I have not read any of Lurlene McDaniel's other books so I had no idea what to expect with "Red Heart Tattoo." I was very pleasantly surprised at just how powerful and real her writing is. This book is hard-hitting and pulls no punches. It literally starts with a bang as a bomb goes off at 7:45a.m. at Edison High. "Nine people die instantly. Fifteen are critically injured. Twenty-two suffer less severe injuries. And one is blinded."
So begins this ripped from the headlines story of a school bombing. Though I have read other books on this horrifying topic, "Red Heart Tattoo" is the first to delve into what happens after. How do the main characters involved find meaning for their lives after having survived such a tragic event?
Lurlene McDaniel weaves magic into her characters. They are written so frighteningly real that they leap off the page. I also found it very intriguing that the story unfolds from many different points of view and though gut wrenching at times, I was unable to put it down.
McDaniel is obviously a master when it comes to writing about raw violence and the traumatic aftereffects and yet she somehow leaves you better off for having survived the telling of it.