Red at Night
Katie McGarryIn Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.
Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him.
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
My Rating: 4 stars
I'm going to say something that may shock you. It may horrify you. It may anger you.
This was my first Katie McGarry book.
I know that everyone is raving about her as an author, and I admit I was a bit intrigued by all the hype, but I am not a 'romance' person. In fact, I can be downright picky when it comes to that particular genre. Romance is so prominent in the young adult genre I've just become a bit hard to please. So I did not listen to the rave reviews.
I should have.
Because, fellow readers, this was good. Like, really good. And it was a flipping novella. If an 84 page story can be this wonderful, how wonderful could a full 300-ish page novel be?
Why I liked it has a lot to do with the characters. The plot was nice, but the characters are the strong suit of the story. Stella is an outcast at her school, due to the fact that she is a bit odd. But I loved her oddness. It made her a fascinating and likable character. Jonah is...well, even a cynical (when it comes to romance) person like me has to admit, Jonah is kind of swoon worthy. But that's not all. Trust me, if that was all I wouldn't have liked him nearly as much. He also is struggling with a recent experience he had, and it is because of this experience that he and Stella come together. He was not a perfect person, and I mean that in the best way possible. He is struggling with the experience (in case you're wondering, I am trying to save you from spoilers. Sorry for being so vague with this) as well as his feelings for Stella. Especially since his best friend, Cooper, constantly torments Stella.
The romance was really interesting as well as--not to be obvious here, but--romantic. (Yeah, I know, it's a romance. Why wouldn't it be romantic? Well, you'd be a bit surprised at the number of romances I found completely un-romantic.) Jonah and Stella are 'star cross'd lovers' and the complications of this give the story a little extra flair.
The reason I am so impressed with this book is because Ms. McGarry managed to put a interesting love story, awesome characters, and a nice message into a story that is a quarter the size of a usual book. In fact, this was better than some full length novels I read. Yes, I will admit, in order to accomplish this sometimes time passed a bit quickly, but does this not happen in many regular sized books as well? It was necessary in this case, so I did not mind very much.
It's free on Amazon,* so what have you got to lose, guys? Definitely get this one!
*Or was. This might change in the future. But either way, it's a novella so it will most likely be cheap.