#ATBR2019 – The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Another Christina Henry book for the #allthebookreviews duo 🙂

Thanks to Berkley for the free advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews

THE GIRL IN RED – Christina Henry (out now!)

You can see our reviews for LOST BOY by Christina Henry here!

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

Retellings are always a hit or miss for me but Henry and her dark retellings are always a fun read.  Fun? I’m not sure if “fun” is the correct adjective considering the somber feel of them, but the darker the better for me!

In this case, we have Cordelia, also known as Red, living in an apocalyptic world where sickness is ravaging and like all books show, people go to their basest raging selves and no one is really safe.  Not safe from the government who want to “quarantine” them and not from themselves.  All she wants is to make it to her Grandmother’s house where she feels strongly she will be safe.

(don’t think about Adam)

In full honesty, this book took me a little bit to get into it.  It runs from present day solo Red, wary of everyone and hater of guns to past Red with her family and the beginning of her journey.  Leaving loved ones behind and while she’s cynical and extremely smart in both parts, her jadedness increases the more days that pass as she’s on her way.  It isn’t until almost the half way point that I became truly involved with this book… and with Red.  While her sarcasm and brassiness may put some people off, I absolutely love how smart she is.. and we also learn she does have a heart.

While I see the retellingness (is that a word?) of Little Red Riding Hood with her pullover, journey to her Grandmother’s and the “wolves” trying to stop her on her way, the rest of it was just a dystopian story that did resonate and was well written.  I kept forgetting I was reading a retelling to be honest.

This story is a lot about survival and family. It’s dark, a bit gory at times and the ups and downs of taking the “easy way” compared to fighting for what you feel you need.  Sometimes not just for yourself.  I did feel that the story did end a bit abruptly and I’m curious about what else would’ve happened but I’m also mostly satisfied with the read as a whole.  Sometimes you don’t need that bow tied.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

I’ve been a huge fan of Henry’s since I picked up LOST BOY a couple of years ago. This was my third outing with Christina’s retellings (THE MERMAID last year), and I was not disappointed. The dark fairy tale retellings genre is one that I’ve always loved and have a special place for in the mix with all of the crime fiction and thrillers. If you’re a fan of this genre like I am, then I highly recommend you picking this one up.

THE GIRL IN RED is a new take on Little Red Riding Hood with a post-apocalyptic backdrop. Taking place after what Red calls The Crisis, she is forced to survive the woods at night. Which also means surviving the terrors lurking in the shadows – wolves, snakes, coyotes, and worst of all, men with evil intentions. Red is willing to do whatever it takes to protect herself in this new world, even when she realizes there is something much worse out there than the creatures and men of the night.

In true Henry fashion, this is dark and foreboding all the way through. It’s a quick read at just about 300 pages and I read it in about two sittings. I love Red. She’s another fierce female lead, but with her own challenges to overcome. Little Red Riding Hood has never been so unstoppable. Armed with her intellect and an axe, she’s ready to take on whatever comes her way on her journey to get to her grandmother.

With diversity, a quick moving plot, well-developed characters, and fleshed out relationships, I would highly recommend this to those that love the retelling genre. I know they aren’t for all readers, but if you’re a fan of the author or the genre, then get this on your TBR. Now, it’s about time I pick up the ALICE series from Henry.

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