Author: Elana Arnold
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Retellings, Fairytales
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Rating: 4/5 Stars
*Thank you The Fantastic Flying Book Club and Balzer + Bray for the opportunity to be on this blog tour!*
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.
Wow, what a retelling! Red Hood follows the story of Bisou, a girl willing to fight off those who creep in the night. Elana Arnold took the classic tale of Red Riding Hood and turned it into an action packed adventure. It’s homecoming and Bisou is getting sexy with her boyfriend. When her boyfriend raises his head, shes sees the thing she did not want coming in that exact moment. Embarrassed, she runs off into the woods, encounters a wolf and ultimately kills it. That events leads to a mysterious death of a boy in her high school near the very area she killed the wolf. Did she kill the boy? Was it a boy and not a wolf?
Red Hood tackles some heavy topics in such a unique and great way. It is a story about empowerment. It is written with such craft that I felt as a grown woman in 2020, I can totally relate to some of the topics discussed. Bisou becomes this bad ass main character that you end up rooting for. I really loved Bisou character development throughout the story. As a child she suffered such loss and tragedy that only led her to become stronger as she grew up. She becomes a beacon of sisterhood and fights for the rights of her fellow women. What I loved most about Bisou was her relationship with her boyfriend. You often read books where the boyfriend is still a bit of an alpha even when he isn’t meant to be. Bisou’s boyfriend is supportive, loving and gets her. It was great to have that refresher that all boys do not have to be toxic to be masculine.
On the subject of toxic masculinity, Elana hit that through the park. The wolves hunting the women aren’t only wolves – they are also men and boys. Bisou creates a coven to hunt the wolves and bring peace to the women in her quiet Seattle town. This is a story that gives you message that you are allowed to love your body and you are allowed to rise up against injustice. It is a retelling you don’t expect. A page turning adventure about wolf hunters, sexual experiences, menstruation [in detail] and the upside down turn of events for one young girl. It is a book you want to pick up and not let down!
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.
Follow the Tour!
Prize: Win a copy of RED HOOD by Elana K. Arnold (US Only)
Starts: 18th February 2020
Ends: 3rd March 2020