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Red Hood

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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 h 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.


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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 h 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.

30 review for Red Hood

  1. 5 out of 5

    chai ♡

    There’s a great many things hard to fathom immediately after you finish a book that set themselves straight only later, in solitude, in memory. Like removing a pair of smudged-up glasses that fuzzed everything you saw. Red Hood troubled me for days, simmered in the cauldron of my mind. Many things about this novel did not sit well with me, and hung like gun smoke in the air. I couldn’t put myself into the picture of it. And here, I think, is the reason why. But first, what is this book about? Bisou There’s a great many things hard to fathom immediately after you finish a book that set themselves straight only later, in solitude, in memory. Like removing a pair of smudged-up glasses that fuzzed everything you saw. Red Hood troubled me for days, simmered in the cauldron of my mind. Many things about this novel did not sit well with me, and hung like gun smoke in the air. I couldn’t put myself into the picture of it. And here, I think, is the reason why. But first, what is this book about? Bisou’s earliest memories were such chaos in her recollection, but they had festered and burned cinders into her mind: her father’s presence and how they lived with the threat of it like a knife at their backs, an escape and the giddy lightness of safety that never came, her mother’s voice whispering: “n’oublie pas d’oublier”, desperate for the bleak velvet of forgetfulness and its nothingness, then her absence like the loss of a limb. Years later, when she is attacked in the woods by a vicious wolf, something red and primal at the core of Bisou snarls at the assault, demanding blood, demanding the offense be returned with a hard lesson, and Bisou faces the wolf with a fury like a fever. The next day, the discovery of a dead boy in the same spot in the woods with wounds not unlike the ones Bisou inflicted upon the wolf brings with it the buzzing sense of realization: could it be that boys with holes in their minds that needed to be filled with other people’s pain, who wanted for nothing but still found things to take, turned into wolves, their skin flowing into a thousand different shapes of fur and fangs and flesh? Bisou felt her rage still brimming and unspent. She was like a hound that finally caught the scent it sought: she would track these boys—these wolves—like flags to be chased for sport, scales of justice in one hand and claws in the other. The truth is, I have been among wolves. I’ll bet many of you have been, as well. Elana K.Arnauld’s novel takes on ever-relevant subjects (toxic masculinity, sexual assault, female empowerment), and reworks the Red Riding Hood fairytale in the service of poetic revenge. But the premise withers on the page, fails to thrive and bear fruit. And it isn’t long before the novel leaps a chasm into preposterous territory. What I found was a book stuffed with relentless, far-fetched plotting, thought experiments masquerading as characters (with especially disturbing implications given some late, weak plotlines), and a frustratingly glib ending that simmered in the air, as bitter as ash. Though the last scene was left to float in the air a bit, I realized instantly, and with some considerable astonishment, what the author was getting at: the novel’s consoling message, stirring in the slaughter-numbed blankness of the book’s final pages, is that some people are beyond all hope of redemption, and would only cause grief and suffering as long as they were allowed to live. That hate should be met with hate, and that morality is a ring one could just take off on a whim. But most incredulous of all: that a group of smart and accomplished young women could shut the tailgate on their moral compass, and unleash themselves for murder, killing boys as quickly and efficiently as removing the yolks from the whites—and face no repercussions. Yes. Men get away with killing women all the times, the law even provides generous room for it. The thought of these monsters going unpunished, of walking untroubled in the world—it would lit a hellfire in anyone’s heart. But is the answer to patriarchal violence just more violence?  Truthfully, the cause of my shock is not the unbridled violence of it. I’ve read books where the rules of morality were sieves with holes so large that all sorts of things could pass through, but a novel born this way should have a broader dynamic to it, whether it's satirical, poetic or simply poignant.  Yet, there is a hollowness at the heart of Red Hood, a brittleness like plate glass shivering. The novel fails to throw into question the motivations of its characters to do right, and their tendency to rationalize their own worst ideas without truly understanding the possibility of disaster, or even examine the fact that Bisou and her friends have become a part of that same conveyor belt of death they denounced. This does not bode well for a novel that starts with a clarion call for accountability, a battle cry for “girls like us” who cannot fight back and those actively working to dismantle the system. “It’s not that we need more wolf hunters,” Bisou says at one point, “it’s that we need men to stop becoming wolves.” I can't say the way this book ends reflect that sentiment. Another idea in Red Hood that comes with a horrific aftertaste is Bisou’s powers being tied to the moon and her menstrual cycle. The author doesn’t shy away from describing periods in blood-drenched details, and I really relished the fact that the novel takes a hammer to the taboo around menstruation. That said, the more I sat with this idea, the more it slipped, taking on a strange and unfamiliar form. I found the representation of queer people—especially trans people—a missed opportunity. The novel’s biggest misstep, for me, is that not only it fails to acknowledge that not all women menstruate, that some men menstruate, and that non-binary people exist as well within that system, but in a novel about violence against women, the exclusion of trans women’s experience as a demographic that suffers particularly high rates of murder is egregious. According to an article by the New York Times, at least 18 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been killed in the US in 2019—and those are only the reported cases. The real number is, sadly, likely higher. Ultimately, the view of feminism that we get from Red Hood is predominately white, straight and cis-gendered, and that further dampened the would-be poignancy of the novel’s overall voice. If you liked this review please consider leaving me a tip on ko-fi ! ☆ ko-fi ★ blog ☆ twitter ★ tumblr ☆

