Novel: The Red Sheet
Author: Mia Kerick
Genres: Young Adult, High School, Bullies
Part of Book Series: Standalone
Summary: One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape.
Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.
Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.
Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.
Post’s Author Opinion:
Note: This is a personal opinion, it does not reflect YaoiOtaku’s official position towards the novel.
At first, I thought The Red Sheet is going to be another cliché YA novel about High school jocks falling for the nerdy underdog. And although that is the premise of the story, it focuses more on the development of one character and how he affects the people around him. This novel highlights quite a number of YA issues from bullying, discovering identity, growing up, family issues and a few others. If I keep finding books such as this one, YA might be my new favorite genre.
The story is told through Bryan’s – the jock – p.o.v. and he does sound like the teenager he is with the slangs and views on life (although what Gen Z teenager listens to Superman by Five For Fighting?). In some books, I find this could be annoying, but Bryan is only being true to himself and it doesn’t sound like he was high, so, thank goodness for that. His sudden urge to be Superman is outright weird and in a few incidents, I started to question his sanity. It doesn’t help that Bryan seems to have lost his memory of Scott and what happened between them at a party, which was the pivotal point of the sudden change in his personality.
I like that Scott has a backbone, despite the dangers he faced at the hands of his bullies. I like that he made Bryan earns his forgiveness rather than give it freely. I still find Bryan’s condition slightly bizarre even with his conclusion on how it came to be, but as he put it, it was his story, so he can tell it however he wants and if I don’t like it, no one is forcing me to read. The book could be stretched a little bit more to explain on the events after Bryan gets his memory back. In general, he has redeemed himself, but I would like to see how he finally manages to prove his worth to Scott.
Overall, I like how this book is interestingly written. I would like to emphasize that it is pretty much a ‘clean’ book with some slight details on a shared hj and kissing, so those looking for something heavier, should look at other titles. As far as YA book goes, this one hits the right spots.
What’s your opinion on The Red Sheet novel? Please let us know in the comments below.