Monday, May 31, 2010

REVIEW: Red Tears by Joanna Kenrick

Red Tears by Joanna Kenrick
Pages: 272
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: 1st Mar 2007

From Amazon
Emily Bowyer is a normal, confident teenager - lots of friends, loving family and a good student. But beneath the surface she has a wretched secret. Because, for Emily, life isn’t as much fun as it would appear. Her friends are going off her and her parents only seem to care about her troubled brother. Plus, she’s expected to complete hours of homework, to excel in her exams, to be the perfect student. Tension, pressure, anxiety, anger and self-hatred. Where does it go when no one will listen? Emily has found a way to let it all out, a way to cope when life is overwhelming. But it is private. No one must ever find out . . .

I became interested in self-harm and the consequences when I first started to write my WIP, (earlier this year). I remember browsing the internet for fiction books to do with self-harm/depression when I came across Red Tears. I have to mention what first intrigued me was actually the book cover, isn't it beautiful, full of mystery and wow! After reading the description, I was really fascinated by this story; we are all hoarded with pressure at least once in our lives, and Emily reminded me of myself quite a bit (or lot), to be honest..

Everyone keeps reminded Emily how clever and capable she is, over and over. How she can do this, and she WILL succeed. But as the pressure builds, with piles of homework expected to be completed exceptionally, parents who are constantly nagging at her, and friends who choose not to stand beside her through all of it. Emily doesn't have a clue what to do. She feels herself slowly going mental with all the tension, and the only way to cope comes from cutting herself..using anything she can find..and nobody can know..
" I open the box Inside it is softness and steel. Tissues and blade.""

The author has a skill to present us with the different views of self-harming, never once moveing off track. I liked how Kenrick intentionally didn't include any 'proper' explanations or answers throughout the book. There is a real effect that any of the events in this novel could happen to anybody, anywhere, which is why it's so believable.

I loved the fact that at the end, there wasn't a fairy-tale 'happily ever after' and it wasn't one of those really sad endings where she does something like kill herself,  in the subtlest way, Kenrick has avoided both these ideas and planted a realistic future in our minds, hopeful, while sympathetic.

Red Tears is a gripping, and powerful story, filled with passion, sympathy, and reality. It may be upsetting, so be warned, to many people, as the detial is quite..explicit and it is possible to *trigger* memories/thoughts, and Kenrick warns that self-harmers should be careful and responsible regrading their own safety, when reading this.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review. I'm definitely going to look into this book. :)


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