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    You are the hunter, and this wolf, though he thinks he is the predator, is your prey. Elana K. Arnold is one of my favourite writers of the twisted and disturbing. I eagerly seek out her new books and always find myself feeling a little shaken at the end. However, I've said before of Damsel that it should have been marketed as an adult book, and I think that is even more true of this one. Arnold's novels get these gorgeous YA fantasy covers, but I think it leads them into the wrong hands. In R You are the hunter, and this wolf, though he thinks he is the predator, is your prey. Elana K. Arnold is one of my favourite writers of the twisted and disturbing. I eagerly seek out her new books and always find myself feeling a little shaken at the end. However, I've said before of Damsel that it should have been marketed as an adult book, and I think that is even more true of this one. Arnold's novels get these gorgeous YA fantasy covers, but I think it leads them into the wrong hands. In Red Hood I think this is even more of an issue. This is a fantastic, gory, messed up fairy tale, but it also doesn't fully work as a high school thriller, in my opinion. Though I will say the honest depiction of menstruation is definitely something teens are missing. Sixteen-year-old Bisou Martel has pretty much given up on getting her period when it suddenly arrives at the worst possible time-- homecoming dance, when things are getting sexy in the back of her boyfriend's car. In a moment of panic, she gets out of the car and runs away into the woods. There she encounters a vicious wolf, and somehow kills it. The next day it all seems like a bad dream, but when the dead body of one of her classmates is found in the woods, Bisou has to wonder: is she responsible? There is a tree at your back. It rises behind you like all of history—your history, the history of girls in forests, the history of wolves and fangs and blood. It is a very loose Red Riding Hood retelling, which I personally prefer. I have no interest in reading the same story over and over again. It's also very chilling and creepy, even outright scary in parts. I love how Arnold uses fairy tales to tackle issues young women face like periods, relationships, toxic masculinity, and the threat of violence, without seeming didactic or preachy. Red Hood is searingly critical of rape culture and "incels", at the same time as celebrating loving, consensual sex and relationships. The problem is, I think the conclusion - the "message" of the book, if you will - doesn't sit quite right for me. It is clearly supposed to be about sisterhood and female empowerment, but it comes across as an endorsement of (view spoiler)[murder (hide spoiler)] . I also feel that the YA label doesn't help. Would this have been as jarring as an adult novel about (view spoiler)[vigilante justice (hide spoiler)] ? I can't say for sure, but I feel like it maybe wouldn't. I will still recommend this to fans of the dark, twisted and gory, but I will need to add a caveat that I don't fully support the message so no one thinks I'm a psychopath. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  3. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    im just not buying whatever brand of ‘feminism’ this book is trying to sell. this story attempts to show the strength and empowerment of women through the retelling of a classic fairytale and i highly encourage that message, especially within novels directed towards teens (even though this story is definitely on the mature side of YA). but wow, i really do not agree with how that message is conveyed in this. killing men because they mistreat you is not the answer. the taking of another life is nev im just not buying whatever brand of ‘feminism’ this book is trying to sell. this story attempts to show the strength and empowerment of women through the retelling of a classic fairytale and i highly encourage that message, especially within novels directed towards teens (even though this story is definitely on the mature side of YA). but wow, i really do not agree with how that message is conveyed in this. killing men because they mistreat you is not the answer. the taking of another life is never okay and it definitely wont solve your problem(s). i really dont like how this gives the impression that all men are horrible human beings and should be punished. its a really toxic mentality to encourage. to me, feminism is the promotion of gender equality, not the hating of men. this story just really rubbed me the wrong way. also, i cant stand second person POV, so that was annoying to deal with. overall, im not impressed and im glad this was a library rental so i didnt waste any money on it. ↠ 1.5 stars

  4. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Just released my Worst 2020 Books Video - now that you know this one made the list, click the link to find the rest! The Written Review “It’s not that we need more wolf hunters,” you say. “It’s that we need men to stop becoming wolves.” Bisou was raised by her grandmother - and her g-ma was a cool one. She could go to her for anything...until she couldn't. On the first day of her very first period, Bisou finds herself confronted by a vicious wolf. And, somehow, she manages to kill Just released my Worst 2020 Books Video - now that you know this one made the list, click the link to find the rest! The Written Review “It’s not that we need more wolf hunters,” you say. “It’s that we need men to stop becoming wolves.” Bisou was raised by her grandmother - and her g-ma was a cool one. She could go to her for anything...until she couldn't. On the first day of her very first period, Bisou finds herself confronted by a vicious wolf. And, somehow, she manages to kill it. And then...it turns back into a man. Bisou learns that there's a secret in her past - one that turns wicked men into wolves - but she can't run forever...one of these days, the wolves will catch her. So. I thought I was going to love this one based off the description...but I wasn't prepared for this book. There's a lot of second person perspective - where Bisou addresses a collective "you" for the audience...which threw me out of the story constantly. Every time I'd try to sink in...I would get pushed out by the direct "you". Also, all of the powers were tied to the "womanly cycle" - which meant that men turned into wolves around her when she's on her magical period...which also kinda threw me. I kept trying to figure out the magic rules of this world...and apparently they just are...when Bisou is on her period, bad men become wolves. Which really makes me wonder...how are there SO many irredeemable men in this world? Some times Bisou stops them mid-heinous act but sometimes they just turn into wolves and try to kill her. I really feel like just murdering people (even before they do something) is worse than stopping the crime. I don't know, it just didn't gel with me. YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I loved GIRL IN RED and now another captivating retelling is out there! I want this wolf! I want this hood! I want every retelling of Grimm Brothers' bloody stories! I loved GIRL IN RED and now another captivating retelling is out there! I want this wolf! I want this hood! I want every retelling of Grimm Brothers' bloody stories!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzi

