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A Taste for Red by Lewis Harris

A Taste for RedSvetlana—not Stephanie!—Grimm thinks she’s a vampire. How else would you explain her preference for red-colored foods, her ability to read and influence other people’s thoughts, and why she likes sleeping under her bed? Unfortunately, there’s nothing Svetlana can do to change her parents’ minds about her new schooling arrangement—sixth grade at Sunny Hill Middle School. Having been previously homeschooled, Svetlana is not looking forward to spending multiple hours in the company of kids she has nothing in common with. And after her first science class, she looks even less forward to her last period of the day since there’s something undeniably creepy and almost sinister about beautiful Ms. Larch. When accidents and disappearances start occurring, Svetlana is sure Ms. Larch is the culprit, and that if she, Svetlana, doesn’t stop the evil Ms. Larch, Sunny Hill Middle School may because the feeding ground for a monster.

I first thought A Taste for Red wouldn’t actually be about vampires or other supernatural beings, but rather a sort of psychological evaluation on strange childhood phases. Boy, was I wrong! Make no mistake, this novel does include supernatural creatures. Svetlana is a unique protagonist, remarkably clever and witty, and suspicious of friendly advances. She is surprisingly believable within her situation, even if her intelligence level seems to far surpass her maturity. Humor is what initially brought me into Svetlana’s story, but plot action sustained my interest until the end. I did enjoy A Taste for Red even if I didn’t feel the story was completely original or in any way spectacular. Even if some of the characters, especially Svetlana, are fresh and new, the rest of the story seems to already have been done before several times, if in altered form. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Harris failed to refine his story to the extent that it would sparkle above the rest, which was a bit of a disappointment for me. All in all, A Taste for Red is not a bad debut, but Harris still has a little ways to go before reaching amazing.

A Taste for Red will be enjoyable for the middle school crowd and among those who liked Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer, The Otherworldies by Jennifer Anne Kogler, and You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay.

Rating: 3.5

Review copy from Amazon Vine

1 munch(es) :

Steph Bowe said...

Great review!
My mother has been really funny lately, telling me she's a vampire, because her doctor told her she has an iron deficiency and she's also very pale. I don't think anyone's written a book where someone's parent is convince they're a vampire.

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