Welcome to my stop on the Red Hood Book Tour! Red Hood is a feminist YA retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. Though, you won’t find any eaten grandmothers or scared little girls in this version. Grab hold of your seat, because this is Little Red like you have never seen her before.
by Elana K. Arnold
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Fairy Tales
You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.
And the wolf is angry.
Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood, in Bisou’s past, and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.
Elana K. Arnold, National Book Award finalist and author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of the familiar threats to female power—and one girl’s journey to regain it.
My Review of Red Hood:
The tale that Elana K. Arnold tells us in Red Hood is nothing that I have ever read before. I am a lover of fairy tales, but with the latest trend of retellings, I have found that Arnold’s is the best one yet.
She turns a world of strong women into heroes, which never happened in the “damsel in distress” tellings of my youth. The constant references to boys turning into wolves are indicative of the environment we find ourselves in now. That Red is the hero puts a fantastic slant on this historically male-centered story.
I enjoyed this novel immensely. However, the cadence of the story didn’t move in ways that I found easy to read. I feel that a book with so much emphasis on poetry should flow better. There are times when the reader faces the action with such intensity that it is overwhelming. There are whole sections where movement seems to stop altogether. The entire feel of the book was oddly unsettling.
Now, I think the unsettling feeling is there to make the reader stop and think. The poetry and the hunting instinct are in direct opposition, which makes the metaphor work brilliantly.
I would be thrilled to have my children and grandchildren read this novel. I hope that it makes other readers stop and think as much as I did. There is so much to learn from this story. I am glad to award Red Hood 4 out of 5 stars, and I urge readers of all ages to give this novel a read.
A copy of Red Hood was provided to me in the form of an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained in this review are my own.
Red Hood Playlist:
*Caution: Explicit Lyrics
About the Author:
ELANA K. ARNOLD is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of, and Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat and its sequels. Several of her books are Junior Library Guild selections and have appeared on many best book lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, a catalog of feminist titles for young readers. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets.
Prize: Win a copy of RED HOOD by Elana K. Arnold (US Only)
Starts: 18th February 2020
Ends: 3rd March 2020