In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.
Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him.
In this short story Katie McGarry tells us the story of a boy and a girl who are from different circles but still can’t help themselves falling in love with each other after an unexpected meeting in the cemetery.
First, I’m going to write down all the good things from Red at Night, the best thing was that the plot was about real life issues, such as family, moving on, friends, love, sociality, school, college etc.
Bullying was an important topic of this book. Stella was called trash and many other names since forever. From the outside she seems cold like she couldn’t care less but she’s hurting all over. This was an amazing example of how bullied people can seem indifferent but deep down they feel pain even if we can’t see it. Some of us might have hurt someone in our lives before because we thought they don’t care but no one out there can be completely unemotional. I liked how Jonah saw they even if he never said anything bad about Stella, he sometimes laughed and he never stood up for others either, he stood by Cooper and let him get his way.
Other important part of the book is described how the social differences influence one's life. Stella was from the wrong side of town while Jonah was one of the richest, when they started to hang out the whole school freaked out because ‘trash girl’ and popular Jonah together was unthinkable.
Jonah had a family who’d pay any college he’d attend to while Stella’s 'stepmom' encouraged her to start working because poor and unlucky people will never succeed no matter what teachers say. It’s sad how a clever girl has little chance of going to college even if she worked hard for everything she had.
I can’t help but start to wonder why McGarry didn’t make a complete novel out of this idea because it could have been much better that way. This novella seems like it’s consists of some experts of the real book.
My first problem was that the characters didn’t get to know each other, in one moment they are kind of strangers and in the other Jonah tells us:
“We’ve been meeting at the cemetery nearly every day for the past month.”
So, I guess we’ll never see how they slowly let each other in… fine but pretty please make up for it with some deep feelings in the next pages.
Were there any deep conversations between Jonah and Stella later? Not so much. I wanted to see why did they let the other change them in the first place. It was a rather amazing plot how both of them changed for the better but nobody would reconsider his life for someone he doesn't know enough.
So many questions were left unanswered. What is Stella’s father like? Will Joss really kick her out some day? What will Jonah’s parents think of Stella? Will she have enough courage to try for college? Will Martha and Cooper hook up? Will Cooper and Jonah be enemies?
Favorite characters: -
Least favorite: Cooper, sometimes Stella
The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 3/5
The characters: 3/5
The cover: 3/5