Publisher: Delacorte Book for Young Readers
Hardcover 320 pages
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Goodreads Synopsis- Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.
Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:
I know your secret.
Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.
Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?
So I featured this one twice on my Waiting on Wednesday and absolutely couldn't wait for it to release! And then I was approved to read it on NetGalley!!! So..I bet you're wondering what the verdict is. Did it live up to my expectations? Was all the buildup I had created in my mind worth it?? The answer is yes and no.
It was a social satire on the way we judge people by their looks, the line "Blondes have more fun" kept running through my mind as I read. But it's also about accepting who you are (I'm not saying you can't color your hair, I'd be a hypocrite). But really accepting who you are, you're likes and dislikes, what you want to do with your life, you don't have to be heading to college to be making decisions. Life is constantly changing and with every step you take you are making a decision to do something. The one thing you can't do is pretend to be something you aren't- like being a red head when you're really a "strawbie" or staying in a town that only thinks you're somebody if you have red hair.
Felicity has a problem. She's not a real red head. She's actually a strawbie, a strawberry blonde and she would not have the social standing, friends, and boyfriend she has if it weren't for the color of her hair. Which she has touched up every four weeks in a secret salon. One where all the other women who need dye jobs go. There's a secret code, secret exit, none of the other customers ever see each other. Until, Felicity gets a blackmail note. And the humiliation begins.
Felicity's friendships, love and loyalty are tested to the limits. Felicity's mom has her life mapped out for her. She pretty much wants Felicity to live her life with the possible exception of hanging onto her husband. She believes Felicity should win the Miss Scarlet pageant then attend the community college, get married and have kids. But her view of the world, her limited view, starts to change when she gets outside the city limits and sees that redheads don't get preferential treatment anywhere but Scarletville. When the blackmail sabotages one of the most important nights of her life, she learns even more how great it can be to be treated as a nobody, to fit in rather than stand out.
I didn't feel a connection to Felicity, there was always some feeling of disconnect between me and the story, but I enjoyed it very much with it's numerous twists and turns. There were a lot of unexpected things that happened and when I thought about all the messages the author was trying to convey, it really was done well. They didn't hit you over the head. It was redheads over the top, but not overdone, if that makes sense.
So the verdict was, it was fun to read, had a message and I enjoyed it. But it wasn't quite as funny as I expected it to be. I do highly recommend it!
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher for review through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way.