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Saving Red

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,172 ratings  ·  271 reviews
Right before winter break, fourteen-year-old Molly Rosenberg reluctantly volunteers to participate in Santa Monica’s annual homeless count, just to get her school’s community service requirement out of the way. But when she ends up meeting Red, a spirited homeless girl only a few years older than she is, Molly makes it her mission to reunite her with her family in time for ...more
ebook, 464 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Caitlyn Loux The main character is Jewish, and throughout the book struggles with her beliefs in God, although her religion does not have a large presence in the…moreThe main character is Jewish, and throughout the book struggles with her beliefs in God, although her religion does not have a large presence in the book. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jackie I agree! Quite the cliff hanger! I hope there is a sequel in the works on this one. I read the book in 24 hours. I could not put it down....

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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,172 ratings  ·  271 reviews


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Sarah
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Maybe no one can give me
what I want for the holidays.
But I can give
that gift to someone else!”


This was a YA contemporary story, written in verse, about a girl trying to help a homeless girl.

Molly was a caring girl, and it was obvious how strongly she felt about trying to help Red. I did think that her ideas about getting her home to her family in time for Christmas were
...more
Lucy (That Book Gal)
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book.
This book.
This book.
I have no idea
where to even start.
This book
Ripped out
My heart.
And that's all I'm going to write in verse :P speaking of things written in verse, THIS BOOK IS. It's the first book I've ever read written in verse, so it was a totally new experience for me.
This book is one the best representations of mental illness I've read. The main character, Molly, has panic attacks. It's something I've dealt with, and I feel like the author showed it in a raw and honest way, a
...more
Wendi Lee
With the exception of insta-love between Molly and Cristo, I truly enjoyed this novel-in-verse about a girl trying to save another girl in order to save herself.

And honestly, I thought Cristo was a pretty good character as well. I just wish their relationship had had a little more time to brew.
Erikka
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a fine story in verse about mental illness and charity and friendship. It is, however, not very appealingly written. I enjoyed the characters of Molly and Red. Molly is a good person with a lot on her mind and she tries to do the right thing. Red is schizoaffective and it's believably written. There's also a PTSD storyline that's intriguing. However, the Instalove is annoying, the language is like asking a teen who's just read an Ellen Hopkins book to try their hand at an issue novel in ...more
Trisha
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a very tough story to read. One that I think would have benefited from a full novel style and less from the verse writing. Only because I think this is a strong story and one that should be told.

Red is homeless. She's young, living on the streets and is not terribly distressed by it. But this truth completely devastates Molly, who believes Red just needs her to save her. But Molly has a lot to learn about Red. About her life, about her past, and about her day to day world. Molly can't s
...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
GRADE: B-
3.5 STARS

Fourteen-year-old Molly is determined to help a homeless girl not much older than her, but Red has other ideas. Both girls are struggling, for different reasons. Red heads voices, Molly suffers from anxiety and uses a service dog.

Molly narrates the story in first person verse. She's clearly a character in a lot of pain. Her brother is gone (dead, kidnapped, runaway?) and she blames herself. Her father throws himself into work, her mother into weed. Her friends have abandoned he
...more
Jennifer
I might change my rating later but for now it's a 2.75.

I enjoyed this book, but it didn't blow me away. I wasn't a huge fan of the main character either, or the way that she thought. She kept repeating words over and over and it got annoying. I did however really enjoy the message of this book, how just because someone is homeless doesn't mean they don't have a family that loves them. I read parts of this book really quickly and other parts were just boring for me. The main character Molly talk
...more
E.C. Newman
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, verse
I think one of my favorite things about the verse is that the figurative language (similes especially) sounds both amazing but like a teenager would have come up with it.
Caitie
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two and a half stars....I really wanted to like this book, and it could've been awesome but it turned out to not be awesome (for lack of a better word) at all. I'm clearly in the minority on this one, but there were too many things that bugged me.

I think my first problem with it was the fact that it was in verse. I get that it being in verse is the author's style, but I think for this book it didn't work. It lacked so much detail that I felt needed to be included, like more of a background on Mo
...more
smgK8
Wow. This book is AMAZING. I don't even know where to begin it's so good. Let me start by saying I've never read anything by this author but as soon as I am done writing this review I plan to put other books on my list.
This book was so captivating I wished I could read even faster to know what would happen. It wavered between 100% realistic and not so much but then it wasn't because it couldn't happen but because my head was screaming "NO! That's not a good idea!" So it wasn't so much unrealist
...more
Allyson Maclay
This book was amazing! here is so much I to talk about after reading this book! First as someone who works with homeless girls from age 13to21 that have all different mental status this book really tug at the heart strings! As someone who has a BA in psychology and has worked at mental health office this book really gave me an even better in site into the inner workings of this mental illness. Yes I have always understood what happens when a person has this but this just made it more real to me. ...more
Sarah Amelia
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-by-me, arc, ala2016
This was a lovely book written in verse. It was the second book I've read in verse so that was different. I really enjoyed the story and recommend it!
Nat
Obviously a quick read, as I finished it in under four hours, between loads of laundry. There were some things I liked, and some that just really didn't work. In a nutshell, I liked the characters individually, but not exactly together, and what I didn't like so much was the way the novel ended (though, if things hadn't ended just this way, I probably would be disappointed all the same, so... meh). I'm also still grappling with the fact that a fourteen-year-old had so much responsibility thrust ...more
Angel
Jul 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Even for a YA novel this reads very young. And for a novel done in verse, not very poetic either... seemed more so to be crafted this way simply to add the illusion of length. None of the characters were able to win me over either and on top of that the insta-attraction/love... nope. Not for me. I usually love novels in verse too..

