Sunday, September 26, 2010

Review: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Low Red Moon
Author: Ivy Devlin
Publication: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (September 14, 2010)

Description: The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died. Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moonis a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

My Thoughts: I was blown away by this novel. It was such a sad, intense read. Avery's grief bathed the pages. She has to adjust to living with a grandmother that she doesn't know very well because she and Avery's father argued about his lifestyle choices. She has to adjust to living in town and going to school after living in the woods and being home-schooled by her mother. She has to deal with the memory loss surrounding her parents' deaths. All she remembers are bits and pieces and coming to awareness covered in their blood. 

There are also paranormal elements in the story. The new boy in school - the one she connects with as soon as their eyes meet - has a secret. He is a werewolf and also an orphan because his family was killed by hunters. Avery and Ben share a connection. They can feel each other's feelings. Avery is also connected to the forest where she lives. In fact, she develops a blood red streak in her hair that she believes is the forest's way of mourning.

The struggle for Avery to regain her memories of how her parents died is complicated by land developers who want to buy her land and by the brutal deaths of another family that lived in the forest. 

I loved the language in the book. It was descriptive without being larded by every adjective found in a jumbo thesaurus. The prose was direct and spare. Like this: "He smelled like the forest, like night, rich earth, and darkness. My skin prickled." I think the emotional impact of the book was heightened by the spare prose.

One little quirk of the book that I could have done without was the fact that every time the word moon appeared it was red. My first thought was to wonder how much printing one word in a different color added to the cost of the book. Also sometimes the word didn't end up aligned with the rest of the text on the page. I did like the red scenery in the footers and the red design at the beginning of each chapter.

I highly recommend this book. It was a very moving story of first love, of loss and recovery, and a very thrilling read.

Favorite Quote:
When I was little, I was scared of only one thing. I was scared I would be taken into the sky, that somehow I'd be pulled up there, that all the bright stars Dad and Mom showed me would want to take me away from home and the woods that held me tight.

Now I wished the stars would take me away. I wanted to be absorbed by them. To be pulled away by them, to see --

To see Mom and Dad again.
Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Debut Author Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge


  1. I liked this book a lot to but as I said in my review (and it could have just been the ARC I had) I really wanted it to be just a bit longer so that I got to know Avery and Ben a little better as individuals and watch them fall in love, not race into it. You brought up some great points. That passage you quoted was really lovely and one of my favorite bits too!

    Thanks for the review!

  2. I've read a lot of good things about this book so I think I'll be putting it on my TBR list! Great review :)

    Also, did you get my email last week about winning the ebooks in the HP Mallory contest? I think my email has been playing up and some people haven't been receiving my emails. Did you get the ebooks from the author?

  3. I love how your blog looks it is so cute.I like the imagery described in this book. I think if
    I saw the word moon in red throughout the book it would have drove me crazy! Thanks for sharing this.


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