Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

Morgan is furious when someone set of fireworks in the middle of the pep rally that she planned and organized. It's going to ruin all of the work that she's put in as president of the student council. Her boyfriend is really supportive, but her best friend is distant and withdrawn, and there's a new guy - a strange guy - who is making her feel things that she's never felt before. Then, on the day before Thanksgiving, something terrible happens. A bomb goes off in the school. People are injured, some critically, and others are killed instantly. Morgan's life will never be the same.

(Mild spoilers below)

There's a nice amount of tension in this book. The identity of the bombers is only revealed at the end, so the readers are kept in suspense and have to guess which - if any - of the main characters are involved. There's a lot of drama in a short amount of pages, and the bombing turns it into a true life-and-death situation. People are never the same as they were before, even if they were able to escape injury. The characters sometimes seem like stock characters, but they're given personality and quirks to save them from being caricatures. I particularly liked how the ending of the book was true to Morgan's identity as a strong woman and student; it could so easily have gone in a different way, but reinforced the idea of living a life that's full of possibilities. Fans of Lurlene McDaniel will find a lot of pages packed with emotion and a story that's speeds a long with a quick pace.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Random House Children's Books/Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland
Heart to Heart by Lurlene McDaniel
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

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