Review: Red Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Review: Red Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-LogstedRed Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Published by Bloomsbury on October 20th 2015
Genres: Friendship, Love & Romance, Politics & Government, Social Issues, Social Themes, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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Enjoy Red Girl, Blue Boy and the other standalone titles in Bloomsbury's contemporary If Only romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can't have!Sixteen-year-old Katie and Drew really shouldn't get along. After all, her father is the Republican nominee for President of the United States while his mother is at the top of the Democratic ticket. But when Katie and Drew are thrown together in a joint interview on a morning talk show, they can't ignore the chemistry between them. With an entire nation tuned into and taking sides in your parents' fight, and the knowledge that--ultimately--someone has to lose, how can you fall in love with the one person you're supposed to hate? This title in the If Only line is a frank and funny romance that shows how sparks fly when opposites attract.

I couldn’t wait to read Red Girl, Blue Boy. I’m always excited to read books from the Bloomsbury If Only series – a line of clean contemporary young adult romance books which are always cute, fun and deeper than the average teen romance.

But I couldn’t connect with Red Girl, Blue Boy and it took me a while to work out why I wasn’t clicking. Then I finally worked it out. My problem with his book is although the characters (specifically Red Girl Katie) are meant to be sixteen, they act closer to twelve. For much of the book I kept thinking how childish Katie was and how naive she acted. She’s somewhat socially inappropriate and out of touch with reality – which is almost cringe worthy at sixteen but more acceptable when your twelve.

So I decided to start again this time thinking of Katie as a preteen rather than someone embarking on their final year of high school. And this time I enjoyed the book so much more.

Red Girl, Blue Boy is a sweet read about two teens who parents are both running for President. Katie’s dad is the Republican nominee and she’s been focused on his campaign since she was four years old. Drew on the other hand wants nothing to do with his Democratic mother’s run for the White House. He remembers before his family had money and would rather back in the neighbourhood he grew up in than be groomed to be First Son. Needless to say – things between them don’t start smoothly. After a somewhat controversial first meeting, Katie and Drew find themselves spending more time together and getting to know each other as more than just political rivals of sorts.

In many ways this book reads a lot like a Disney Channel movie: complete with the meet-cute, embarrassing and sweet moments. Red Girl, Blue Boy is an enjoyable story. The plot is fun and I loved getting to know these characters with their parents political story line running in the background. There were a few unbelievable moments (would Drew really divulge his secret to  rival Katie after knowing her for such a short time?) and there were times when Katie was over the top (she seemed to take pride in not having a life outside her father’s campaign despite being excluded for the past four years. What was she doing all this time?) but for the most part I had a great time following Katie and Drew’s relationship.

One of the things I love about the If Only line of books is how the characters have to deal with some rather grown up issues. The characters often have to learn to behave like adults and make the right decision even when it’s hard. This book was missing that for me. Katie and Drew never really stood up and made their own stand. They have limited interaction with anyone outside of their relationship and as a result readers don’t have the opportunity to see them grow as people. They are sweet and their relationship is fun but their story lacked the depth I’ve come to love (and expect) from this line of novels.

Red Girl, Blue Boy is a cute book but be aware the characters read much younger than they are and that may effect how you view the novel as a whole.


Many thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy.

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