Title: Red Hood
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: February 25, 2020
Age Category & Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Retelling
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.
➝ Sum it up in points!
✔ darkly inspired by Red Riding Hood
✔ feminism meets unbound anger
✔ toxic masculinity is stamped on
✔ notion of men are wolves
✔ second-person point of view
Red Hood creates a battleground for the dangerous wolves in the form of men and the dangerous feminists in the form of women to establish the unapologetic aftermath of an attack. The ideas of finding comfort in your own body and consent are explored amidst the sexual predators and toxic masculinity. Fear and fury raging within these women bring them together as an empowered unit. The gore justifies the ‘red’ in the title and the projection of some themes like menstruation that are often ignored within female-centred narrations is commendable. Some aspects are not completely agreeable with the notion it sets, like the generalisation of male population or creating a vicious cycle of violence in response, but the overall effect of the story radiates through a positive ground.
➝ Trigger Warnings:
✔ violence & murder
✔ sexual assault
✔ blood spilling & descriptions
✔ consensual & non-consensual sex scenes
✔ graphic deaths
✔ substance and physical abuse
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, affects my rating and/or review. Thank you, FFBC tours, Balzer + Bray and Elana Arnold! This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a percentage of your purchase using the link without any extra cost to you. Please consider buying through these affiliate links if you wish to support the blog. Thank you!
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ELANA K. ARNOLD writes books for and about children and teens. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature. Her most recent YA novel, DAMSEL, is a Printz Honor book, Her 2017 novel, WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her middle grade novel, A BOY CALLED BAT, is a Junior Library Guild Selection. A parent and educator living in Huntington Beach, California, Elana is a frequent speaker at schools, libraries, and writers’ conferences. Currently, Elana is the caretaker of seven pets, only three of which have fur.