Monday, September 15, 2014

Mia Kerick - The Red Sheet - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape. Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.

Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.

Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.

With a foreword by Cody Kennedy



My Review

Bryan Dennison does what not many teenage boys take the time to do. Make an examination of conscience. He knows he did something wrong. He just doesn't know what. He wakes up one morning with a clean slate. He can't remember the last few weeks, yet he can't shake this overhanging sense of guilt nagging at him that he needs to make amends for something—something big. So he turns into a Superman of charity, volunteering at a soup kitchen, picking up random pieces of litter, buying a homeless guy a meal, shoveling a neighbor's driveway even if it makes him late for school, but none of these selfless acts bring any sense of clarity. He's as lost as he ever was.

Because what he did, he did to Scott, the boy he can't believe he's fallen in love with.

Bryan is supposed to be Mr. Superjock, star of the high school basketball team. And he was, up until developing a fetish for red capes and sticking his neck out for others. Scott won't speak to him and the group of bullies he used to call friends lead him to believe they caught him making out with Scott at a party in a closet and that he'd better shut up about it before they tell the entire school.

The transformative arc in Bryan's character doesn't come easy. He suffers all of the slights and barbs that come with being on the unpopular side of the cafeteria, but he never wavers. His newfound determination to be a better person is ingrained in him because he knows it's the only way he stands a chance at winning Scott back. He takes it a step at a time as he works his way there. He participates in a flash mob to serenade a teacher on her birthday. He goes roller skating with a group of kids, many consider misfits and outcasts. He spray paints (in washable chalk) inspirational quotes from Gandhi all over school property. But for Scott, it's not enough. He wants more.

Forgiveness is equated with strength throughout the novel, as well as, "Being the change you want to see in the world." When the true scope of what Scott endured is revealed, it's quite shocking. It makes it hard to like Bryan as a character, no matter how much he's changed. But Scott shows that the only way he can save Bryan is to forgive him, or else he'll never be able to forgive himself. It's a generous gift that illustrates just how much Scott loves Bryan if he's able to do that. It's a beautiful message of hope and understanding.

Scott has never been afraid to be himself. Years of bullying and abuse have shaped him into the survivor he is today. It takes Bryan longer to feel more comfortable about his sexuality and sharing it with the world. It's interesting to note that inwardly Bryan doesn't struggle so much with his attraction to Scott. He doesn't resist it in private. There's a flashback scene in Bryan's bedroom where he just wants to watch the look in Scott's eyes when he's touching him. He's not repulsed by his need to satisfy his desire, but he can't bear the thought of other people knowing about it. He's able to give his heart to Scott, even if he won't share a lunch table with him.

Scott's demand for more from Bryan is the wind that unfurls the red cape tied around his neck. Love isn't found in denial. It's found in acceptance. Once Bryan's able to make that leap, it really is like he's flying, no superpowers required. He's a fully actualized person, something not many teen boys in young adult novels get to be. A doting son to his mother. A hero to his little stepbrother. A champion defender of his boyfriend. Yep, Bryan Dennison is a guy worth rooting for to get it right.

***

The Red Sheet can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Dreamspinner Press, All Romance Books

Prices/Formats: $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
Pages: 190
Genre: Young Adult
Release: February 20, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781627987219
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

My themes I always write about:
Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes- only love can save them

Links to connect with Mia:
Web Site
Facebook
Goodreads
Blog
YouTube
Blog Tour Site


About the Giveaway

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8 comments:

  1. Love this character analysis!! Really enjoyed reading it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just think it's such an unusual story. It's very intriguing to me for that reason.

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  3. Would love to see this on Amazon!! (very happy with the analysis) Is that a possibility?

    ReplyDelete