pub date: June 7, 2011
publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
source: ALA Midwinter 2011
appeals: survival, family, future, dystopia
content: some swearing, violence
Wow. I've had an ARC of this book on my bookshelf for a year and I just barely picked it up. Ugh! I should have read it a year ago!
In the beginning I struggled. Saba writes her story phonetically and without punctuation or quotation marks. Which is hard reading! I wasn't a big fan and it wasn't a book that was quickly read because of this.
However, it didn't take me long to get so immersed in the story that I stopped noticing the strange spellings and lack of punctuation. By fifty pages in, it was easy reading and it did read quickly.
Saba...is an interesting character. There is much about her that is appealing as a heroine, she's strong and courageous and brave and proactive and smart. But she's also kind of annoying in that she's so also so hell bent on rescuing her brother, her one-note tune got annoying at times. And she was so selfish and mean at times. Or all the time, until she grew at the end. So while she was frustrating, it was also very real. Her motivations and actions were understandable and real.
Jack is absolutely wonderful. He had some really great lines. He was really a funny guy. Great to have around when things aren't going so great.
Okay, I love a good love story. And this was a GOOD love story. It was a nice side story, wasn't overwhelming, but so well developed and REAL. (so are we sensing a theme here?) I reread the romantic bits a few times over just because they were so good.
This book has a lot of heart, a lot of adventure, a lot of character.
I have read a lot of people who compare it to The Hunger Games. I can see the correlation. Saba and Katniss have similar personalities and this drive to save their siblings and survive. But this is a different story, original and new. And oh, so wonderful.
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.