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Red: The Next Generation of American Writers--Teenage Girls--On What Fires Up Theirlives Today

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  240 ratings  ·  64 reviews
"Unsparingly frank and perceptive" (Vanity Fair) personal essays by teenage girls.For every teen girl who thinks she's alone, and every adult who's dared to try to figure her out, comes this eye-opening collection in the spirit of New York Times bestseller Ophelia Speaks. In Red, fifty-eight girls-ranging in age from thirteen to nineteen, and writing from across the spectr ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 8th 2007 by Hudson Street Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 584)
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Sarah Schelde
I'M BIASED OKAY? Little just barely 14 year old me writes a creepy essay about Stephen Colbert, missing the whole point of Truthiness at the time, in only like, 2 hours and then it gets published and HAUNTS ME FOREVER. Better things about this book: all the wonderful ladies I met through it, who are just wonderful and great and so very very talented.
Erica Schickerling
I thought this book was very interesting and intriguing. Essentially it was neat to understand the perspectives girls had on all different topics. There were some girls who felt the same as each other, and others viewed the topic the exact opposite. I could relate to most of the stories and experiences in this book like school and friends. It is interesting to know that a lot of other girls my age share the same feelings as me. Overall I thought this was an amazing book and every girl should rea ...more
Rosianna
Aug 28, 2008 Rosianna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenagers
What struck me most about Red was that I'd be reading touching stories that made me smile one minute and be in tears the next. But the honesty, oh the honesty. Terrific. Only reason it's not five stars is because there were one or two stories that subjectively, I didn't love. I could see people who would, so that's okay.

It's definitely worth buying a copy.
Grace Inorio
I really enjoyed reading Red. Since it is a compilation of many different pieces from many different young teenage authors, it didn't seem like a Non-Fiction book. It was very relatable and unpredictable which I thought helped to improve the quality. With so many different types of stories and writing styles it was easy to find more than one essay that I liked. One aspect of this book that I did not like, was that some of the girls did not give a clear conclusion to their writing. Some of the au ...more
Adele
I admit to buying this book as I knew that both Jordyn and Jocelyn were contributors. I would have bought it anyway as the whole concept intrigued me, as did the idea that it has been made almost immediately available on Australian shelves.

I loved this book as it was so affirming of the many different events (big and small) that we survive as teenagers. Technology has made life even more complicated for teenagers but essentially we have all had to muddle through the same experiences to varying d
...more
Anja
Apr 19, 2008 Anja rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young girls
The idea of this book is really cool. Young girls writing about- whatever they like. It really is awesome. There are many amazing writers in this book writing about things every young girl has to go through. There are funny stories that made me laugh out loud. There are sad stories that are hard to read because they are truth. There is something for everyone in this book. There is such a diversity of writing and topics it makes it more fun to read. My favorite of these stories is called Mini Mou ...more
Samantha
When I needed a new book to read for independent reading, I saw this book in my locker and knew that it belonged to my locker partner, Alison. I asked her if she liked it and she said that it was a pretty good book, so I decided to read it. When I began reading it, I realized that it was a compilation of short stories/essays written by American teenagers from around 13-16 years old. I immediately started enjoying each real life story, which ranged from topics such as body image to dealing with t ...more
Heidi
Full Review Here

