The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick
Harmony Ink Press
3 Pants Off
One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape.
Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.
Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.
Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.
Byran likes Scott in secret. He gets a sudden obsession with red sheets (as a cape) and being a superhero. He has no memories of his past behaviors as a bully, especially towards Scott, but he has a crush on Scott and Scott wants nothing to do with him. Byran's behavior is unrealistic and weird to me so I can't really connect with him and understand his dilemmas. Even his mother thinks his new behavior is out of character. It seems like he is possessed by aliens or something. I'm giving props to Scott for being cautious about Byran's new and improved behaviors.
Even though Byran's personality went through a big change, he is still an awkward teenager. I love how he enlists his teacher's help to get more chances to interact with Scott. He forms a social justice team, comes out of the closet, and becomes a superhero in the end. I like that he is concerned with doing the right thing that is just and moral.
Byran's biggest obstacle is Brandon, who is the biggest homophobe and a superjock at the school, but may also have a crush on Scott. He is the bad guy in the story, yet he's in a very similar situation to Byran. This story could have easily been about Brandon's transformation from superjock to superhero. The story is super slow paced with Byran discovering his love of red sheets and lost memories and testing if he can fly.
The story finally picks up the pace and reveals what happened that night with Scott and Brandon that led to him subconsciously repressing his memories. Once that is out of the way, Byran and Scott can move forward and forgive past transgressions.
The story gets very inspirational with Ghandi quotes and Bryan's self discovery. Even though the beginning is slow paced, I enjoy reading the love story from the bully's perspective.
|3 Pants Off|