Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright and David Johnson

From Goodreads:
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
 This is the retelling of Red Riding Hood. It's a retelling I enjoyed. Hm... but what to tell? What not to tell? I will say that after reading the book and since it was based first on the screenplay, the snippets I've seen of the movie seem to follow closely the story with the exception of Father Solomon (played by Gary Oldman). Solomon is supposed to have been someone who was from Moorish decent... so that blew that image out of my head, but I can see Mr. Oldman play the character who tended to be fanatical in his ideals. That is more important to the whole of the story.

Okay, aside from my non-ability to cast the movie I will say that this is the story I would have enjoyed even as a small child. Now, would I have recommended it to children... uh, no. It is made for the older YA and adult crowds, but I would have enjoyed the message in this story more. It ends up being about how we treat those that feel and are different than those of the so-called "norm". It also puts into question what we do when faced with those self-righteous attitudes when it threatens those you know and love as it threatens your own well being. In fact, I loved Valerie since she never seemed to be bothered with self-preservation over the rights of others. My favorite quote by Valerie:
"If the innocent are unjust, I'd rather be counted among the guilty."

I give this book 4 stars and I hope to see this movie and see how it compares to the book. Oh and I should say something about the ending. It isn't a cliffhanger, but it does leave questions unanswered. What is interesting is on 3/14/11 goto and you will get a bonus chapter of the book for free. It may or may not give the answer you want. Curious? Pick up the book and find out. *evil laugh*

I received this book from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

imdb page for the movie


  1. I like this book, but I was disappointed that they took out the last chapter! I had no idea and it was no wonder I was bummed with the ending. Not cool!!

  2. Nice review! Im not sure I wanna read this though =/

  3. I have heard this is a fantastic re-telling and have even heard about the last chapter being held hostage till after the movie releases. I get it, sort of, but I think I will wait to read it until it all comes bundled together LOL

  4. Great review! But that sentence about the ending really confuses me. Is there a planned sequel to RED RIDING HOOD? Because I couldn't stand reading a book without a proper end...

  5. I think not giving the last chapter of the book is evil. 100% evil...! And I am glad to see that you really liked Valerie because she was super strong, I am not a fan of the actor, Amanda, so hopefully she doesn't drag the movie down for me.
    Thanks for the great review Melissa! I hope to start reading this within the next couple of days!

  6. Lovely review as always Melissa! I don't think this one was quite for me, I just couldn't get on board with Valerie's instant love for Peter even though they were childhood friends. And the thing with the last chapter was just mean! I'm really looking forward to the movie though, it looks gorgeous!

  7. I want to read this book now. The movie looks really beatiful and awesome. :) I cannot wait to watch it at the cinema. ;)

  8. WTH? A hidden chapter?

    That kind of aggravates me. JS.

    But this review makes me happy. I have read some not so positive reviews, so your outlook on the story is making me excited to give it a try.

    Thanks Mel.

  9. Sounds good, but I will just watch the movie instead ;)

  10. Yay! I want to read this book, I'll see the movie but probably on DVD because I'm cheap!

  11. I am not sure - a movie or a book? Perhaps a movie...but the love triangle puts me off a bit...on the other hand I LIKE the idea...we'll see.

  12. @Savannah... I'm wondering if it has to do with the movie. I guess we will see. :)

    @Larissa... I was curious and had to read it. :)

    @Felicia... Sure... wait until it makes sense... ;) lol

    @Miss Page... I don't think so. It has a proper ending, IMO, but it doesn't answer all questions. Not sure if the extra chapter will as well. *shrugs*

    @Avery... Ah... my evil peeps! lol I hope you enjoy Valerie of the book too!

    @Jenny... I think what helped me is that it didn't seem instant to me (it was very fast tho). I think that is because the story did spend a small amt of time on the subject. Not many even consider it. However, I understand what you mean.

    @Nina... I wanna see it too! The visuals do look beautiful!

    @Missie... but it's so EVIL! Didn't know I wasn't the only one with that evil sense of humor, huh? lol

    @Blodeuedd... I hope the movie rocks.

    @Samita... LOL... what is sad is that I'll probably end up doing the same. ;)

    @anachronist... Well, the book is based on the screenplay, so the movie was the first concept in this case. There really wasn't much of a triangle, at least on Valerie's part.

  13. Hmm...sounds sympathetic to the wolf, which I like. And it sounds a lot like Shirley Jackson's The Lottery. I guess I'll have to read the book and watch the movie to find out. And, no, Gary Oldman looks just about as Moorish as I do.

  14. I really want to see this movie! I haven't read the book yet but I think I will save it for after the movie! Love the evil laughter at the end!

  15. YAY a positive review for this book. I have read a lot of reviews giving it middle of the range rating. I really want to read this before the movie comes out.

  16. I love retellings of fairy tales but they can go wrong. Glad you liked this one. I'm wondering about the movie - I want to go see it but they are promoting is so much, I'm almost sick of it already, and I'm concerned the big push is because the people who made it think it's weak. Well, looking forward to finding out!

  17. You know I am becoming more and more curious about this movie. And then I find out it's a book! Well, only a few days after first seeing the movie trailer. And I should have known it was a book. ;) All the greatest ideas start as a book. But this sounds like a great read. Thank you!


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