As a book with a total of 53 essays, it'd be ridiculous to say I would give 5 golden stars to every essay in this book. Red, as a whole, however, is another story. This is a honest, down-to-earth (and sometimes not so much) essay collection from real teenage girls from all sides of life. I couldn't necessarily relate to every single story in this book so well I was sitting there going "Yes! That is me!" But the internal struggles and hopes and desires to succeed that shine from a
...more
Erika
The one good thing I can say about waiting an hour to see my allergist is that I got to finish this book! Having recently become addicted to teenage feminist writings and blogs, I thought this book would pump me up and make me feel great about being a teenage girl. I loved how each entry gave me a new idea of what it's like to be a teenage girl in a different part of America. While girls can relate about hormones and body image and finding friends, there are so many more issues we face that are ...more
Em
Being an anthology, it is very difficult to rate Red, but I definitely appreciate the talent of many of these teen writers. I also loved the idea of red versus pink- rawness and passion versus stereotypical teenybopper fluff. The variety of voices would allow just about anyone to find a little of themselves in this book.
Amy Arsenault
I really enjoyed this book for its diversity. I didn't like a lot of the essays, I loved some. Some were poorly written, some were beautifully poetic, some were boring, some exciting, some structured, some a chaotic and seemingly random flow of thoughts. All these things were what made the book so great. I loved that there were no rules except to write an essay about something important to yourself and to be between the ages of 13 and 19 and I love that the editor didn't use her own bias to choo ...more
Lindsey
Jul 17, 2012 Lindsey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teen girls and their mothers
A great collection. I'd figured I'd put this back into my bookswap when I finished it, but nothing doing. This one is a keeper.

There are 58 essays about everything under the sun--twinhood, body image, family relationships, Johnny Depp, spelling bees, first crushes, religion and world poverty. The only uniting theme is true essays by girls between the ages of 13 and 19.

Some of the essays are funny. Some of them are heartbreaking. Some are thought-provoking or uncomfortably revealing. Some I didn
...more
Bianca
This book is a collection of personal essays written by teenage girls from all over the country. There are essays about the body to relationships to identities, and the majority of them are touching. It fascinated me as I read all these truthful stories about what had happened to these girls, from ages 13-19. Some of them were very sad and I was shocked to read them, but some were light-hearted and made me smile. Some of the essays were pages and pages long, to where they just went on and on in ...more
Jennifer
Jennifer Jimenez
Evaluation Criteria
In the book, “Red”, edited by Amy Goldwasser, is a well written book about teenage girls writing about their lives. Most are about their bodies and some others are about their appearance. Some speak strongly about what they’re fighting for and others just speak their minds out. While reading the book, I realize their tone in writing. If they’re angry, to me, they would sound sarcastic and upset about any comments they receive. These girls are all just letting
...more
Celina
I chose this book because I like books that have multiple stories in them that were all written by different authors and the awesomeness factor was raised by 100 when I realized that every story was a true story written by an average teenage girl. The book as a whole was a collection of stories on all different topics, such as love, family, school, and more. My favorite quote was in a story about a girl who's best friend attempted to commit suicide, but it obviously didn't work. “The last time I ...more
erinbobarin94
At first I started out really not liking this book. It seemed like the wrong choice to me to start the book out with the collection of essays on body image and beauty, and I started seeing this book as kind of superficial. There isn't really a whole lot of depth to girls discussing what they hate about their hair and what they like about their curves. Then, as the book progressed the stories got better, but there were still a few weird ones in which the author never really lets on what she's tal ...more
Alison
This is another book that I really love for several reasons. The book is composed of dozens of short stories written by teenage girls of various ages. It contains stories about all different types of "girl problems" and things that every girl experiences. For this reason, this book is great because you can read stories from girls across the nation that have gone through something you have as well. Basically this book follows the idea that you're not alone; this book is sort of a great thing beca ...more
Rebecca
This seems like the kind of book adults pat themselves on the back for publishing. The foreword to this book was promising, but the essays didn't really deliver. I'm not saying that 13-19 year olds can't write well, just not (most) of the girls chosen for this collection. The collection had some redeeming essays but on the whole it was a snooze. And a little painful to read; but not in the way that I think they wanted it to be.
Caroline
Some of the pieces were good, some were not as good. Some of the writing was fantastic and some of it was flat. I laughed and cried and was inspired to write a little entry of my own.
the review I wrote for my school paper: RED, A collection of narratives written by teenage girls from around the country with subjects spanning crushes to body image to politics. The unique voices of the 58 young women will leave you in tears one page and laughing the next. The potent honesty is the only common deno
...more
Kaitlyn Granato
I really liked how much I could relate to this book. There were so amny amazing stories in there it was amazing to think that girls younger and a little older than me wrote such inspirational things. It's so amazing to see that these girls can get through so much and still stay strong. They are so courageous and brave. I loved this book though some parts I didn't like reading like when the girls talked about body image and cutting themselves. That kind of stuff makes me uncomfortable though I do ...more
Melanie Estrada
This is a really good book to read for teenage girls. it helped me a lot with my insecurities. it's about a lot of different stories that teenager girls face in life and the obstacles they encounter.
kb
First few pages and it tore me up. Not because the stories were terrible, quite the opposite. I mean, here is a brilliantly thought of book full of real teenagers come up with stories of issues about their adolescence - now wouldn't you say that's just amazing? I will and I do. This opinion might be biased as I am basically in love with YA reads but the honesty, authenticity and "relatability" (relatable-ness? I dunno) of every feeling written in this book is just... you know? It even made me th ...more
Stephanie Chengary
Red is a great book because you get to read about different girls of different ages and their views on certain topics. I really enjoyed reading this book because I could relate to some of the stories. I thought it was very cool to see how people live their lives and have different problems than me. However, something's the stories got boring and redundant over time. I felt that some stories were kind of unnecessary to the book and some very either too long or too short. I would recommend this bo ...more
Marlena
Although it may seem Chicken Soup-esque, it's pretty much the anti-Chicken Soup. The stories are rich, the writers are talented and the thoughts are all so familiar. In the introduction to the collection, Amy Goldwasser says "[the authors] are engaging, articulate storytellers who have a lot to say-and a lot to teach adults." and that's completely true. If the minds of the Red girls are any indication of our future, we can be sure of an increased joy in the world.