    Elana Arnold continues to flex on the entire book world by writing unflinching, raw, powerful novels about women taking back their power.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    3.5 stars. The only reason it’s not 5 stars is I’m tired of people using wolves as the bad guy/animal. And I hated the female period stuff. Gross. But the killing of evil bastards was the 5 star part 😉 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 3.5 stars. The only reason it’s not 5 stars is I’m tired of people using wolves as the bad guy/animal. And I hated the female period stuff. Gross. But the killing of evil bastards was the 5 star part 😉 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I originally rated this novel 4 stars, but the more I think about it, the more I am bothered by and uncomfortable with the ending. So I am leaving the rating off. Maybe one day I will settle on something... __________________ Hoo boy, this review is a hard one for me to tackle. I am a huge Elana K. Arnold fan, but I am not sure I can get fully behind Red Hood, like I gladly did with Damsel. Some more people need to read this ARC and tell me if I'm wrong. Red Hood is a sort of, kind of a retelling o I originally rated this novel 4 stars, but the more I think about it, the more I am bothered by and uncomfortable with the ending. So I am leaving the rating off. Maybe one day I will settle on something... __________________ Hoo boy, this review is a hard one for me to tackle. I am a huge Elana K. Arnold fan, but I am not sure I can get fully behind Red Hood, like I gladly did with Damsel. Some more people need to read this ARC and tell me if I'm wrong. Red Hood is a sort of, kind of a retelling of Red Riding Hood set in a modern world. The novel is definitely written in a fairy tale tone, almost entirely in second person. I thought it worked well for the story's dreamy, but tense narrative. It opens with Bisou getting ready to attend a school dance with her boyfriend of 6 months. She doesn't really love parties, especially not some of the guys at these parties. After the dance Bisou and her boyfriend drive to nearby woods where things get hot and heavy. And then suddenly and unexpectedly Bisou gets her first period (she is 16 and a late bloomer) at the most inopportune moment (brace yourself for it). Mortified, she flees her boyfriend, runs through the woods and encounters a wolf that she somehow finds strength to kill. Next morning, Bisou learns that one of her school mates is dead. Was it Bisou who killed him the night before? Let me tell you, there are many things Red Hood delivers on - PERIODS! They are described in visceral, bloody, BLOODY detail. Young love and first sexual experiences, which are both thrilling and terrifying. Toxic masculinity. I feel like it is explored here more intelligently than it ever was in another #girlpower! YA novel I like to rant about - Moxie. On the journey to learn more about herself and her body, Bisou meets other women and becomes a part of a real life force to fight misogyny and violence against women. What I do find problematic, is what happens after her coven of strong women is formed. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that book seems to suggest that it's a triumph of sisterhood for these women (view spoiler)[to stay on the path of violence, to conspire to kill men and dispose of their bodies, and as long as they do it as a unit, it's fine? They now have a group of smart, talented women, with a slayer and a journalist, and all they are good for - is killing and hiding bodies of rapists. Not, see, track and expose these men and put them into jail, but kill in secret? Throughout their lives? (hide spoiler)] . It would have worked in a Damsel-type setting, but because this is present time, it seems completely wrong. (view spoiler)[This book appears to approve of murder as the only solution to male violence, when the women clearly have other ways of dealing with it, particularly when they mobilize (hide spoiler)] . The novel ends with a tremendously well written, but totally misguided, in my view, epilogue, that is essentially an ode to (view spoiler)[a group of women covering up a murder. (hide spoiler)] Hmm... Did I get that right? Once you've read it, come and tell me what you think. I doubt Red Hood will get anywhere near the Printz shortlist:(

