Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

Book:  Red Riding Hood
Author:  Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Release date:  January 25, 2011
Publisher:  Poppy
Pages:  329
Source:  Publisher

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.

Red Riding Hood is a unique take on the classic but one that I found lacking.  The story was captivating and fast-paced but these characters were just not for me.  I found this book very hard to believe.

Valerie does not belong in the village of Daggorhorn.  She does not fit in and her dreams are much bigger than the tiny village.  It finally seems like she may be able to escape with Peter, the boy she loves, but then tragedy strikes.  Valerie’s sister, Lucie, is killed by the werewolf of Daggorhorn and the village is torn apart.  Nobody is safe until the werewolf is killed but first they must find out who it is.  It could be anyone and as Valerie soon finds out, it’s someone very close to her.

Valerie was definitely not a whiny, helpless girl which I liked but that was about it.  She confused me so much.  She was in love with Peter but he was barely there.  She didn’t seem to know him that well but she wouldn’t even consider Henry, her fiancée, because of him.  Henry seemed like the perfect guy but I never understood why he loved Valerie.  It was a very confusing web of romance.  The rest of the characters were just as bad.

The mystery was great though.  I never guessed who the wolf was and there were so many possibilities.  There were tons of twists and turns and I loved that.  It kept me reading when the characters couldn’t.

Overall, Red Riding Hood is definitely an interesting book if you can get past the flawed characters.  The story is a very good one and I can’t wait to check out the movie.

First line:  From the towering heights of the tree, the little girl could see everything.

Rating:  B

Cover:  A

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