Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blood Red Road - a review

Blood Red Road - Moira Young - 464 pages

There is something about BLOOD RED ROAD that makes me want to write it in all caps. It's probably because whenever asked what I was reading I would practically shout (in a deep gravely voice) "BLOOD RED ROAD!"

"What's it about?" They would ask. And I would tell them: "It's about a girl named Saba that lives in a Mad Max-ish type post-apocalyptic wasteland who has a pet crow called Nero and a fraternal twin brother named Lugh who has been kidnapped by these bad guys called the Tonton on behalf of the King who controls everyone with a substance called chaal." Their eyes would then roll into the back of their heads from information overload. Their minds would take a second to reboot and they would start talking about how great The Hunger Games are.

"The Hunger Games?" I would ask. "Do the hunger games have two girls locked in a cage with a main character ruthlessly sending them to their deaths without question? With very little remorse? Did Katniss Everdeen ever get all her hair shaved off like Natalie Portman in that one movie? No. She didn't. Did Katniss Everdeen spend all her time thinking about boys and how neat they are? Yeah. She did. Weak!"

Not to say that Saba doesn't fret over boys. Oh, she does, but it's a side point. She'll beat and kick anyone that gets in her way and that includes the guy she wants to tussle about in the sand with.

Saba's search for her brother takes her all over the wastelands where she encounters thieves, giant mutant worms, a crazy king, kidnappers, murderers, drug pushers, drug users, lunatics, Al Gore*, and the love of her life (this is a young adult novel about a teenage girl; you cannot escape boys).

And yeah, Saba talks in a Deliverance you-got-a-purdy-mouth way:
He's dead. They've killed my pa.**
The voice given to Saba by Moira Young does inspire mental images of banjos and mullets and rusted pickup trucks; it is really backwoods-y, but it's pretty freakin' unique and brings something different to the YA dystopian offering table. And Saba's pure badassery proves that she's not just another Walmart shopper.***

On a scale of one to I spent my weekend reading this book on my couch I would rate it I told my Saturday night plans to screw off and stayed in. For the next novel (as all young adult novels set in a future dystopian society are part of a series these days) I will read it on a Wednesday night as to not disappoint my friends. Maybe.

*I could only imagine him jumping out from behind a sand dune and yelling "Global warming! Yarg bleh blah!"
**A three-legged dog walks into a bar. He says "I'm lookin' fer the man that shot my paw."
***The kind that wear trucker hats and talk in a you-got-a-purdy-mouth way for real.


  1. i live in very far eastern NC. everyone talks in the you-got-a-purdy-mouth way and wears trucker hats. and has mullets (but not me!). i feel like these characters are, i guess, my peeps. and it's a beautiful thing. kinda.

    i wanted to read this anyway. it's been sitting on the daggum shelf forever. but when you said Deliverance, it just skyrocketed closer to the top. because, well, i live in the backwoods and everyone around here loves Deliverance, ya know.

    i read a backwoodsy book--kinda Deliverance-like--recently: A Single Shot by Matthew F. Jones. it was brilliant. but that has nothing to do with your review. :)

  2. I love that you feel the need to shout this book title, because every time I read it in my head I AM SHOUTING IT, too. Weird.

    I have not read this one yet. I started to feel a YA dystopian over load & had to step away from the genre for a bit. But you've convinced me to give it a go. Mullets and all.

  3. Every time I think of this book, Tina Turner starts belting out "We Don't Need Another Hero" inside my head.

    It's the best of the books I've read this year, and I'm around 160 by now!

  4. This review gives me a happy since I currently have this book sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

    Also, I had never heard that three-legged dog joke before, but now everyone I know is going to hear it.

  5. Asheley, I'm from KY so I understand completely.

    Ginger, I am taking break from dystopian novels after this and I am glad I'm not the only one growing weary of them.

    Tina, I just listened to that... Now I will associate it with this book forever.

    Karen, glad I could make you happy. I stole that joke from a 5th grader by the way...

  6. You had me at Mad Max-ish! Love the review of this book and it will immediately be put on my Santa wish list. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. Do you know, I've been meaning to read this for the longest time. I'm still not sure if I'll like it but I do like the dystopian genre. Don't diss The Hunger Games!! :P

  8. Thank you Tammy!

    Lynsey, I'm only dissing The Hunger Games because it's mainstream now. I'm a total book hipster.

  9. this has hints of the Chaos Walking trilogy and that interests me greatly. GREATLY I SAY.

  10. When someone types something in all caps I always investigate what they're talking about. How did I miss this Chaos Walking trilogy? IT INTERESTS ME GREATLY.

  11. I read this book because of Leila's review on the 'shelves of Doom, and ever since I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT IN ALL CAPS, TOO! But I ask you, of BRR turns mainstream ala Katniss, will you shun it as well, you hipster bookster? NAY!

  12. To be a proper book hipster I would have to shun others for not having heard of it first.

    I am so glad I'm not the only who reads it BLOOD RED ROAD.

  13. i comlitly disagree strengs are not in ruthlesly killing other people but to think about it like katniss everdeen did also katniss was anything but weak and she was thinking all the time how to save her family and not how hot guys are she cared about other people and thats real strength not to mention that suziane collins gives us a scatching political potrayal which is lacking in blood red road in hunger games we get why the capitol are so in love with the hunger games and other people put up with it plus katniss isnt just badass because the auther sadenly say so and none of the fighters are as young as tributes either

  14. so if your a bookhipster you probebly wont enjoy divergent by veronica roth ? luckuly when i read the hunger games i still didnt hear the hype any way as soon as blood red road movie comes out more people woud read the book and you woudnt have to shout for it anymore.

  15. Your review is really hilarious =P I love Blood Red Road too. It was rather rustic and cowboyish...

  16. I think I'll make this one of my next reads! I've been wanting to read it but just haven't. Guess I'll buy it for the Kindle! :) Great review.

    1. I can't recommend it enough. The story and characters are still bouncing around inside my head right now.

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