Red at Night

First Lines: I like cemeteries.  They’re quiet, well-groomed, and overall possibly the safest place in the city.  I can talk all I want, and the company doesn’t talk back.

When I heard about this FREE ebook (that is STILL FREE on Amazon), I jumped on it.  I mean, I like Katie McGarry.  And a novella?  That’s like a quick shot of romance.  I couldn’t turn it down.

Stella and Jonah should be complete opposites.  Stella’s from the wrong part of town and sports purple hair.  Jonah is the popular senior with his life ahead of him.  But they aren’t as opposite as they think they are.  And, as if to prove that point, they bond…at the local cemetery.  Jonah, riddled with guilt, can’t stay away from the one person who seems to understand. And Stella knows better than to get mixed up with Jonah, who is friends with her biggest bullies.  But what if what they want happens to be what they need?

Alright.  So first of all, I want to say that the writing deserves an A, like it always does. McGarry knows how to weave a great story with lots of emotional writing.  I mean, even if you initially didn’t like one of the leads, you’d still probably fall in love with them by the end.  Her writing is just that good.

And I like that she tackles issues in her books.  Stella is from the wrong side of town and she deals with issues that are vastly different from what Jonah is dealing with.  It’s nice to get two different perspectives on teen life.  It’s a bit like Perfect Chemistry in that respect.  Because even though one of the two is leading a “privileged” life, they really aren’t.  You see what I’m saying?  And before I forget (I nearly did), there is mention of a charity in the story (that may be real or not real) that deals with a serious issue in this country.  I loved that this was something near and dear to Stella’s heart.

But at the same time, it’s getting to be too cliche.  I mean, of the 4 McGarry books I’ve read, at least 3 have had one of the leads coming from the wrong side of the tracks while the other lives the high life.  And it just feels a little stale.  I still love the writing and everything, I swear, but just wish the basic bare-boned premises were different.

And in that vein, I thought that Jonah and Stella were pretty stereotypical.  I’ll attribute that to this being a novella, because how do you develop great characters in 84 pages?  You rely on stereotypes.  But it just made it less fun for me to read.

Overall, I thought it was cute and roughly on-par with what I expected out of this book.  But it could have been better.

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