Book Review: RED: A Love Story by Nicole Collet

17194358I got this book in exchange for an honest review.

Marisa Constant is a teenager from Brazil. She still goes to school and one day she meets Marco Aurélio Fares (ancient Rome reference?), a 30-year-old literature teacher that will substitute her old one. Starting from an innocent email and the mutual love for books and sexual practices, the two start building a relationship that is forbidden in the society they live in, being them teacher and student. The book is written by a new author, Nicole Collet, who has Brazilian origins (that’s probably why the setting) and can be read as a standalone although she wrote that is planning to make this a trilogy.

The fact that it is set in Brazil and almost all the names of the characters are like the ones here in my country and some references (I am Italian, hello!) got me close to this book when I start reading. Another thing that convinced me to read this book was the student-teacher kind of story. I really enjoy secret relationship that should not be happening, because they are sexy and intriguing. Marco and Marisa’s relationship starts off in the first chapter with one of their BDSM role-play sessions and we see it unfold for most of the first part of the book. When BDSM was mentioned, I admit I wanted to drop this book. I have read 50SOG and liked it, but BDSM isn’t a thing for my literature tastes. But I kept scrolling the pages of this book nonetheless, despite the BDSM element of the love story between the main characters, because after I finished reading I realized it is a way for Marco to “hide” and cover up his deepest feelings. SPOILER [Without spoiling too much, I believe all the role play he always wanted to do with Marisa was a way to pretend that their relationship was just like that: he used to throw a die to decide some things and ended up being controlled by the game he was controlling; that is, the BDSM, that is a sexual practice but in my opinion is also a way to escape from real feelings. Marco fell in love with Marisa but he tried to deny the truth to himself not to fall into the anger and desperation he lived with after his last important relationship ended. He denies his love for her until the last page, where we don’t know what he will do but we can suppose (he’s going to declare his love to Marisa, I suppose?)] END OF THE SPOILER

Returning to my previous point, I didn’t like the BDSM at first but then I did because it was featured lightly and it is part of the story itself. I think it is an element that helps to shed some light on the personalities of the characters, although I would love if they have “normal” sex – that is, without the flogger or stuff like that. SPOILER [I guess Marco will be able to do that only when he will be able to come forward with his feelings, from which he is running away.] END OF THE SPOILER Marco more than Marisa was a character I could relate to.

Thanks to the climatic journey the two characters have, I can now understand why the author decided to write the story like that. It starts in the middle of the act almost, and we learn things quickly as the main characters are showed, but truly, we realize their personalities and their different shades chapter after chapter. I’m going to admit another thing: I thought this book looked messed up while I read, but then I realized the writer had planned the story carefully that only when you arrive at the end of part 1 you could understand. It was like she was “studying” Marco and Marisa and their dynamics, trying to explain the behaviors of the brain in certain situations that can happen in real life. Sure there were some predictable coincidences, but nowadays it is very rare to find a book that doesn’t follow its genre’s “guide lines”. This being said, this book is different from any other New Adult book I have read until now.

Yes, you have your love story between young woman and a man who are broken inside and together they are whole. Yes you have your clichés but you can’t find the usual phrases of romance books. Most of the time Marco and Marisa talk through quotations and mention philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists – that is also my branch of study, except I am more in the linguistic field – and this is another form to avoid being exposed, being seen through. I found this relatable with myself as well and so far nobody had done it in such a way in a book I read, and I was surprised to find this book quite poetic. The style reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez in some ways. The narrator was in third person so we only know what it tells us and could “manipulate” what it sees through his eyes, but this is more realistic because you picture the scene before you in your mind while you read, as if you were the spectator of a movie in a cinema. This is how it felt like when I read this book, it was like a cinematic experience. One thing I probably didn’t like with this way of writing. Sometimes, I couldn’t “feel” the character, it felt as if they didn’t express their emotions clearly, but that could be an effect of the narrator and it is not necessary to connect with characters all the time if the story is enjoyable.

Last of all, I would thank the author for letting me read this book. I will wait for the continuation of what I reckon will be a trilogy, because this book was good but left me with sour taste in my mouth; I wanted to know more of what happened after the ending. Maybe my desire will be satisfied in Book 2. 🙂

RATING: 4/5 stars

3 thoughts on “Book Review: RED: A Love Story by Nicole Collet

  1. nicolecollet August 6, 2016 / 11:39 pm

    Thank you so much for honoring my novel with your thoughtful review, Tweety! It’s much appreciated, and you nailed it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • purplebass August 7, 2016 / 8:38 am

      Thank you for the opportunity to read it! Will wait for book #2 impatiently. 🙂


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