Title: Red Leaves
Author: Paullina Simons
Genre/Audience: Fiction, mystery, adult
Publication: William Morrow, 2017 (reprint)
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
Red Leaves is an interesting and odd book with a gripping mystery. I was completely hooked and also left scratching my head and going “huh?” Very mind boggling, indeed!
The story centers on Kristina Kim, a basketball player at Dartmouth College. From the get go, she is a confusing character… hard to like, hard to understand. You meet her group of friends who all have the oddest relationships I’ve seen. So and so is dating this one, but loves this one and so on. Lots of love / hate relationships going on.
As the book description reveals, Kristina is found dead in the snow one night. From there, the story is then taken over by a young detective, Spencer O’Malley, who had a brief flirtation with Kristina.
I was both intrigued and puzzled. The characters, their behaviors, and their dialogue seemed pretty unrealistic. For the most part, they were one-dimensional, unlikable, and had weird behavior. For example, Kristina was known around campus for getting drunk and walking naked on a bridge. Inexplicably. I just found some of the story to not make much sense.
On the other hand, I enjoyed the sense of mystery and intrigue a heck of a lot. I pretty much had no idea what was going on, and therefore, I was racing through the pages to try and uncover Kristina’s secrets and past.
This was definitely a unique reading experience. Something felt a bit off about the story and the people in it, but I was also completely invested in it at the same time. It started out just plain weird, but soon enough I couldn’t put it down and gulped up the last couple hundred pages quickly. It’s one of those puzzling books that just make you go, “hmmm.” The mystery was a doozy that was hard and fun to unravel. All in all, it was gripping and unusual… one I’d ultimately recommend.
If you’ve read it, I would love to hear your take on it!
My Rating: 4/5