Book: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: June 7th, 2011
My Summary: Lugh and Saba are twins, both born on midwinter eighteen years ago. Lugh is light-haired, blue-eyed, and bright as the sun. Saba is dark-haired, brown-eyed, and his shadow. Together with their Pa and a younger sister named Emmi, they live in a wasteland ravaged by dust storms and interminable drought. But when four cloaked horsemen come and take Lugh, Saba knows she has no choice but to find him. Setting fire to the life that previously defined her, she embarks on an epic quest to save the one boy who means everything to her. He is her other half. But life beyond Silverlake is not as merciful as she thinks. Immediately she is captured and sold as a cage fighter. But Saba is survivor. She is fierce. She is the Angel of Death. In a calculated collaboration with the Free Hawks, a group of girl revolutionaries, and a handsome thief named Jack, Saba plunges into a journey of self-discovery, death, and adventure. Little does Saba know, she is about to spark a revolution.
My Review: When I finished Blood Red Road, I just had to stop, close my eyes, and take a deep breath. It was THAT good. I'm going to be honest and say that this was a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a while, and when I finally did decide to read it, I thought I wasn't going to enjoy it because of the peculiar Midwestern type dialogue used by the characters. I understand that being the grammatically capable people we are, the obvious spelling mistakes and lack of punctuation are going to be a headache. However, in retrospect, I found that Saba's unique dialect was what added that extra kick of flavor. It made her journey that much more primitive and haunting. And trust me, after 100 pages, it's hardly noticeable.
This is a book that kept me up until 4 a.m. in the morning. It's the day after, and I'm STILL thinking about it! Moira Young wove an adventure that completely took my breath away. It was a cunning and clever story that had me drunk on adrenalin up until the very last page. The world in which Saba lives is barely able to support human life, and yet, this is a setting where she learns to thrive. Everything from the dust to the heat is a part of who she is. It's slowly becoming a part of me too.
I particularly like Saba as a character. She was so mentally strong, so guarded, and so independent. She showed the perfect amounts of reluctance and inhibition and displayed a poignant sense of loyalty. She is the perfect dystopian heroine, surpassing Katsa from Graceling and even Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. As the story progresses, I enjoyed seeing her learn about her own strengths and growing friendships, especially with Jack. Although romance was not a main focal point, it was certainly a nice touch! I found myself grinning ear-to-ear between the lines of Saba and Jack's witty and flirtatious banter. I think Saba possesses a rough sort of beauty that not even a shaved head and scarred body can mask. Somehow, in the midst of a violent rescue mission, she finds time to reflect upon her cogent feelings for Jack, and even brings herself to admit them. This was definitely not a cat and mouse game. Jack and Saba grow certain of their feelings, and learn that an instant love can bloom even in the harshest conditions.
Wow. Even after pouring my thoughts into a heartfelt review, I still think it's insufficient to describe the way I feel about Blood Red Road. This was hands down, the best young adult book I've read in 2011. Even in a parched and dying world, Young was able to paint a palette of vivid colors through her characters, and through her story. Blood Red Road is a book that will whisk you away on an adventure of a lifetime.