While Red does have a forest, a grandmother, and a wolf, this isn’t a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It is a scamper into a forest full of magical and mythical creatures who can eviscerate you in ways you’ve never imagined. It is about a secret society where membership is hereditary and you either live or die by the rules, but you never escape. This was fun and entertaining, and if it was the equivalent of literary junk food, pass me the m&m’s.
Kia is . . . firey, literally. When her secret abilities land her in hot water, she is sent to live with her grandmother, a housekeeper for a wealthy and private man who lives on an isolated estate. Cue the snobby, distant, and irresistible son and the jealous “friend” who thinks she has exclusive rights to him (as if) and it adds up to a pretty hellish punishment. Problem is, Kia hasn’t even seen what stalks the woods behind the mansion, and she has no idea what lengths everyone will go to in order to make sure she never does. Kia is a snarky and fun narrator who manages to gain reader empathy without coming across as weak. The story is fairly fast paced and manages to juggle moving the plot forward while developing a superficial but believable romantic relationship. All of this, though is secondary to the fun hiding inside that forest — you won’t believe it, but you’ll sure want to! This was a very intriguing setting, and I would have liked to have spent more time there. There isn’t a whole lot of depth, but I was having enough fun that I didn’t care. Fast and engaging, creative but familiar enough for readers who don’t enjoy exhaustive world building.
Goodreads summary for Red
I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.