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Ashwood

    [English Review - Reseña en Español] |English| “Maybe there could be more of you. More fighters.” “It’s not that we need more wolf hunters,” you say. “It’s that we need men to stop becoming wolves.” “What we need right now,” Mémé says, her voice a cautious warning, “is to get through these next few days. Heads down. Eyes up. The world is not kind to women who cry wolf.” I love you Elana K. Arnold, thanks for writing this wonder! I didn't know I needed this book. I mean, I requested an ARC from t [English Review - Reseña en Español] |English| “Maybe there could be more of you. More fighters.” “It’s not that we need more wolf hunters,” you say. “It’s that we need men to stop becoming wolves.” “What we need right now,” Mémé says, her voice a cautious warning, “is to get through these next few days. Heads down. Eyes up. The world is not kind to women who cry wolf.” I love you Elana K. Arnold, thanks for writing this wonder! I didn't know I needed this book. I mean, I requested an ARC from this book to the publisher, expecting something completely different. A book that made me enjoy reading it, but, besides that, this book has gone beyond, it has made me feel so good, it has been like a caress in my soul. Why? Well. It has been due to the fact that all my ideals are represented in this novel, all the claims that I make every day are reflected in this book, and in the best way, making see and explaining why even some humans must change in so many things. Things you will find in this novel: -Menstruation. It was time for me to read a book where it talks about the period as what it is. Something normal, not a taboo. -Sexual Harassment and Rape Attempts. -Gender Violence. -Kills. -Sex Scenes. -Scenes of Struggle, Violence and Bloodshed. -Feminism and Rights. -Bullying. -Strong Family Ties. -Beautiful Friendships and Loyalty. -Lovely Boy. You are stronger than you were, and faster than you were, and you, in this moment, are made for this moment. The animal confronting you is both a wolf and not a wolf. And you—you are both a girl and not a girl. You are a hunter, and this wolf, though he thinks he is the predator, is your prey. What is Red Hood about? Bisou, a girl with a dark past, currently lives in Seattle with her grandmother, after her mother was mysteriously murdered many years ago. On the night of the homecoming dance the high school is full of friends Bisou will never have for her lack of trust in others and in herself, but, even so, she feels she doesn't need anyone but James, her boyfriend. A popular boy and player in the high school basketball team. In the middle of adolescence the hormones are in full bloom, and Bisou wants to experience new things. Therefore, when James and Bisou leave the party, they decide that they want the night to last a little longer, and they are wrapped in an atmosphere of passion and pleasure in the privacy of the car. But the moment is interrupted by a situation that Bisou didn't expect, her period has come, and at the worst time. Shame and panic take over her and flees to the forest without looking back. Lost in the dark, her senses develop and she notices that something follows her. An animal. Bisou keeps running but her captor is faster, she has no way out, until Bisou has to decide between dying without fighting or trying to defeat the great wolf that stands before her. The next morning, Bisou has too many things on her mind of what happened last night. Her period has finally come. Her boyfriend knows it too. She killed a wolf. She survived. And when she arrives at the high school and learns that a dead body of a boy has appeared in the middle of the forest near there, knows that her problems have only just begun. After all, she killed a wolf, right? |Español| No sabía que necesitaba este libro. Quiero decir, yo pedí un ARC de este libro a la editorial, esperándome algo completamente diferente, un libro que me hiciera disfrutar de la lectura como todos, pero este libro ha ido más allá, me ha hecho sentir muy bien. ¿Por qué? Bien. Ha sido por el hecho de que todos mis ideales se ven representados en esta novela, todas las reivindicaciones que hago día a día se plasman en este libro, y de la mejor manera, haciendo ver y explicando el porqué aún algunos humanos deben de cambiar en tantas cosas. Lo que encontrareis en esta novela: -Menstruación. Ya era hora de que leyera un libro donde habla de la regla como lo que es. Algo normal, no un tabú. -Acoso sexual y intentos de violación. -Violencia de género. -Asesinatos. -Escenas de sexo. (No muy descriptivas) -Escenas de lucha, violencia y derramamiento de sangre. -Reivindicación feminista. -Bullying. -Lazos familiares fuertes. -Amistad y lealtad. -Un chico encantador. ¿De qué va este libro? Bisou, una chica con un pasado oscuro, vive actualmente en Seattle con su abuela, después de que asesinaran a su madre misteriosamente muchos años atrás. En la noche del baile de bienvenida el instituto está repleto de los amigos que Bisou nunca tendrá por su falta de confianza en los demás y en sí misma, aún así, ella siente que no necesita a nadie más que a James, su novio. Un chico popular y jugador en el equipo de baloncesto del instituto. En plena adolescencia las hormonas están a flor de piel, y Bisou quiere experimentar cosas nuevas. Por eso, cuando James y Bisou se marchan de la fiesta en dirección al coche deciden que quieren que la noche dure un poco más, y se envuelven en una atmósfera de pasión y placer. Pero el momento es interrumpido por una situación que Bisou no esperaba, su período ha llegado, y en el peor momento. La vergüenza se apodera de ella y presa del pánico huye al bosque, sin mirar atrás. Perdida en la oscuridad sus sentidos se desarrollan y presiente que algo la sigue, un animal. Bisou sigue corriendo pero su captor es más veloz, no tiene salida, hasta que Bisou tiene que decidir entre morir sin luchar o intentar derrotar al gran lobo que se encuentra ante ella. A la mañana siguiente, Bisou tiene demasiadas cosas en la cabeza de lo que pasó la noche anterior. Su período ha llegado por fin. Su novio también lo sabe. Mató a un lobo. Sobrevivió. Y cuando llega al instituto y se entera de que ha aparecido un cuerpo en mitad del bosque cerca de allí, sabe que sus problemas solo acaban de comenzar. Al fin y al cabo ella mató a un lobo, ¿no? **I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

