Review Blog

Sep 09 2014

As red as blood by Salla Simukka

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Hot Keys Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781471402463.
(Age: 13+ secondary). Highly recommended. Salla Simukka's As red as blood ticked all the boxes with me. I instantly fell in love with Lumikki, the heroine in the tale and her sharp mind, witty humour and brain power. Simukka has intertwined a compelling storyline with much loved fairytales and hardcore criminal action. In just a few hundred pages, the author brings to light that unpredictable teenagers can indeed outsmart well-connected criminals. The element of alternate POVs (point of views) in the novel gave an extra twist on the story and also provided a thorough understanding of each character.
The novel is narrated by Lumikki, a sharp and wise seventeen year-old who navigates life under one simple rule: to mind nobody's business but her own. So when she comes across 500 euro bills hanging in her school's darkroom and discovers that they were found by three unlikely teenagers, she doesn't know what to expect. But what's more surprising to Lumikki is the realisation that the money is connected to an international drug trade happening in her very own Tampere. Ensnared in a tangled web of deceit, corruption and falsehood, Lumikki and her friends work together to bring down the dark underbelly of Tampere and bring to light the truth.
From page one I was trapped in Lumikki's world. The brutal action and intense dialogue were some of the ingredients that kept me coming back for more. Sumikki created a beautifully rich backdrop for this tale and absolutely has the potential for growing into a coming-of-age story that sits atop every reader's bookshelf.
The author bestows us characters that we love to hate or simply adore as she presents us with a tale like no other. A book like this can be well compared to Robert Galbraith's The cuckoo's calling as it features crime and a complex mystery.
Samantha May (Student)

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