The Compulsive Reader: Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright and David Leslie Johnson

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright and David Leslie Johnson

Valerie's village has been plagued by the Wolf for decades. They keep it from preying on humans by offering a monthly sacrifice, but all that ends one day when the Wolf attacks during the harvest, and his victim is Valerie's sister, Lucie. The village is thrown into chaos, and wracked with grief, Valerie is torn between the man she loves, Peter, and her betrothed, Henry. Then, in another attack, it is revealed that the wolf has the ability to shift--into one of the villagers. Able to hear his voice, Valerie must confront the possibility that the wolf could be one of the men vying for her hand, or a family member, and that whoever he is, he wants her.

Red Riding Hood is based off of the screenplay for the upcoming movie of the same name. Without being able to compare this book to the movie, off the bat it seems slow and choppy. The book takes plenty of time to establish the setting, and following Peter's sudden reappearance, Valerie seems to fall instantly in love with him. Lucie's death, while tragic, didn't really have a strong emotional impact on the reader, and the events following her attack just seem to make the book even slower. However, Blakely-Cartwright does have a few good moments in her descriptions of the village and Valerie's emotions, and once she begins hearing the Wolf (about 200 pages in) the book really picks up. The mystery of the identity of the werewolf is drawn out quite well, and Blakely-Cartwright packs in a lot of suspense building up to the action scenes. The ending definitely leaves you hanging in suspense for the movie and the final chapter, which will be available on March 14th, 2011, following the opening weekend of the movie. Red Riding Hood is an interesting blend of the traditional tale with supernatural elements, but it fell short of my expectations. This might be one of the few stories that are better told on screen than on paper, but despite its flaws, it's made me even more excited to see the movie.

Cover Comments: I really like the cover! It has a cool, old-fashioned fairy tale vibe going to it, but it's also a bit modern too. I like it a lot!

Review copy provided by publisher.

If you want a good retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, I highly recommend Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce!


Anonymous said...

It does sound a bit choppy. I guess that right now I feel about this book as I feel about the movie: Sort of want to see/read it, sort of don't.

:D I've heard of Sisters Read though, :) and it sounds good.

Imogen - Brilliantly Bookish said...

I'm always a bit wary of books based straight from screenplays, but the movie itself looks good. I agree about Sisters Red though, I loved that book!

jayme said...

I'm a little thrown off of the book, being as they are tying the last chapter together with the movie :/
And while I think that the visuals in the movie trailer are amazing--I love the look of the dark forest and the snow and the red hood--it's probably one I'm going to skip out on.

baconamanda34 said...

I've watched the movie twice already I love it! Amanda Seyfried is my rolemodel I'd do anything just to meet her. But the book is also pretty good.