Friday, February 11, 2011

Review of Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright

Red Riding Hood

Released: January 21, 2011

Paperback, 329 pages

Interest: Debut author, upcoming movie release


The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat. Her flesh mutilated by telltale claw marks. The Wolf has broken the peace.

When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations. It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect. Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town? Is it her betrothed, Henry? Or someone even closer to her?

As the men in the village hunt for the beast, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long. Will Valerie discover the werewolf's identity before the town is ripped apart?

This is a dangerous new vision of a classic fairy tale, the happy ending could be hard to find.

Summary from


I'm a little upset at this book, in more ways than one:

1. We don't actually find out who the werewolf is! There's a website listed at the end that we can read at, but the ending won't be posted until March 10th or so. I don't know about you, but I like having my endings printed in the book, not hanging around online. I also appreciate that they're trying to save it for the movie, but why release the book in January if you don't want to end it till March. Those of us who bought the book paid just as much as we would for a movie ticket, I think we deserved an ending.

2. The romance was not there. Valerie meets Peter, who used to be her best friend when she was seven. He and his father were kicked out of the village ten years ago, we're not completely sure why. Now, when he's returned, they're in love: they were apparently in love as children.

Now, really?! She was in love with him as a seven year old?! Go, get married on the playground then!

So, they see each other, they're in love, Valerie asks 'Do you remember me?' Peter says 'How could I forget you?' and she agrees to run away with him. So really, she's agreeing to run off with someone who she hasn't talked to in ten years, and has spoken less than 10 words with now? Smart...

The rest of their "romance" is heavy on the lust, non-existent on the love.

That being said, the wolf elements of the story, and the psychology of their village life was very intriguing to me. A werewolf hunter, Father Solomon, comes to the village and tells the villagers that the werewolf lives among them. Between their paranoia, the actual werewolf killing spree, and the hunt for it, there is some serious evil going on.

My final recommendation would be to just see the movie if you're already interested. If you're still interested then borrow or buy the book.


Cover 8/10 I love the wolf shadow across the bottom, and the red contrasts really well with the black/white scheme

Plot 8/10

Characters 7/10 We didn’t truly get to know them

Ending 6/10 As mentioned above

Overall enjoyment 7/10

72% C-

PG-13 Some violence, and a heavy make-out scene

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review and the heads up about the end. That is so frustrating about the ending! It's not like people didn't already know the ending of the Harry Potter movies, Lord of the Rings movies, or Twilight movies, yet they still went to see them. The more I hear about this book, the more it seems like it was just a marketing scheme to promote the movie and that the book doesn't really stand well on its own. That's a shame. Especially given that gorgeous cover.