Synopsis:

This high stakes, pacey reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood is perfect for fans of Stephanie Garber and Megan Spooner.

For as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember the village of Oakvale has been surrounding by the dark woods—a forest filled with terrible monsters that light cannot penetrate. Like every person who grows up in Oakvale she has been told to steer clear of the woods unless absolutely necessary.

But unlike her neighbors in Oakvale, Adele has a very good reason for going into the woods. Adele is one of a long line of guardians, women who are able to change into wolves and who are tasked with the job of protecting their village while never letting any of the villagers know of their existence.

But when following her calling means abandoning the person she loves, the future she imagined for herself, and her values she must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her neighbors safe.

Review:

Thank you to HarperTeen for sending me an ARC of this book.

Red Wolf is another title to add to the list of the Little Red Riding Hood retellings. It’s a story about Adele, who lives in a small town very close to the dark woods pestered with monsters and werewolves. In order to take care of her grandma, she has to cross the woods and, during her walk, she is attacked by a wolf. The attack allows her to discover her true destiny as a guardian and her ability to change into a wolf with the strengths to protect her town and her people. Coming to terms with her family’s secret brings Adele to reconsider everything she believed in and wanted for her future. 

If I have to make a list of things I liked about this story, I would put the idea at the basis of this story on the top. Making Little Red Riding Hood also a wolf was a great premise. However, the list of things I didn’t like about this book is quite long. 

I found the premise quite original but there was no further execution. The struggles of Adele being both human and wolf are explored only towards the very end of the story. The ending itself was a big and rushed mess, with such an abrupt closure and I am still so confused about it. 

The conclusion just confirmed how I felt for Adele – which is nothing. I didn’t feel for her at all, her stubbornness just added to my disappointment. Adele makes very bad choices, she is immature and doesn’t want to face the consequences of her bad actions. There is no character growth at all. 

I generally love the romance part of a fantasy story, but in Red Wolf it was too much. The focus was all on Adele’s feelings and on the love triangle, there was not much talk about what was going on in the woods, why did the woods even exist in the first place, where did they come from? Why do we have guardians in this world, good werewolves and bad ones? 

The whole plot rather seemed a long discussion about how a woman’s destiny is to get married, make babies and be a wife. The writing style is more for a middle-grade audience than YA, so I get it I am not the target here. I still think it gives a bad portrayal of women and femininity. You don’t need to make babies in order to become the chosen one. 

In the end, I think this is what made me dislike the main character and the story most.  I know I am quite harsh with my reviews, but Red Wolf was such an inconclusive story, I really felt I wasted my time reading it.