Red shows how stereotypes and discrimination against groups of people can have real consequences to the world and our descendants. Scarletville is a ‘red-hair sanctuary’ founded by a group of red-haired individuals in order to preserve the red-hair gene and avoid ‘contamination’. Felicity has grown up in this town and is thought to have one of the best locks of hair. However, what most people aren’t aware of is that her hair colour is artificial, she’s really a strawbie (strawberry blonde). Since she was born and her mother was aware of this ‘condition’ her hair has been dyed in order to provide her more opportunities in this red hair dominated community. However, her secret is somehow out, someone knows what she is and is threatening to let everyone know, unless she does what they ask. She has no choice, she knows that she will be shunned by her friends and the whole town will look upon her with disdain. How far will she go in order to keep her secret safe?
I enjoyed reading this book as it deals with the issue of discrimination really well in showing how people are treated differently due to their physical appearance. Felicity is a likeable character and you really see the struggles that she is going through in order to try and protect her secret and not disappoint her family. I do feel like she gave into the blackmail a little too easily as she didn’t really seem to do much in order to prevent it or protect herself. The whole idea of a red-haired community is very interesting as well and completely different to anything i have read before. I do have to say that i really disliked the way in which the book ended though, i felt slightly cheated out of a real ending and wish that there was a chapter or two more in order to really ‘finish’ off the book. I would recommend this book for YA readers who want to see a slightly different spin on discrimination topics.
Thanks for reading,