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Red Riding Hood    by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright Amazon.com order for
Red Riding Hood
by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

There have been many movies based on books that were written well before the movie, and many book adaptations of movies that were slapped together as a way for younger readers to take the movie home. Red Riding Hood falls into neither category. The movie script by David Leslie Johnson did come first but, as she explains in her Introduction, director Catherine Hardwick thought the story needed more than just a movie could provide, so she called in recent creative-writing grad Sarah Blakley-Cartwright to pen a novel that would fit in with the movie, while providing rich backstories and she did just that.

Red Riding Hood is not your typical fairy tale not even your typical original format fairy tale. No, this version is even more terrifying than any centuries-old story filled with the violence not found in children's literature today. This Red Riding Hood is a more mature tale for young adults and those adults who are still kids at heart. In this story, the town of Daggorhorn is terrorized by the Wolf who demands a sacrifice every full moon. But once in a while, there is a blood moon, a red moon that lasts for four days. During these four days, the Wolf is insatiable and has the ability to make a new Wolf. After Valerie's older sister Lucie becomes the first victim, Daggorhorn is out for blood especially when they find out the Wolf can take a human form and could be any one of the villagers. Valerie has more problems of her own, though her childhood friend Peter is back in town and more handsome than ever, but the local heartthrob, Henry, wants to marry her. But when Valerie is accused of conversing with the Wolf, which of these men will save her, or will she have to save herself?

Red Riding Hood is a lush novel full of rich descriptions and page-turning suspense that fans of rewritten fairy tales will swoon over. Aside from a few simple sentences that disrupt the flow early on, Blakley-Cartwright proves that she has what it takes to make it in the YA fantasy industry. She is definitely an author to watch out for, and, whether you see the movie or not, this book is a must-read.

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