October 3, 2015 4 Comments

‘RED BOY, BLUE GIRL,’ BY LAUREN BARATZ-LOGSTED. A boy and girl on opposite political sides fall in love. All text © Rissi JC

They say fiction imitates life. This seems to be true of the latest in Bloomsbury’s “If Only” line. The fifth novel is like a backdoor snapshot of political life, only we see it through the eyes of two sixteen-year-olds.

STORY: Katie is the daughter of the republican candidate for president. Drew, the son of the democratic candidate. The two meet while participating in a joint television interview, and wind up spending the day together. What they discover they like is getting to know each other without the pressures of their parents campaigns, which may be exactly what will end up driving them apart.  

Red Girl, Blue Boy, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted | Book Review

If looked at as a contemporary novel readers can read and enjoy without wondering what kind of twists are coming in the flip of a page, this novel is darling. There’s lots of typical teenage romance and it’s quite sweet. I liked that about this. But as with everything, there were some things I wasn’t quite as fond of. For example, the dialogue seems forced or perhaps, more accurate, it’s not “natural.” However I do realize this is an ARC copy of the novel and as such, the final print might have the benefit of last-minute changes. I also don’t connect with the characters as I’d have liked. Perhaps it’s because, in fairness to the characters, these teens act more their age than some of the other YA books I’ve read, and given how far removed I am from that age-group, perhaps this makes a difference? 


Opposing this very argument, I will say I did get a kick out of Katie’s lack of understanding for certain pop culture references. This is a cute subplot, and I quite enjoy experiencing Katie’s attempts to understand these. Much of her knowledge is from movies (not because she’d been kept away from the world, rather because she’s laser-focused on her father’s campaign) as opposed to living and experiencing life. At this pivotal time in America’s politics, this read will certainly suit the nation’s mood. It fits in perfectly with the time and decisions we’re in need of making. I will say (in my opinion), one party is put down more than the other, subtle though it may be. If that’s something that might bother a potential reader, just be aware it’s in the story. Overall, I did enjoy Red Girl, Blue Boy. It’s a wholesome story that cuts out the bad of teenage life and keeps to its fun scenario, focusing on the plot as seen from the eyes of candidate’s children. I’m looking forward to reading more in this line, both those that came before and any that might follow.

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (ARC e-copy)
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon ǀ Goodreads
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org ǀ Goodreads
Series: If Only Line, 5
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Contemporary

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC e- copy of Red Girl, Blue Boy for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Hannah Barta October 3, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    Oh, too bad this book doesn't sound like it lives up to its cute synopsis :P This was one of those I was really looking forward to reading. Oh well, I'll probably still give it a try — someday :)

    walking in the air.

    • Rissi October 6, 2015 at 2:39 AM

      Bummer! That's NEVER fun, Hannah. I really enjoyed it though it didn't live up to the same kind of cuteness as Not in the Script. Still I'm anticipating reading MORE in this fun line. :)

  • Rachel Hoyt October 7, 2015 at 4:28 AM

    This does sound cute! I admit there's something about the political slant that makes the lighter fare more interesting. I remember watching My Date With the President's Daughter and Chasing Liberty and looving them. :D

    • Rissi October 8, 2015 at 3:25 AM

      I'd totally forgotten about those movies in connection to this book, Rachel. I adore both of them as well as First Daughter. They're all such cute stories! :) Thanks for the reminder (and making me want to watch them again) – and I hope you enjoy this if/when you have a chance to read it.

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