Jan 26, 2011

Review--Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

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 away 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.

So I've been more than curious about the new movie Red Riding Hood, since the wolf is obviously a werewolf and there's going to be some sort of romance with Red...or Valerie as the case may be, so I decided to read the book Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright. And it was pretty interesting.

I'll admit what grabbed at my heart right away was when Valerie saw that Peter, her friend from 10 years ago returns to her town to help with the fieldwork or whatever. She feels immediately drawn to him as well, although she can't be sure if he remembers her right away. And having had more friends than I care to count who have moved away, I would love to be able to see them again and reconnect. So I envied Valerie for her chance.

Naturally there is another dreaded love triangle going on here with the blacksmith and Peter. And I was naturally more drawn to Peter, perhaps the allure of connecting with an old friend is what really softened me towards him. Yet I did feel for the blacksmith as well.

The pacing was a little slow, I mean from the BOC description we know Valerie's sister dies by the Wolf, but that doesn't occur right away. It's several pages in, won't say the exact count, but it was awhile. So for the meantime all we get to see is town life and then Valerie's interactions with Peter and the love trouble that comes from being betrothed to Henry, the blacksmith.

When the murder does occur, it's really the beginning of all the trouble the town will see. The Wolf hunter comes to town and is dead set on finding the beast and killing it, by any means necessary.

Trying to figure out who the werewolf was, was a little more challenging than I thought. I made an easy guess but then dismissed it because of its easiness and started making other guesses based on the characters' actions. And it was surprising and yet not as much when the identity was revealed.

One thing that bugged me about something that happened towards the end, was that it was just a little too cheesy for me. I mean if this part is in the movies, this is when I'll be rolling my eyes. It was little to sap-happy in it's wrapping things up. But that wasn't all...

What's really the clincher? Is that the book ends with a somewhat unsettled feeling. Not quite a cliffhanger, but still wondering what the heck is going to happen next. And wondering if this is the path that the movie plans to take as well. Is this another Twilight thing we have going on? Who's to really say. But at the back of the book is a note questioning whether Valerie's story is really over and to go to the website to find out. When I went to said website, I found a countdown (now on my sidebar) with 43 days to go til the final chapter will be posted!

Needless to say I was a little miffed. Here I thought I would get to see the conclusion to get some sort of HEA feeling, or at least a more stable The End. But no. There's another wait. And really, Inigio says it best, "I hate waiting."

My overall score is a 4/5. I did enjoy it rather well. And because I've only seen the preview like 2 times I haven't developed those actors as the characters into my mind, except for Amanda (Valerie), so I was able to have my own cast there.


  1. Hmmmmm... I have been debating about whether or not to pick up a copy of this book, and I think I might just have to (despite the cheesiness factor at the end of the novel). And wait! You don't get the final chapter?!? How dumb...
    So here is my crazy-butt guess. Valerie is the werewolf isn't she? And she has no recollections that she is/ doesn't know that she killed her sister... ;)

  2. Nice review Jess,

    I've seen the movie trailer a couple times, it looks like a mix of Twilight and The Village LOL

  3. Hmm- thanks for the review. Its good to know about some of the issues going in. I think I wanna give it a read esp since you still rated 4/5

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  4. ooooo I really want to read this. I saw the trailer like 5 times before finding out it they made a book!
    Thank you for the great review :)


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