
- Thoughts so far: fun quick read that will appeal to younger teens and their parents; good mother-daughter book club pick
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