Also, check out my friend Hayley
...more
Joaquin
I don't think I have much to say on this one. The essays were interesting, but too short and too far-ranging in their topics to have a significant impact on me. I guess I prefer reading collections on specific phenomena (e.g. cutting, eating disorders, gender identity) over something as broad as this, where the 'only' thing the authors had in common was being teenaged girls willing to submit a sample of their non-fiction writing.

But at the same time, I did find myself thinking back to when I was
...more
Katie Kenny
I thought this was a good book, but it got very boring at times. It was hard to follow along because the stories in it were short and changed often. However, throughout the book there were great quotes and events that were really inspiring and I could personally relate to. I would recommend this book to teen girls who are looking to be inspired. Especially in the last section which covered a broader topic I couldn't put the book down. Because the stories were written by young girls, some of the ...more
Sarah
Overall this was definitely a worthwhile read. It was so refreshing to read writings by 13-18 year olds that didn't contain terminology such as 'lol' 'bff' or 'lmafo'. Thank God...American girls can express their thoughts and feelings without reverting to live journal slang or whatnot. If I was on a college applications committee I would be impressed by some of the honesty and candour of these girls. I thought some of the essays - particularly the one written about a rehab wilderness program in ...more
Vorbis
Picked it up at an op-shop. Several of the stories were very well written, but I'm 29 - just completely in the wrong age group to care about ANY of their concerns, even ones I can remember experiencing once upon a time.

Very age specific, recommended if you're a teenager or have teenagers, otherwise no amount of clever crafting of words or even unleashing of your soul can really resonate when they're so very far away from my own life and problems.
Anna
I love this book! I was a little concerned with the essay about the twin who only cares that her twin sister loses weight- I thought it was a bit shallow. I liked the other essays, though. My favorite is the one near the end written by a girl who wants to create her own school where you learn about the earth. It made me so happy because I get discouraged sometimes with this generation. The essays are from all over the United States.
Julia
This collection was not as mind-blowing as I would have liked it to be. Given that, there were a few really great pieces of writing, some great stories and a lot of sweet (and sad) self-expression. How rad would it be to be 15 and a published author?! Teenagers are thoughtful (duh!). I would have liked to see more diversity of voices especially in light of the author's mention of diversity in the introduction. Overall, it was fine.
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“Why go through something alone when there's someone you trust to be with you?” 7 likes
“She's altered the rules on me. We weren't supposed to become the teenagers who 'have problems.” 7 likes
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