Sunday, 29 July 2012

Review: Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel

from goodreads

At 7:45 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving break, a bomb goes off at Edison High. Nine people die instantly. Fifteen are critically injured. Twenty-two suffer less severe injuries. And one is blinded. Those who survive, struggle to cope with the loss and destruction. All must find new meaning for their lives as a result of something they may never understand.
Lurlene McDaniel's signature expertise and finesse in dealing with issues of violence, death, and physical as well as emotional trauma in the lives of teens is immediate and heartrending.


A bomb, planted by two unnamed students who resent the school and the people who rule it, goes off at Edison High. Nine die and fifteen others are critically injured. Edison High will never be the same again.

Red Heart Tattoo was a compelling take on the lives of the students at Edison High before and after the bombing. There are the popular kids, the loners and the invisibles. And then the bombing that shakes up the clique system; bringing it to light and then redefining it. 

Two characters who stayed in my mind well after I read Red Heart Tattoo: Morgan and Roth. The tragedy transforms them both in ways they could've never imagined. The other characters also cope with the aftermath of the bombing in different ways. I loved how the story showed the larger picture... the ways in which the bombing scarred them and at the same time brought them together.

While Red Heart Tattoo was without doubt well written and thought provoking, it could've been so much more. The characters weren't as well developed as they could've been and the intricacies of the plot could've been explored more. It was a little too fast paced and the resolution of various conflicts seemed a little too rushed... While the heart of the story was phenomenally crafted and heartbreaking, aspects of it weren't as fleshed out as it could've been.

Told in five points of view, Lurlene McDaniel captures the loss, love, frustration, grief and anger felt by these teens as they slowly piece their lives back together.

Publication date: 24th July, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Links: Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads
Source: NetGalley

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


  1. This is the second review of this book I've seen this week, Ajoop. Your thoughts echo a lot of what the other review said, that the character development was a bit lacking. That's unfortunate because this is a story that has so much potential. I'm glad to see you enjoyed the book overall in spite of it's deficiencies. Lovely review. :)

  2. Too bad the characters were underdeveloped as the premise sounds good. Great review, i love the cover. Despite its flaws I am glad you enjoyed it.

  3. I was disappointed when I didn't get a review copy, but it sounds like I didn't miss out on anything super spectacular. While it sounds like a solid read, I have so much to read I wonder if I will ever catch up!

  4. I haven't heard of this but I was instantly intrigued by your review. It's a shame about the lack of depth when it came to the characters but this still sounds really good!

  5. I admire any author who dares to touch such a delicate subject, although personally, I tend to shy away from these thins. It's too bad that the story lacked depth - it could really have been used to its full potential. Nevertheless, great review, dear.

  6. I'm always intrigued by this kind of books! Especially since you mentioned that the high school kids would never be the same again after the experience. I'm sorry that the story didn't blow you away though - especially since it has such amazing premise!

    Awesome review nonetheless, Ajoop! <3

  7. The premise to this sounds really good, I however think that I would have a tough time reading this one. A lovely review Ajoop! :)

  8. This book sounds pretty good. The cover is what caught my attention when I first heard about this book.


HI. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. :)