  10. 4 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    I requested this book for one reason only : because of DAMSEL. It's a book a lot of people hate, or dislike, or just feel uncomfortable about. And I don't begrudge anyone their feelings. But somehow it just worked for me. So when I saw yet another feminist sorta-retelling by the same author? I wanted it. While this saying a lot of things, and unpacking all the societal gender issues, it just didn't quite work as a story. It felt very literal, the good girls killed by the wolves aren't good girls I requested this book for one reason only : because of DAMSEL. It's a book a lot of people hate, or dislike, or just feel uncomfortable about. And I don't begrudge anyone their feelings. But somehow it just worked for me. So when I saw yet another feminist sorta-retelling by the same author? I wanted it. While this saying a lot of things, and unpacking all the societal gender issues, it just didn't quite work as a story. It felt very literal, the good girls killed by the wolves aren't good girls at all, it's whispered, and yet no one questions the motives of the wolf. And this leaned very heavily on menstruation and dealing with those changes, all of which is great, and not often touched on. We also had a very strong female friendship that develops, between girls who wouldn't normally have found each other, or maybe given each other a chance to be friends, in addition to a very sweet, very genuine, romance, but. But. I don't know, it was a push to get through this, I wasn't feeling motivated to read it, despite all the good in the story and what it was saying. I think people who disliked DAMSEL will enjoy this because it's a little less wild, a little less out there, and again, the dialogue is relevant and strong. So if you were put off by the author's other works, but want to explore this kind of story, I would suggest giving this a try. ** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  11. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I desperately want Elana K. Arnold to focus the rest of her writing on endless feminist fairytale retellings ♥

  12. 5 out of 5

    Boston

    4.5 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷₈⁷ ♠

    "There isn't always a wolf," Mémé reminds you, "but there is always the threat of one." I came into this prepared to be salty and infuriated like I was with Damsel . . . but instead was utterly blown away by the sheer power of this book. This was such a fierce piece of feminism wrapped in a well-known fairytale. To say I loved this would be an understatement, and to say this is powerful would also be a drastic understatement. This book doesn't pull any punches but neither is it overtl "There isn't always a wolf," Mémé reminds you, "but there is always the threat of one." I came into this prepared to be salty and infuriated like I was with Damsel . . . but instead was utterly blown away by the sheer power of this book. This was such a fierce piece of feminism wrapped in a well-known fairytale. To say I loved this would be an understatement, and to say this is powerful would also be a drastic understatement. This book doesn't pull any punches but neither is it overtly gratuitous. It says what it wants to say as precisely as possible, but also feels like a modern poetic ode to the power of women. Again, I wasn't a fan of this author's previous work, Damsel, so I was blown away with how different my feelings were about this book because it is so much better in all possible ways. It is definitely a book that will resonate with many people and will not be easily forgotten in a good way. I received a digital ARC from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Quotes are taken from an uncorrected ARC copy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cesar

    2.5 stars. My expectations were a bit too high after reading Damsel. That was a damn near perfect book and after learning Elana would come out with a Red Riding Hood inspired novel, my expectations were high. However, the first sign of trouble started off when I learned this would be written in 2nd POV. Which... OK, it may not be my cup of tea but I hoped the story would be good. That was the second sign of trouble. Needless to say, Red Hood was mediocre at best. The positives are outweighed by th 2.5 stars. My expectations were a bit too high after reading Damsel. That was a damn near perfect book and after learning Elana would come out with a Red Riding Hood inspired novel, my expectations were high. However, the first sign of trouble started off when I learned this would be written in 2nd POV. Which... OK, it may not be my cup of tea but I hoped the story would be good. That was the second sign of trouble. Needless to say, Red Hood was mediocre at best. The positives are outweighed by the negatives, meaning that the few parts I did enjoy were just that, few. Red Hood is a story inspired close to Red Riding Hood. The main character, Bisou, was going to have sex with her boyfriend in his car after attending their homecoming dance until she has her period. Her first one. Embarrassed, she runs out of the car and into the woods where she runs into a wolf. Some primal urge takes over Bisou and she fights the wolf, killing it in the process. After, she learns more about herself, her grandmother, and the wolves that roam the woods and kills women. This is a feminist story much like Damsel and the messages are clear to see. With that being said, much of the story and the character of Bisou were not as developed as I wanted to be. Plus, there is an issue with the brand of feminism Elana presented that some people have an issue with. The structure of the story, it is told from 2nd perspective, was a big flaw for me because reading from that perspective made Bisou feel like some sort of insert character into a fanfic that had little to almost no distinct personality. Had it been written in the 1st or 3rd perspective, I would've liked it a lot more. If it was written the way it was so we can get a more in-depth look at Bisou, it did a bad job because I can't think of anything remotely interesting about Bisou. The story itself wasn't that bad, but it was also lacking, not to mention slow at some parts. We have a story who kills wolves and it falls flat. The only times where my interest was piqued was when we got to learn more about Bisou, her grandmother, and the wolves. That also includes the wolf killings because those were descriptive. Outside of those moments, the story was slow and felt more like a contemporary than it did a paranormal. So, here's the part where it could divide the people on their opinion of how Elana presented her brand of feminism. Particularly, this review, though short, does explain why some are bothered with Elana's brand of feminism presented in her story. My high expectations for Red Hood was what lead me to a disappointing read. A shame really because I adore Damsel.

