Saturday, 18 February 2017

As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka

After being bullied at school and feeling scared for years, Lumikki decided it was up to her to fight back.  She thought running away would be enough, but she also had to learn to hide in plain sight and escape her persecutors notice.  When a classmate found herself in trouble and turned to Lumikki for help, she wanted to walk away and would have except for the fear she saw in the other girl's eyes.

As Red as Blood is set during the winter in a small Finnish town.  Early one morning, when Lumikki entered the school dark room and found thousands of Euro notes dripping dry and reeking of blood, she knew she needed to back out and pretend she saw nothing.  Unfortunately life rarely co-operates in such circumstances.

I liked the character of Lumikki, she didn't cower and wait for someone else to solve her problems.  She decided on a course of action that would work for her and embarked on it.  In spite of how others have treated her, she is still an honourable ethical person and can't abandon another who is begging for help.

The winter setting in Finland could have been almost anywhere, though the cold climate was needed for certain plot developments.  The idea of teens moving on their own to a distance city for school may seem odd to many, though I have heard of similar arrangements in many cities and countries and it is essential to this plot.

I felt that the teens reacted to their situation in a realistic manner.  Young people don't want to be running to adults to solve their issues, they tend to feel they can do it on their own or with the help from their friends.  Good start to a new series.  The story continues in White As Snow.


I received an advance reader copy of this book from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.

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