Books Movies & TV Review

Review: Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

December 29, 2010
taken from Barnes and Noble’s website

Okay, so this book was written based off the screenplay for the upcoming movie of the same name directed by Catherine Hardwicke. I personally freaked out over the trailer and plan on going to the midnight of the movie. When I found out they were releasing a book version of the story, I was beyond excited. It’s safe to say I had somewhat high expectations. Unfortunately, they weren’t met.

The writing is confusing. That’s the best way I can describe it. A lot of the descriptions either failed to evoke a successful image or they fell flat and evoked nothing. Some of the metaphors and similes are really creative, but most of them made no sense to me at all and I often wondered why the author chose to describe it in that manner. Thanks to the movie trailer, I knew the story took place in the past (late 1600’s maybe? I’m really bad with history), but in my opinion, some of the dialogue seemed too modern and out of place. Despite all of this, some scenes are really well-written, especially in the second half of the novel, and the writing is quite lyrical. Still, I wish the writing had been more fluid and clear.
The story is told in the third person, which provides readers with insight on some of the other villagers and supporting characters. At times this worked and I enjoyed learning something and later seeing how it tied into the overall plot. But other times I was given useless information that bogged down the already slow-moving plot. 
Character-wise, it focused mainly on Valerie and I enjoyed learning about her past in the small flashbacks that the author included. I could relate to Valerie’s preference to spending time alone and her questioning to what love should really be about.
Speaking of love, a major disappointment for me was the romance. When Peter returns, the minute he and Valerie reunite they seemingly declare their love for one another. This was an example of “instant love” that simply did not work for me. Maybe I missed something, but I didn’t even know Valerie was in love with him or even thought about him while he was gone. Had there been more scenes showing how good of friends they had been and how they both still thought about each other, their instalove might have worked. Overall, though, the romance felt forced and I couldn’t invest myself in their love.
Overall, Red Riding Hood was okay. I know it seems like I really did not like it at all, but I did like the general premise of it and I’m still looking forward to the movie. It seems that the book was written to stand apart from the movie, so I’m hoping the movie will illustrate some things better, like Peter and Valerie’s love. I’m under the impression this is the first book in a series, so maybe the story will get better as the series grows. If you want to read this, though, I suggest borrowing it from the library.

  • Reply
    December 29, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Nice review, to bad you didn’t like the book very much. I haven’t read it but don’t think I really want to, but the movie does look interesting.

  • Reply
    Mundie Moms
    December 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Great, honest review. I’ve wanted to read this book before seeing the movie, but it sounds like I can see the movie and still be just as satisfied.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 2:14 am

    The book is based off of the screenplay, but I still think you should read it.I did and it was a wonderful read.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Loved the review! I like to know what to expect going into a book! I need to see this movie as well!

Leave a Reply