Friday, April 8, 2011

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

Source:  Purchased
Released:  January 25th 2011
Published by:  Poppy
Page Count is 329 pages (First Edition)
Buy It:  Amazon

The blacksmith would marry her.
The woodcutter would run away with her.
The werewolf would turn her into one of its own.

Valerie's sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.

After her sister's violent death, Valerie's world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But now no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them--it could be anyone in town.

It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of the creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moon wanes...or everyone she loves will die.

Based on a screenplay written by David Leslie Johnson. (Description from

When I first started reading this book, it was interesting.  Werewolf lore in the classic Red Riding Hood?  Sounds like it was a fairy tale spin-off just waiting to happen.  And that's exactly what this was.  A spin-off.  And a mediocre one at that.  The characters were better then expected, but the plot's development was just aggravating at a point.  It felt to much like Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which is a great book and one of my favorites.  Mass hysteria surrounding the supernatural and the unknown, but there was an actual threat instead of stupid girls lying to save their asses.  Innocent people died by the hands of the werewolf and by the hands of those who claimed to be riding the town of the evil that possessed it. 

Valerie's character was fun to get to know.  She's observant, tough, and a total tomboy.  She's been in love with the same boy since she was seven years old and when he comes back into her life all kinds of horrors befall her village.  Well, obviously this makes Peter look like the prime suspect to all of us readers, but then we get a new twist.  Valerie can speak werewolf.  Really Author?

Half way through the book and already there are elements of The Crucible with mass hysteria; Blood and Chocolate with humans shifting into wolves and going bat shit crazy murdering people; and now Harry Potter with one person who can understand and translate said very dangerous werewolf.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the theme of mass hysteria that had, quite literally, hit home for all of the characters.  It made the story exciting to read about because it made me so mad to read about these weak people.  Everyone's true colors showed under all of the scrutiny and suspicion, especially from Valerie's so called friends - who were some of the most vindictive side characters I've read about in a long while.

It was an easy read and I did enjoy it a great deal overall with the way the book ended.  It actually was going to get four stars from me, but the bonus ending chapter that you can down load from the main Red Riding Hood site pissed me off.  I'm pretending that it doesn't exist after today.  This is why Red Riding Hood is receiving only 3 stars at this time.  I'm actually glad that my copy came without that bonus chapter now.  Originally it pissed me off that my book was left as a cliffhanger.  Now I've realized it's just so much better without it.

This novel counts towards the following challenges:


  1. Aaah, I hate it when I'm enjoying a book and then the ending just kills it. Sorry to hear that's the case here.

  2. HAHAHAHAH!!!!!!! What a fantastic review. "Valerie can speak werewolf. Really Author?"

    you are hilarious! Well, I could see myself being upset over something like that for sure, and this book in general. But I am intrigued by it bc it's a fairytale spin off and there is mass hysteria throughout the book!

    Excellent review, Kelsa, thanks!

  3. Small Review,
    You should have seen my facial expressions when reading the bonus chapter. I was making all kinds of "Really?" and "What the fucking fuck?" and "Complete blank stare" looks. It was SO bad.

    Thanks Small.

    Lazy girl,
    I'm so glad that got a laugh out of you! If there's no humor in it then its just no fun to read. LOL

    Thanks Lazy.

  4. Okay, I just want to know what was in the final chapter that brought it down from a four to a three? One chapter??? That must have been a really bad chapter. Glad I didn't see the movie!

    Loved, Loved, Loved your review. You tell it like it is!


  5. Heather,

    Okay, here's the skinny on the Red Riding Hood bonus chapter and the top five reasons of why it sucked giant monkey balls:

    1) Crappy transitions between scenes, 2) An even crappier ode to the original fairy tale with a scene of "Grandma, what big eyes you have." "The better to see you with my dear." shity shit, 3) the real villain had a shitty reveal, 4) the way the villain is killed SUCKED! 5) Peter leaves and Valerie is stuck in that shity village after all of the shity shit that went down has made the town even MORE boring then before! *fumes*

    *takes calming breath*

    Yeah, that's why it went from a four to a three so quickly for me.

  6. Oh, so no HEA. That really does suck!



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