Tissy
Couldn't finish and couldn't rate. It's quite interesting but the writing is so distracting and I just don't feel a connection with the MC at least not enough to find out what the big secret is - though I can kind of guess. Will come back to at some point ...maybe.
Jodi
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sonya Sones made me cry today. Her new book, Saving Red, is a beautiful glimpse into the life of a struggling young girl whose encounter with a homeless girl changes much about her perspectives.

Molly has a secret. It’s not one she wants to tell anyone, but it is the reason she has an emotional support dog, Pixel, and also why Pixel is her only friend. Her mother is continually stoned, and her father is a workaholic. As part of a community service requirement, Molly helps with her city’s homeless
...more
Elisa Zied
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO awesome. I loved the protagonist and her mission, felt her holes, and loved the dash of romance which felt SO almost 15. I also loved the dog. What a beautiful, beautiful book.
Suzanne
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I love how undemanding many novels in verse such as this one can be. Pages turn. Images and words aggregate. Characterization lyrical. Story told. All that space and opportunity make these books a dream to recommend to students who are unengaged or fed up with traditional novels.

This one features a spirited high school freshman whose December is very different this year. Her older brother Noah is missing. Her mother is self-medicating with marijuana and her dad with work. Hanukkah doesn't feel l
...more
bjneary
Sonya Sones has done it again; she is the master of novels in verse! Back in the 80s or 90s she came to Abington Senior High for the day and the students LOVED her and raved about her writing session. Saving Red illustrates Sones' command of each and every word; the longing, loss, and guilt Molly carries around since a year ago when her world turned upside down. Her dog, Pixel knows Molly and how to calm her down perfectly. Molly is a teen you root for; she had a very caring family and friends b ...more
Rebecca
Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, ya
I really appreciate a few things about this book. Number one is the Jewish protagonist in a non-WWII novel; as a child, the only book with Jewish heroine that wasn't about escaping Nazis that I could find was my mother's copy of All-of-a-Kind Family from when she was little. (Representation really is important, as oversaturated as that message has become.) I also give Sones a lot of credit for giving panic/anxiety disorder as much space as the more "serious" mental illnesses depicted in the nove ...more
BookChic Club
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm such a huge fan of Sones' books and always love when a new book comes out from her. This book was very emotional and heartbreaking but extremely hopeful as well. Following along on Molly and Red's journey throughout the book, Molly initially wants to help Red out but through her time with Red, finds a new friend as well as some wisdom from Red for Molly's own past guilt. There's also a small but very sweet romance in the story between Molly and a guy Cristo she meets while searching the stre ...more
Desna
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I love verse novels and this is no exception. The language flows easily and realistically in the author's characters. Their voices ring true. There are many issues in this book from, guilt, anxiety, mental illness and the effects these have on the different characters. Molly and her new found friend Red were so real I just wanted to hug them both and take away their pain. Red is a quirky free spirit but also a prisoner in her own world. Loved this book.
Jessica
The fact that I got to meet Sonya Sones at ALAN and she told our group about her real life inspiration for this book makes it even more heartfelt and special. Written in verse, I think this is truly a novel that all YA readers and reading levels can get a glimpse into mental illness and the less than perfect family unit.
Meck M
Another great Sonya Sones book.

Very touching.

Much like in "What My Mother Doesn't Know" Sonya Sones has created a romantic couple that is legitimately sweet and does not make me cringe. A rare quality in YA fiction.
Kathy Mathey
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyrical and tender and powerful; I had forgotten how much I love this author's style.
Mbross
Dec 13, 2016 added it
This book, written in verse, is a great read about homelessness, mental health, and families coming together again.
Samantha (WLABB)
I love Sones and the stories she tells in verse. This one just took me on a wonderful rollercoaster ride.

•Pro: Molly was so sweet, caring, and wounded. There were so many times during this story that I wanted to hug her.

•Pro: I really liked the way Sones kept the full story about Molly's past and what happened to her family under wraps. My curiosity built until I was almost begging for her to tell me.

•Pro: There are a lot of people in this book carrying around a ton of baggage. I was very ple
...more
Jpaulson
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just wow! Mental Illness, homelessness, first Love, and crazy parental issues all wrapped up into one.
Kate Stericker
One of Sonya Sones' strongest novels in terms of plot, Saving Red is an engrossing read that grapples with mental illness in many different forms.
Tara
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A perspective on mental health told in verse that seems to bring more light on using illness as an excuse... It’s realistic, but would be best used to pair with other mental health focused titles.
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SONYA SONES has written seven young adult novels in verse: Stop Pretending, What My Mother Doesn’t Know, What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know, One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, To Be Perfectly Honest, Saving Red, and The Opposite of Innocent.

Her books have received many awards, including a Christopher Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award, a L
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“I didn’t even notice that, along the way
somewhere, she’d become my best friend.”
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