Pooja (On books!)'s Reviews > Red Heart Tattoo

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel
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's review
Jul 21, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: arc, net-galley
Read in July, 2012

Originally posted on my blog, On books!

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.

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