Title: Red at Night
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Standalone novella
Format: Kindle Freebie
My rating: 4 / 5
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….
-- As seen on Goodreads
I’m so glad I took a chance on Red at Night – I really enjoyed it! I’ve seen so much love for Katie McGarry’s books, and I can see why they have so much praise surrounding them. I wasn’t expecting a short novella to have such an effect on me! Most of the novellas or short stories I read tend to belong to a series I’m currently obsessed with, so I’d already have a connection built with the characters.
Our two main characters are Stella and Jonah, and I connected with both of them very quickly. The story is told in dual perspectives, and each character gets an alternating chapter dedicated to their POV. I loved that the story didn’t back-track when the POV’s switched – this repetitiveness is such a peeve of I mine, and I’m always deliriously happy when it doesn’t happen! I suppose the characters could be classed as a little clichéd: Stella being the poor girl from the wrong end of town, Jonah being the privileged rich kid. With such a short book, I can understand why this was emphasised, and in honesty, it sets up a familiarity that helped me enjoy the book right from the beginning.
I was NOT expecting to become so emotional – I swear that each word had a firm grip on my emotions! It gave me so many feels! I had a goofy smile on my face one minute, only to be replaced with lots of tears a few minutes later. Maybe I was just in an emotional mood… no clue! I DID NOT expect this reaction from a novella, certainly not with unfamiliar characters! Major kudos to the author for that!
I think I have only one real criticism: I’d have loved to see this story as a full length novel! I’m left with some unanswered questions, and I’d have loved the story to continue on a bit more. As this is the first McGarry work I’ve read, I have really high hopes that I’ll love the rest of her books, and I definitely think I’ll be reading them very soon!