  15. 5 out of 5

    JenacideByBibliophile

    Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Balzer + Bray, via Edelweiss+ for an honest review. “I stumbled to me feet and took off running. Well, dear, he chased, and I am sure you know where this story goes. It’s your story, too, after all. I ran, and he chased, and soon I became aware that it was no longer a man who followed me – it was a beast, a wolf.” “who’s afraid of the big bad wolf i am afraid of everything.” Bisou Martel ran from the car to escape t Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Balzer + Bray, via Edelweiss+ for an honest review. “I stumbled to me feet and took off running. Well, dear, he chased, and I am sure you know where this story goes. It’s your story, too, after all. I ran, and he chased, and soon I became aware that it was no longer a man who followed me – it was a beast, a wolf.” “who’s afraid of the big bad wolf i am afraid of everything.” Bisou Martel ran from the car to escape the bloody scene before her. The drops of blood running from his chin, mortifying her beyond repair. She wanted nothing more than to disappear, to vanish, so she ran into the woods. But the woods weren’t safe that night, especially for Bisou. For she was different now, and the wolf could smell it in the air. Could taste it in the turning leaves and the trickle of fear mixing with her sweat. So he prowled towards her, inch by inch, wanting to claim what was surely his. Bisou was scared, but she was also different now. So she steps out of the woods, but the wolf doesn’t. “There is only one way to kill a wolf, dear heart. Quickly.” This isn’t a fluffy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. The maiden is not a princess, the wolf is not a prince, and grandmother isn’t sitting in bed twiddling her thumbs. Red Hood is one of the most raw retellings I have come across. It’s unhinging how forceful it pushes your comfort zone into submission and forces you to eradicate those tainted ideas instilled in us of how a female should act at. It will force women to shed every frightened sense of modesty that they grip to their bodies like a towel, and give readers a new insight into the meaning of wolf and prey. “Strange how a thing can strengthen one person and weaken another.” Bisou lives with her grandmother and has been for since she was a child. Throughout the story there are hints at the trauma and mysteries surrounding her mother and their separation, and why her father isn’t in the picture either. The author blends poetry into the story as a glimpse into her mother’s past and her feelings, and it also gives Bisou a voice while she fights to gain control of what is happening in her town. Why boys are turning up dead, and if she has anything to do with it. “I was alone in the ghost room waiting for it to end alone hoping he wouldn’t find me he came and blew down everything the moon was made of blood your bed was full of blood when he touched you with his fists and fangs he could have kept you safe but he didn’t want to.” But let’s get real about this. This book is going to make you uncomfortable. It wouldn’t be an Elana K. Arnold book if it didn’t. But it’s okay if it does, and it’s to be expected. Our culture has been raising women in a world where they should feel shame for their bodies. For not being pretty enough, sweet enough, interesting enough. We are made to feel unworthy, unclean. Taught to take up less space, make less noise, need less and be less. So that is why you will be uncomfortable reading this. Because Elana just did everything society didn’t want her to do. She made a group of strong, intelligent, driven, fierce and vocal women. Who pry and push their way towards their goals, damning the consequences. She gave their bodies truth. Showcasing them like the beautiful vessels they are. Full of awkward limbs, colors, textures and sizes. But best of all, she talked about that one special thing that makes women feel dirty. The one thing that men have made them hide and feel ashamed for – their periods. Yeah, I said it. P–E–R–I–O–D–S. In this story, the men and boys who wish harm to women – both physically and sexually – turn into wolves, lurking and stalking their prey. But Bisou, like her grandmother, is bestowed with a certain special sense or ability upon her first bleeding – PERIOD. I can’t say more without giving all the key elements away, but just know, this book is going to talk about periods and you’re just going to have to embrace it. Because the layers of messages that this author weaves throughout this tale is so inspiring and beautiful. She wants you to embrace your body, to love this squishy and unique form that you have grown into and gotten to know your entire life. This flesh, bone and blood that is YOURS and yours alone. The frame that holds your heart, hopes and dreams…and the foundation of what holds you up. The author wants you to look at YOU, and feel good. To feel at home and to love it there. To feel safe, comfortable and happy that THIS BODY is YOURS! “…now – here – you are your body.” But the other HUGE aspects of this story are the toxic masculinity, the fear that women face on a day to day basis, and the unjust expectations and labels that are placed upon women and not men. How women are held to a higher standard in how the act and dress, being labeled a slut or said she was “asking for it” if she does not stick within those straight lines she is pushed into. And how men are able to dress and act how they please, with little to no consequences and zero labels following them around like a shameful reminder. “Later I learned that she had a bad reputation – she was a drinker, they said, and had a liking for short skirts and halter tops. She liked men, they said – emphasis on “men”, not boys. Nothing was said of the fact that “men” obviously liked her, too.” This book sheds light on a lot of REALLY important topics that NEED to be talked about. Rape, harassment, abuse and unfair labels. As the story progresses we see Bisou and her female friends start out quiet and docile, and end up being forces of nature. They find their voices and fight tooth and nail for one another and themselves. I found it to be empowering and an incredibly unique way to approach these issues. I really recommend it to everyone to read, because we need to stop shying away from topics and face them head on. “… I can break things I can make things, too. I stand On two strong legs I kill With two strong hands I bleed From one strong womb I wish With one red heart That you could see me now.” “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not me. Fuck the wolf.”

