Sunday, January 9, 2011

Red Riding Hood by Blakley-Cartwright/Johnson

Red Riding Hood
by Blakley-Cartwright/Johnson

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance Mystery

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, tried to console Valerie, but her heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie's 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.

The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat. Her flesh mutilated by telltale claw marks. The Wolf has broken the peace. When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations. It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect. Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town? Is it her betrothed, Henry? Or someone even closer to her? As the men in the village hunt for the beast, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long. Will Valerie discover the werewolf's identity before the town is ripped apart?

Valerie wants more than her small village can give her. She wants to see the world, experience more in life, and make her own decisions. Yet, no-one escapes her cursed village and since before she can remember, the villagers offer monthly sacrifices to the wolf that stalks the wood at night. [ "Walking past the sacrificial altar today, Valerie hadn't even noticed the pile of bones left over from the previous night's offering. Like all the other children in the village, she'd seen it once a month all her life and stopped thinking about what it meant." pg. 19 ] Yet, upon her sisters brutal murder, Valerie can no longer pretend life is bearable and a new evil (even darker than the wolf) descends upon her home. Dealing with her grief-stricken Mother, alcoholic Father, heroic Fiancee, childhood Crush can all be trying at times, but now being accused of as a Witch for communicating with the killer Wolf; Valerie must face this darkness head-on and choose where exactly her future leads.

I'm a sucker for fairy tales, thus on my first 2011 visit to Borders to use my Christmas gift card (yayy!), I picked up Red Riding Hood. I've seen the trailor for the movie coming out in March(which looks so-so), but wanted to get an early fix on this Gothic re-telling. It's a great mystery since it keeps you guessing (and re-guessing!) throughout the whole story. Her relationship with Peter can be almost sickeningly sweet at times and you feel bad for Henry's constant rejection, but I think I enjoyed his character development the most. Its heart wrenching to see Valerie's grief over losing her beloved sister Lucie and to bear witness to her dark inner feelings/thoughts toward her parents, friends, etc. can border on awkwardly personal at times. Yet, Valerie came off as being a very grounded girl dealing with extraordinary (and sometimes quite gruesome!) things. The ending of the tale is a bit abrupt, not something I like since it does leave everything on a cliff-hanger in which you have to go HERE for the final chapter. :) So, I'm still waiting to see what happens myself . . .

Likes: The historical village background and the traditions of all the people that live there fascinated me!

Dislikes: I wish the story would have gone a little deeper into Valerie & Peter's background as children so it would be easier to see her obsession with him now.


No comments:

Post a Comment

It's all about the friendly conversation here at Books To Bury Yourself In :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Be sure to check back again because I do make every effort to reply to your comments here.