Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Red at Night by Katie McGarry


Title: Red at Night
(Harlequin More Than Words)
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Published: April 1, 2014

FREE: Amazon  |  B&N

From Goodreads:

In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.

Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him….

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“For the first time in my life, I feel small, 
and it’s not because I’m the one closest to the ground, 
it’s because I’m the boy who has hurt this little girl.” 

Stella and Jonah couldn’t be more different.  They’re from opposite sides of the tracks with high school popularity rankings that are worlds apart.  Stella has been bullied for most of her existence; and the ringleader of her torture has been Cooper Higgins, Jonah’s best friend.  Jonah himself has never called Stella by Cooper’s favorite moniker for her – “trash can girl” – or taken part in any of the verbal abuse Cooper has handed down.  He has laughed a time or two, albeit uncomfortably; but Jonah’s worst transgression – not once did he ever speak up and tell his friend to lay off.  When Stella and Jonah meet up under unusual circumstances, they form a friendship that eventually turns into a bond.  Jonah can’t stop re-living the night that shifted his whole world, and he’s never wanted to share any of those details with anyone… until Stella.  Stella can’t believe she’s actually spending time with Jonah Jacobson, and she knows it will never work between the two of them.  They are headed in different directions, and it doesn’t take a visionary to see it.  But before they part ways, Stella needs to show Jonah how standing by and doing nothing is just as bad as being an instigator.  Jonah has it in him to rise above his rowdy crowd and be more.  To be a better man.  Question is: Is Jonah brave enough to choose Stella over Cooper, and can he be everything Stella believes him to be? 

“‘Then tell me.  Tell me who you are.’ 
‘You won’t like me anymore.’ 
‘Stella, I like you.  All the rest of it, it’s just the stuff that came before.’” 

Guys, even in an estimated 84-page novella, Katie McGarry sneaks up on you and steals your heart by giving you characters to fall for and root for.  I love Stella, and I love Jonah; but the thing I most adore about this novella is the message.  I’ve read everything Ms. McGarry has written, and it’s what lies between the pages of Red at Night that ensures I always will.  If you’re a fan of the Pushing the Limits series, you do not want to miss this story – when a familiar face showed up in this book, I confess I had to blink back tears because she was such a welcome presence and EXACTLY who Stella needed in that moment.  

“She smiles and it’s the type that makes you think that 
happily-ever-afters do exist.” 

Along with this heart-warming and beautiful short story, the author gives us insight into a true heroine:  Nikki Berti.  Nikki founded the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada; and you’ll learn from Stella’s story that it’s not just any shoes the children receive, but brand new boxed and tagged shoes that the children can pick out themselves – something that Nikki believes raises a child’s self-esteem enormously.  There are too many Stellas in this world that need programs like Goodie Two Shoes, a foundation that outfits ten thousand children every year in southern Nevada.  

“Very rarely in my life have I felt empowered.  
When that trailer rolled into my neighborhood 
and they let me pick which pair of shoes I wanted, 
I felt in control of my destiny.” 

Even if novellas aren’t your thing, don’t miss this book and please don’t bypass the links and information in the beginning of the book that show you how you can help kids in need like Stella.  

“‘They gave me hope.’ 
‘Who?’ 
‘This foundation.  They didn’t just give me shoes.  They gave me hope.’” 

A huge thank-you not only to the author for this inspiring story but also to Harlequin and their More Than Words award given to three real-life heroines.  Harlequin not only honors these women, but they also donate $45,000 each year to be divided equally among their charitable causes.  I’ve already grabbed up You Are Here by Liz Fichera and The Gift of a Good Start by Earl Sewell
For more information, visit the Harlequin More Than Words website at www.HarlequinMoreThanWords.com.  Along with Ms. McGarry, these authors have written stories inspired by remarkable women and their charities.  All three novellas are free and available for download now.  Also, check out More Than Words: Acts of Kindness, which released in March and includes stories from Brenda Jackson, Stephanie Bond, and Maureen Child. 

This is a stand-alone novella.  You need not have read the Pushing the Limits series to enjoy this beautiful short (though it’s a series I highly recommend).  Get your FREE copy of Red at Night HERE, and please take a moment to visit www.GoodieTwoShoes.org and learn how you can help.  

“‘What exactly are we supposed to do?’ 
‘You and me?’ 
‘Yeah.’ 
I dig two shoe scales out of a box by the door and hand him one. 
‘We change lives.’” 

And one more piece of awesome news:  Amazon created the AmazonSmile Program through which they donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.  The Goodie Two Shoes program is one of the many wonderful charities you can choose from; and I love knowing that by making my usual Amazon purchases, I’m contributing to this wonderful organization.  Learn more about AmazonSmile here:  http://smile.amazon.com/about 


My Rating: 
chelesiggy

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