Heidi R. Kling is a new to me author, but after I read this blurb I was so intrigued. Paint My Body Red was unlike anything I have read before, and it was a really good story. Kling captured my attention right away, and I couldn't stop reading as I had to know what was going on. This book deals with a lot of touchy subjects, and yet I thought that Kling handled them masterfully. Before starting this story I would make sure that you take the time to read the blurb as some of the issues dealt with here could be possible triggers for some readers.
After a rash of suicides at her school, Paige's mom sends her to live with her sick father fearing that Paige will be the next. Those around her believe that she will be the seventh teenager to throw themselves in front of a train. So when Paige arrives at her father's ranch, she finds out that nothing is as she remembered it. Not only is her father sick, but he is actually dying. The ranch that had been passed down for generations is falling to pieces and is in danger of being sold and the boy she once knew is now a full grown sexy cowboy. Paige finds herself tired of running and is ready to face her secrets. But can she deal with her secrets and move forward, or will they be too much for her no matter where she is?
I was really interested in the characters of this story, and I thought that Kling did a great job of showing such depth for each of them. Paige was dealing with a lot, and it was clear that there was so much going on beneath the surface that no one knew about. Between her thoughts and her writing in her journal, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out everything that had happened both in the past and was happening in the present. Then you had Ty, her stepbrother. There was a lot to him as well, and I didn't always understand him or his choices. At times I really liked him and felt for him, and then at other times I was convinced he was a bad guy. He was definitely dealing with his own set of issues though, and I think that had everything to do with his actions. Then you have Jake, the sexy cowboy that Paige had known as a child. I liked him instantly, and I really thought that he was a great guy. There was such a huge gap in time from when Paige had known him before and the present, and I was just as curious as Paige was to find out all that had gone in in the years that she had missed. Jake had his own set of issues he was dealing with, but the more I got to know him the more I loved him.
Overall, this was a really interesting book. I know at this point I haven't said much about the actual story and have been pretty vague, that is on purpose though as I really think that this book needs to be read blind. There are so many things that could spoil everything if said that I am just going to say that this book was different and was unlike anything I have read. Not only does it deal with teen suicide but it also deals with so many more issues including illness and loss. I found the characters deep and interesting and their story is one worth reading. I think that a lot of people will really relate to this story and it is definitely one worth taking a chance on. I will definitely be looking for more from Heidi R. Kling in the future after reading Paint My Body Red, and I think that this is one of those books that will stick with me and having me thinking about it for quite awhile.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**