Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

Red Riding Hood 
by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Published: January 2011
Publisher: Poppy (an imprint of Little, Brown and Company)
Available: Amazon


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.


When I picked this up, I was doing so under the impression that the movie starring Amanda Seyfried was based on Blakey-Cartwright's book. Not so. Apparently director Catherine Hardwick came up with the idea of turning it into a book during production. Prior to knowing this, I actually enjoyed the book and what I had assumed was an alternative ending. Now that I know this I feel very let down.

The characters were interesting, and it was nice to get inside Valerie's head a bit more. I enjoyed the movie, and thought it was fairly well done. A bit Twilighty, but decent. Valerie's character in the book comes across a bit more selfish and wishy-washy as far as her affections went. Henry was also a bit more developed than he was in the movie and I actually could see why Valerie might have wavered, especially considering how in the book Peter has been absent for years, only showing up right before the wolf attacks the first night.

The slight differences in the beginning of the book were nice, making it at least feel like I was getting something new out of it. The minor differences between the movie and book pop up often enough that it kept me read, if only to find out what else would be changed. Which leads me to the ending. Or what I thought was the ending. Apparently, the library book I borrowed was one of those printed before the movie released, and was published with the ending missing. On purpose. Yeah. So while I thought the author had deliberately left things hanging with a mystery or at least a suspicion that Peter was the wolf, what really happened was the publisher decided to work with the movie production company and not release the last chapter(s) until the movie came out. It totally ruined the book for me. I mean what a way to give in to the movie industry and sacrifice your story for a few extra movie tickets.

If you've seen the movie, then skip this one. At least that way you'll get the actual ending.

1 comment:

  1. I picked up my copy & read it before the movie. The ending (or lack thereof?) left me anxious to see what happened. It was a great read though - I really enjoyed it! I liked the movie too.