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    Thank you Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! CW: sexual assault, intimate partner violence, death, murder, unwanted sexual pictures, being forced into a relationship, sex scenes (consensual and nonconsensual, but not too graphic), and menstruation This review is really going to suck because I could easily ramble on about how amazing this was. Because this book is amazing. It is multigenerational looking at the same issues that women have dealt with throughou Thank you Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! CW: sexual assault, intimate partner violence, death, murder, unwanted sexual pictures, being forced into a relationship, sex scenes (consensual and nonconsensual, but not too graphic), and menstruation This review is really going to suck because I could easily ramble on about how amazing this was. Because this book is amazing. It is multigenerational looking at the same issues that women have dealt with throughout time. And, not just women. I've dealt with a LOT of these same issues as I was assigned female at birth and lived in that role until I was a teenager. Even when I started living as a man, I still deal with this shit, but in a very different way than ciswomen and transwomen do. Definitely was in a very toxic relationship as a teenager that I feel lucky I got out of when I did. It's a very unique book. I don't know if I feel quite comfortable with it being labeled as YA because it feels more like NA to me. It deals with a lot of difficult subjects (if you can tell from my CW list) and it does so in a way that I don't know if some teenagers will appreciate it. Anyways, it's for the upper end of the YA spectrum. The book is primarily told in second person from Bisou's perspective. She a teenage girl navigating high school. A boyfriend, first sexual experiences, her first period. All of this happens on the page. Her mother was murdered by her father and she lives with her grandmother. For a brief part of the book, it's told in first person (which was a gorgeous part), but it's primarily in second person. Bisou is navigating all the things that most teenagers have to navigate. But add in the fact that there are wolves trying to hurt her fellow women and she has the power to stop them. To make it even more interesting, the wolves aren't just wolves. They're men and boys. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Not me. Fuck the wolf. Because that's the whole point of this book. It's a huge allegory of the Big Bad Wolf. Women never know who the wolves might be. They hide away until it's time to strike against someone they see as vulnerable. And the wolves can be anyone. A stranger. A friend. A family member. But wolves are always there hiding. The book is about primal feminity, in a way. Bisou can sense the wolves and it's deeply tied to her period, so there's a lot of period talk in it from multiple characters. (As I've said in past reviews, if I read this when I was younger it would have bothered me, but I'm older and I loved it. Which is why I put it as a CW for those who don't want that content for whatever reason.) It's also about women taking their power back. It's very reminiscent of Foul Is Fair, another ARC I received and loved. But, very different ways of going about it. Honestly, it's a book you just have to read to experience it. What I'm writing is just a drop in the bucket. It's a gorgeous book and while not suited for everyone, I found it an incredibly powerful story that I'm happy exists.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Megan Easter

    I'm going to be honest - I actually read 50% of the book and then skimmed the rest because I just couldn't do it anymore. This book was very problematic for me. In my opinion, it was written to make you uncomfortable. From the second person perspective to the very graphic and detailed descriptions about blood and periods and sexual experiences. I feel like this is the type of book you either "get" and love or don't get at all. Unfortunately, I am the latter category. I didn't get it and I didn't I'm going to be honest - I actually read 50% of the book and then skimmed the rest because I just couldn't do it anymore. This book was very problematic for me. In my opinion, it was written to make you uncomfortable. From the second person perspective to the very graphic and detailed descriptions about blood and periods and sexual experiences. I feel like this is the type of book you either "get" and love or don't get at all. Unfortunately, I am the latter category. I didn't get it and I didn't like it. It was not for me. That's not to say there aren't people out there who won't enjoy it - I'm just not that person. I found Bisou's obsession with her period to be off-putting - Nothing against having a period but I don't necessarily want to read about it in that great of detail. I will say that I am really surprised that this is marketed as a YA book. I personally think some aspects are too graphic and mature for young teens. Finally, men-bashing/violence against men (no matter what kind of moral character they have) in order to "get back your power" is not my kind of feminism. Feminism should be about equality - not hating men. You can have an empowering feminist message without all the hate to men. If you are considering reading it just be aware there is some subject matter that could be triggering. I personally would not recommend this book. (Advance Copy provided by HCC Frenzy in exchange for honest review.)

