Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Little Red Riding Hood

Title: Red Riding Hood
Author: Blakely Cartwright/ Johnson
Publisher: Poppy, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company
Find it on Goodreads
Find it on Amazon

Description (from the back of the book):
The blacksmith would marry her.
The woodcutter would run away with her.
The werewolf would turn her into one of its own.

I'm not going to give you the whole description on the back of the book because I feel like it gives too much of the book away. Spoilers are my biggest pet peeve!! I didn't read much of the back or watch the movie trailers before reading, and I'm glad I didn't.

My Review:

First, let me say that the end of this book is not included in the book itself. I stayed up all night, completely engrossed in the story, only to not really get an ending. Ugh! At the end of the book it tells you to go check out the website. They have an excerpt there that is (I suppose) the final chapter. You can find that here (but don't read the bonus material until you've read the rest of the book, obviously):

I am pretty annoyed that the end is not included in the book. It feels like I have an incomplete copy or something! What about future generations that pick up this book?? Ok, rant over. Maybe I'll just print it out and stick it in the book.  

So, this book is written based off of the movie coming out.  Basically, Catherine Hardwicke (the director of Red Riding Hood) decided that there was so much to the story that she enlisted a friend to write this novel. I was skeptical at first, but this book is wonderful.

I loved this story. The author's narrative is just breathtaking! I really felt like I was reading a fairytale - well, a bit of a scary fairytale! I loved how well she painted the scenes. I can't even articulate how amazing some if the imagery was! I'm hoping that we see more novels from Blakley-Cartwright.

This setting is a bit reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. There is a town that is haunted by a creature (in this story, obviously it's a wolf) and the town lives in fear. This book doesn't go in the same direction as that movie, but as I was reading, I couldn't help but feel like the tone of the towns were the same: creepy. dark. a bit paranoid.

There is a bit of a love triangle in this story. She comes to love one man, and her family wants her to love another. Both are great and I found myself liking both of them. Either one would give her a great life. But what to choose? The man you love and have always had a deep connection to?  The safe bet that can take care of you well and that you wouldn't be unhappy with? Maybe even someday learn to love?

Then, there is the whole aspect of the wolf. The big, bad, terrifying wolf.  It's a werewolf that may just be a person whom lives amongst them. This causes paranoia that anyone could be the evil creature they are all afraid of. Is it one of them? 

The end of the book (you know, that chapter you have to go read online?) wrapped up a little too quickly, and I wanted a bit more. It didn't ruin the story for me though.

I feel like I also need to talk about how gorgeous this book is. The cover art is captivating: The way the girl is drawn, her red hood billowing behind her. The way the shadow of the wolf seems to be right on her heels, never letting her feel the slightest bit safe. The touch of red only on the girl and the blood splatters. I adore it. The inside of the book is just as lovely. It has pretty detailing at the beginning of the chapters and even have "once upon a time" written at the beginning. LOVE!

This was a fabulous read, and I'm glad I gave it a chance. I was captivated from beginning to end. Other than the ending not really being in the book (who does that??!), I don't really have anything bad to say.


  1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! Every time I see it at the bookstore I think about getting it. But knowing the thing about the ending has always stopped me. I think it's dumb that the last chapter is online. They should have just released the book after the movie. Perhaps in the future they will had to the chapter to the book. Maybe I'll try and wait for that. :)

  2. Yes, not having the ending in the actual book is frustrating. I emailed the publisher to tell them so! I just don't understand that at all.

    Other than that I really liked it. :)

  3. I've not really shown much interest in this book since it was released. I don't know what it is about it ... but the ending of the book would really annoy me too. What a shame. Oh and I thought that film, The Village was totally freaky lol.

  4. I've been curious about this book - great review. I might give it a try - though the last chapter thing is weird! Anyway, I'm a new follower :)


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