Jul 9, 2012

Red Heart Tattoo

I've always been intrigued by the story lines of books written by Lurlene McDaniel but have never actually read one of her books until Red Heart Tattoo. After reading this book I definitely one hundred percent will read another book by this author. It wasn't at all what I expected, but it was a good book. Definitely makes your heart call out to these characters who went through something so horrible.

Summary from Goodreads:

  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.

All the lives of the students who attend Edison High are altered when a bomb goes off in their school. Some lives are altered more significantly than others. People were injured, people died, and one student even lost their sight. They all have to deal with what happened and the after affects that leave some of their lives changed forever. 

Red Heart Tattoo is not a book light with laughter. It's dark and its sad. From the moment you start this book you know something horrible is going to happen, but that horrible event doesn't happen right away. No, you have to read and watch as the characters are clueless about what is going to happen. But you know its going to happen. The build up was personally for me kind of horrible. Some of the characters I'd already built a liking for and knowing that something so horrible was about to happen made me sad not knowing what was going to happen to these characters.

Red Heart Tattoo revolves around a bunch of different characters and it was interesting watching how certain things in their lives played out. Some of it I saw coming others I didn't. Kelli's big issue I suspected and wasn't all that shocked to learn. It made me so sad to learn after the accident what happened to her. Kelli was not my favorite character in this book, but when you learn what you do about her you realize why she acted the way she did. There was another thing I picked up on and can't really say what that was, but their are hints to make you realize that maybe what is happening actually isn't. It's to spoilery to get anymore specific than that, but those who have read this book will get what I'm talking about.

Morgan and Roth were the characters who I liked reading about the most. Morgan was the student council president and ate lunch with the elites. Roth was the boy with tattoos and a bad boy rep. Two completely different people who end up being more a like than they realize. I loved reading and watching as these two got closer. It was great watching Morgan deal with what has happened to her and how her life has changed. I think she handled it well considering everything. There was one scene towards the very end at a gas station. I can't say what happens, but what does happen was really beautiful. The way Lurlene wrote that scene with Morgan finally seeing certain things clearly was amazing. Best scene in the book in my opinion. Sad though, but beautiful at the same time.

It's hard to write a review for this book without giving anything away about everything that happens in this book and a lot happens. Red Heart Tattoo is heart-breaking and whats really horrible is knowing that what happens in this book can happen in real life--has happened in real life. Just knowing that makes this book even more heart-breaking. This book is written so beautifully and the way the author ties everything together and wraps the story up was great. 

What I loved and hated most about this book was getting to read from the perspective of the monsters who built the bomb. Lurlene writes that so perfectly that it literally makes you sick to your stomach knowing that their are people actually like that. People who are filled with glee knowing that they are the reason for the bomb going off. I hated reading the interactions of the bombers and yet at the same time the book wouldn't be the same without that twisted sight into the world of those characters.  

Red Heart Tattoo is a must read for anyone who likes to read a good book. But don't expect to read a book that will make you laugh a lot. This book will make your stomach and heart hurt. It's worth it though because this is truly an amazing book. Lurlene McDaniel handled things that were tragic and traumatic beautifully and her writing captivates you from the very first line. Red Heart Tattoo is getting 4 out of 5 stars from me. I'd recommend this book to anyone for sure. It's to good of a story not to be read.

~~Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy before its official publication date!~~


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  2. Wow! This book sounds chock full of emotion. It's not normally the type I would read but it has caught my attention. I think it's both disturbing and amazing how the author shared the POV of the bomb-makers. Great review! :)