by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright
3/5 Clear Eyes
First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"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.
However, what seems to have kept the Wolf at bay all these years has failed the people of Daggorhorn after the beloved Lucie, Valerie's sister, is found mutilated in the farm fields.
And from here, the story finally takes off into a jumpy, choppy writing of the tale of Red Riding Hood. For me, this book was just all around... Weird. After reading the introduction, I found out that this story was never meant to be a book, but rather just a movie. However, Cathrine Hardwicke, the director of Twilight and of Red Riding Hood, found that the characters involved in the movie were too indepth for her to capture it on screen. As a result, she asked her friend Sarah Blakely-Cartwright, who had just graduated with a creative writers degree, to write the movie's screen-play into a book. Weird, right?
To make things even weirder, the final chapter of the book wasn't located in the back of the book like you would think it should be, but rather ONLINE. Whaaaaaat. The only explination I can think of for this is that the final chapter either wasn't originally meant to be put in, or that it wasn't written on time to be reviewed and published for the book.
Anyways, I felt like the writing for this book was sloppily thrown together, and everything felt very jumbled. If I hadn't watched the movie first, I can tell you right now that I would have been confused at many points in the novel. It seemed as if she had just taken the screen-write and added in narration where necessary. But I can say that I really did have fun reading this interesting re-tell of the classic Red Riding Hood, despite all of my negativity.
Keeping in mind that this was Cartwright's first novel - the idea of it which wasn't even hers - and that it was thrust upon her quite suddenly did help me to enjoy the book more than I thought I would.
Unfortunately, with this in mind, cutting her some slack won't make the read any better. So when you do decide to read this book, I recommend you read it with low expectations so that you're not too disappointed.
Over all, Red Riding Hood was a fun read and I congratulate Cartwright on a first job well done. :)