  18. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice This story can be described as bloody and brilliant. My favourite thing about Elana K. Arnold’s books is that they’re so unapologetically meant for the empowerment of young women. I relished diving into the world of Red Hood after reading Damsel, because I couldn’t wait to see what world Arnold would craft for us. She manages to turn the narrative of the Little Red Riding Hood and imbues it with the strength of a woman instead o Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice This story can be described as bloody and brilliant. My favourite thing about Elana K. Arnold’s books is that they’re so unapologetically meant for the empowerment of young women. I relished diving into the world of Red Hood after reading Damsel, because I couldn’t wait to see what world Arnold would craft for us. She manages to turn the narrative of the Little Red Riding Hood and imbues it with the strength of a woman instead of a man. If you’re not here to see fierce women take down toxic masculinity, this might not be the book for you. However, if you’re here to see women dismantle a hostile system never meant to empower them in the first place, then you’ve come to the right place. Now, if you’re easily triggered by themes of sexual assault and murder, you might approach this book with caution. I loved this book, but I will admit that it does come on strong, but if you think you can handle it, I highly recommend that you add this to your TBR. Bisou Martel has been in her grandmother’s care since she was four years old. They’ve lived a nice and quiet life in Seattle, but on the night of Homecoming, she finds herself running for her life in the woods, chased by a wolf with a mouth full of teeth and vicious claws. Bisou fights back, and as the new moon rises, so do questions about the blood in her veins and on her hands. She’ll navigate through broken boys and vicious wolves, and the lost girls who are afraid, but not alone. This isn’t the bedtime story that I grew up reading, that’s for certain. Despite the modern setting, Red Hood holds a similar storytelling to Damsel, one that makes you feel as though you’re in a dream. Our narrator, Bisou, is getting ready for the Homecoming Dance with her boyfriend of six months. Parties aren’t really her thing, and she doesn’t care for some of the guys that on her boyfriend’s basketball team, but she’s willing to put that to the side to hang out with him. After the dance she and her boyfriend head into the woods where things begin to get heated, but it’s at that moment that she starts her period. It is at this moment that the true story begins, as she runs out of the car mortified, into the woods, where she encounters the vicious wolf and finds the strength to fight back. The next day, she finds out that one of the boys at her school has been killed in the woods, but it can’t have been Bisou…can it? I honestly can’t go into too much more of this story without spoiling some major plot points, but what I can tell you is that it is a story that sinks its claws in and doesn’t let go. Arnold doesn’t hesitate in viscerally describing a young woman’s menstrual cycle. There is no shame in the act, and I found something so liberating about seeing how this is used as an empowering tool throughout the story. Bisou is learning about her body, and that is completely okay. Consent is another topic that is also thoroughly discussed in this book, and let me tell you, I was definitely here for some of the softer boys that Elana K. Arnold presented to us. This story handles the topic of toxic masculinity very well in my opinion, particularly in how it affects young women. From vilifying young women for their sexual nature or for speaking out against their aggressors, we get to focus on how it affects women. More importantly, I got to see what happens when women support each other in the face of this. It was so strengthening to see the female friendships develop in this way. There were a couple of moments that I found questionable,but overall, this story was amazing. Something that I didn’t love about this story was in the way that something was addressed. I honestly can’t say more than this without spoiling the story, but I just think if it had been framed in a different way it might have made the story better. While I loved how this story is told, I can also say that it may be off-putting to some readers. Which is okay, but I think everyone who is even remotely interested and wouldn’t be triggered should read this. This story is a 9/10 for me. It’s captivating and empowering, striving to show women to support one another and fight alongside each other in the face of toxic masculinity. I urge you to pick it up if you can, and definitely comment of contact me if you’d love to scream about it alongside me. Add it to your TBR!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Howard

    4 Stars for Red Hood (audiobook) by Elena K. Arnold read by January LaVoy. This was a really twisted tale. It was oddly gory, dark and violent. But I still liked it. I don’t know who I would recommend it too though. My favorite part was the narration. January LaVoy always does a wonderful job.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eva B.

    Nice is different than good. I will read everything Elana K. Arnold reads forever. I really loved our main cast, and I loved the second person POV. My one complaint is that I wish it had talked about how not every woman has a period, and not everyone who has a period is a woman; due to the focus on periods in this.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    Gross.. so gross, but weirdly good? Red Hood was an interesting retelling book. In it, you will meet Bisou who lives with her grandmother in Seattle. At first, I was a bit shocked with what was happening but then I quickly got over that and was fully invested in this book. It all begins with Homecoming night. Like all good stories, Bisou is being running for her life in the woods. She is being chased by a vicious wolf.. or so it seems. Let's backtrack though, she went to the dance with her boyfri Gross.. so gross, but weirdly good? Red Hood was an interesting retelling book. In it, you will meet Bisou who lives with her grandmother in Seattle. At first, I was a bit shocked with what was happening but then I quickly got over that and was fully invested in this book. It all begins with Homecoming night. Like all good stories, Bisou is being running for her life in the woods. She is being chased by a vicious wolf.. or so it seems. Let's backtrack though, she went to the dance with her boyfriend of six months. They leave to go to the woods, because who wouldn't?, and things start to get hot and heavy. