As Red As Blood. I thought, woo! Scandinavian mystery for teens! Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. It read more like a dry adult mystery than something that would appeal to teens. The main character, Lumikki, is a high school student who lives on her own. It is clear that she is very independent. She finds bloodstained euros in the school darkroom and is pulled into a mystery of who, what, and why...but it's also a mystery of who cares? Despite her independence, Lumikki gets drawn in by a group of kids who she finds inferior. She decides to help them, but for what reason? I wanted to finish (Finnish, lol) the story to see what happened, but I was disappointed. There is a sequel coming out where we learn more about Lumikki, I'm assuming. She is the real mystery. Maybe the tension and intrigue that I associate with Scandinavian noir was lost in the translation from Finnish to English. Whatever the reason, while I wanted to like this book, I was bored.
Speaking of Scandinavia, I am GOING TO ICELAND in October! I'm so very excited!!! I've wanted to go since reading Grettir's Saga in Medieval Literature, and starting off the winding path of Scandinavian noir with Henning Mankell's Sidetracked (which takes place in Sweden) in Global Detective Fiction in college. Hurrah!
Since As Red As Blood wasn't what I expected, here's a GREAT book that I really enjoyed: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. And since I'm not reviewing it here, check out this review written by one of my teen library patrons.