Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood - Sarah Blakley-Cartwright, David Leslie Johnson "Red Riding Hood" surprised me more than I thought approaching the novel. I haven't seen the movie of the same name, so I can't claim any reference points from that, but what I can say is that the story ended up being a fast, fluid read that kept me engaged until the end, which speaks somewhat of its merits as far as keeping a reader's attention.Yet what makes me critical with this review, despite the tight writing and pacing, is that I didn't like the characters and felt the story didn't resonate with me. Valerie is a young woman in the form of the title character, loved by one boy, but she loves another, and it's really one-sided/obvious for much of the story. Yet in reading the whole book (including the bonus chapter on the website), I think the ending of who the wolf turned out to be was fitting to the story and a good twist, but then the scheme of the romantic angle came across a bit eerie in more ways than one. I suppose in terms of tone, it fit the book well, but to me, it came across as silly and somewhat contrived.In short, I'll say that as a fairy tale retelling, while it did hold my attention, I've read much stronger adaptations with stronger characters and emotional stakes, so it wasn't my cup of tea.Overall score: 2/5