In AS RED AS BLOOD, some high school kids find a bag full of bloody money and absolutely freak out.
What intrigued me: I've been itching to read this since I first coincidentally came across this series. It's been translated in sooo many languages, I figured this just has to be good.
Contemporary or Thriller? Why not both!
AS RED AS BLOOD really is a strange book. I fully expected this to be a YA version of Stieg Larsson's Millenium books, and in a sense that (sort of) what I got.
Protagonist Lumikki is 17, hs a sherlock-like mastermind and is incredibly perceptive, and when she stumbles upon the silly teenagers that found the bag full of money - she is instantly intrigued and wants so solve the mystery.
The problem is that AS RED AS BLOOD is really trying to be a typical contemporary set in a high school and a fast-paced detective story with a side of merciless criminal action. If you're going to mix the two, please, for the love of God, don't make it more complicated by having 328932 POVs from characters whose appearances are pretty much cameos. I absolutely hate how Simukka decided to switch to the POV of several people involved in the murder while Lumikki is still trying to figure the basics out. It's impossible for any first time reader to understand what's going on and I was so tempted to just skip this because it upset me so much to get thrown out of the story for no reason whatsoever.
Another thing that I really missed is that I didn't quite get the Nordic vibe from AS RED AS BLOOD. Meaning that it feels like it could've been set in any town around the world.
The problem is probably that this is a translated work intended for the Finnish market. Many little things that should seem obvious to Fins remain unexplained, random Finnish words that I assume were untransable are splattered throughout this, and it's just not really able to paint the scenery in a way that would make it possible for non-Fins to really paint the world in their heads as they read.
It's incredibly sad that this opportunity was wasted because there are very few translated Finnish works in YA in the first place!
Overall: Do I Recommend?AS RED AS BLOOD does stand out in the genre and proves to be an interesting mix betwen crime and contemporary. Don't expect too much from it though, because the mystery isn't half as mysterious as it wants to be.
Genre: YA / Thriller
"In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.
Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.
But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.
As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself."(Source: Goodreads)