Book Tour| Red – Annie Cardi

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a blog tour, but today I’m back with my spot on the tour for Red by Annie Cardi. This tour is being hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. Today I’m excited to talk to you about this book and sharing my interview with the author. Keep on reading to find out more!

Red by Annie Cardi
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: January 30, 2024

Moving to Hawthorne was something Tess and her mom never anticipated, but after Tess’s mom loses her job, it’s their only option. Tess’s grandparents welcome them into their home, but with the condition that Tess and her mom attend church, something Mom isn’t too pleased about. But Tess enjoys the church community, finding a place in youth group and the church choir. Faith fills a void Tess didn’t know she had.

After a very personal decision goes public, Tess faces daily harassment and rejection by her former friends, and singing in the church choir is no longer an option. When she meets some kids in the music room, her only place of solace in the school, who don’t judge her for what’s happened, she learns to find her voice again. Against the backdrop of the Spirit Light Festival, Tess will need to find the strength to speak out if she has any chance of ending a silent cycle of abuse in Hawthorne.

Content Warning: Religious Themes, Abortion, Bullying, Slut Shaming, Trauma, Grooming, Sexual Assault

Book Links

Barnes & Noble

Author Interview

What inspired you to write Red?

It was a combination of things. When I read The Scarlet Letter in high school, I was so mad that Hester Prynne was shunned by her community while Arthur Dimmesdale kept living his normal life. When I started to brainstorm Red, I realized that a contemporary adaptation would need to be centered around two different ‘A’ words—abortion and abuse. That started me thinking about Tess, how she’s shamed and silenced because of these two issues and how she finds her way to speaking out again.

What has been the favorite part of your publishing journey so far?

Getting to hear from readers who connected with Red. Most of the writing process is done alone, so it’s been wonderful to hear that readers have really enjoyed Tess’s story and empathized with her experiences.

If you were a character in Red, what kind of character would you be?

I’d want to be one of Tess’s friends from the music room. They’re sweet and fun, and I think I’d have a great time with them at open mic nights at Pammy’s. I don’t actually have any musical talent, but I’d do a great job cheering from the audience.

Describe Red in five words or less.

The Scarlet Letter meets Speak.

What is your favorite quote from Red?

“I think about how maybe someone else is going to Pammy’s tonight for the first time, and how maybe they’ll play a song that no one else has ever heard. A song that they’ve been writing in secret for weeks, quietly in their room, tweaking a lyric or chord until it’s lilting and gentle and true. Maybe they’ll take the stage with their heart beating wildly, and clear their throat and be a little rough at first, but they’ll disappear into the song without realizing it, and we’ll all disappear into it, too. Maybe it’ll be my favorite song in the whole world, and I don’t even know it yet.”

What do you hope readers take away from your story?

The knowledge that even when they feel ashamed and alone, other people are going through the same kind of thing. The more we are open with each other, the better off we are.

Could you give us 5 random facts about Red (think the story, writing, publishing, anything that comes to mind)?

  1. The first few drafts of Red were written in a dual timeline. Originally, one plotline was in the past, following Tess when she first moved to Hawthorne and met Alden. The other plotline was in the present, which is basically the book as it is now. I ended up using some of the ‘past’ plotline as flashbacks in the present and it made the story move so much better.
  2. I like to write to music and put together a Red playlist for myself. Some of the artists I have on my playlist, like Neko Case, Brandi Carlile, and Taylor Swift, also get mentioned in the book.
  3. My agent and I sold the manuscript titled But books aren’t published under their original title and my editor, agent, and I spent a while brainstorming other titles. We came up with close to seventy possible titles, but the publishing team ended up deciding that Red was the one that worked best.
  4. At one point, Mia and Connor have a debate about whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza. I am fully on Connor’s side—pineapple has no place as a pizza topping!
  5. In the book, Tess gets a part-time job at a local grocery store to help her mom out with expenses. I love reading YA novels that include main characters with part-time jobs, especially ones that aren’t especially fun or glamorous. It’s such a normal part of life for so many teens and I really like when it’s depicted in fiction.

Tour Schedule

If this interview has you curious about Red, click here for the full schedule. A lot of amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers are participating on this tour.

Giveaway (US Only)

One person will win a finished copy of Red. Unfortunately, this tour is for US residents only. The giveaway will be open until February 2nd. Click here to enter the giveaway.

About the Author

Annie Cardi is the author of The Chance You Won’t Return, which was named a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year for 2015. She holds a MFA in creative writing from Emerson College and a BA from the University of Virginia. Annie lives near Boston with her family and a portrait of a sea captain.

Author Links


Red sounds like a book right up my alley. A hard-hitting book is something I love reading from time to time! Have you read any hard-hitting contemporary stories recently? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge