A suspenseful young-adult, paranormal romance
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Amazon Vine
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
Avery Hood was the first person to find the bodies of her parents. They were brutally murdered in the woods near her home, a dilapidated shack in the country that her father built himself.
Avery is so traumatized by the event, she has amnesia and can't remember anything about that night, other than a flash of silver, moving inhumanly fast. Night after night she has violent, bloody dreams that terrify her, but her memory remains elusive.
Prior to the murder, Avery led a very sheltered life, homeschooled by her back-to-nature parents. She is sent to live with her grandmother Renee, and though Renee lives close to where Avery's parents lived, Avery has seen very little of her over the years because Renee and Avery's father were estranged. Avery is broken-hearted about her parents, a fish out of water at her school, and struggling to feel any connection to her grandmother. Then a mysterious, new boy named Ben shows up at school. Avery is extremely attracted to him, but he has eyes of the strangest shade of silver....
This book is filled with fascinating echoes of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. The setting is purposefully narrow. There is a snapshot of small-town life, but the primary emphasis is on the beautiful woods by Avery's former home, which are a major contributor to the plot. They simultaneously represent the happiest memories of Avery's life as well as the most tragic event, and the secret to her parents' murder lies somewhere in those woods.
If it were not for some situations of strong violence, I would recommend this book for teens as young as 13. Teen girls are more likely to enjoy this book than boys, because of the emphasis on the romance storyline, but the murder mystery plot is very important to the book and provides a very interesting counterpoint to the romance.
Fantasy Elements: 4
Mystery Plot: 3 for adult and older teens; 4 for younger teens
Romantic Subplot: 4