Title: Paint My Body Red
Author: Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Teen)
Publication date: November 2, 2015
Summary (via Goodreads): The world isn’t just black or white. Sometimes it’s red…
They think I’m next. That I’ll be the seventh kid to step in front of a train and end my life. With the rash of suicides at my school, Mom’s shipped me off to my dad’s Wyoming ranch for “my own safety.” They think I’m just another depressed teenager whose blood will end up on the tracks. They don’t know my secrets…or what I’ve done.
I wasn’t expecting Dad to be so sick, for the ranch I loved to be falling to bits, or for Jake—the cute boy I knew years ago—to have grown into a full-fledged, hot-as-hell cowboy. Suddenly, I don’t want to run anymore, but the secrets from home have found me…even here. And this time, it’s up to me to face them—and myself—if I want to live…
This was an amazing book. I wasn’t 100% sure right at the beginning about what I’d think of it, but the more I read, the more I loved it. It’s another book that focus on a taboo topic i.e. teenage suicide. The writing was so raw, so emotional, so utterly fantastic. Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for a honest review. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.
The intense summary, and beautiful cover, is what first drew me to this book. The story is told from two different time periods (kind of): ‘Then’ and ‘Now’. The ‘Then’ parts come from the ‘Now’ Paige remembering and writing it all down. Each is equally riveting in their own unique way. In a way, I looked forward to the ‘Then’ parts the most, so I could find out what had happened in Paige’s past. I was about 95% correct with my assumptions. With that said, I really loved the ‘Now’ parts too. I loved reading about Paige being back on her family ranch, reconnecting with her sick father, interacting with the ranch hands, especially Jake. I don’t really have a thing for cowboys/country boys, but he was totally swoon-worthy.
I really appreciated the fact that Heidi went places with this novel that maybe other authors would have skirted around. She wasn’t afraid to lay it all out there in her book, and I loved it so much more for that. She showed us the good, the bad, and the ugly (excuse the cliché). I found myself crying several times while reading this book. My heart went out to Paige for everything she’d gone through, everything she was still going through/dealing with on the ranch. I really liked most of the characters (Paige, her dad Gus, Anna, and Jake). I kind of liked Ty, or at least didn’t mind him, in the beginning of the book, but my opinion changed the further we got into Paige’s story.
I don’t want to give anything away, but this book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to read more and more. The story was fast-paced, and very engaging. I’d highly recommend it, especially when you get to see a genuine cowboy that’s pretty much a dream come true. Jake was beyond amazing, and he’s going on my book boyfriend list. The ending of the book was great, and I almost wished the book wasn’t over, just so I could keep reading. I bought the Kindle version, and I’ll be rereading this beautiful book again and again.
There were so many great lines in this book! When I did my progress updates on Goodreads, I added about 9-10 of my favorite lines from the entire book. Here are several of my absolute favorites: “It’s easier to lose myself in the darkness of my life when I’m alone.” and “If I write it on paper, it may pop the cork off the bottle my chest is holding so tightly closed. If I write it on paper, I might be able to breathe again.” and “I understand his philosophy. But he should know by now that life isn’t black and white—it’s red. And in that color is where we spend the whole of what matters, the vibrancy of life, the bloody mess of death, and the pulsing heart of love.” and “…things happen. Bad things. Good things. And we can’t do anything to stop them. Sometimes life just has to play itself out.”
Final note: Read this book! It was such a touching story, and I’m so glad Heidi believed that it had to be one novel. I’m sure you’ll be as enthralled with this book as I was.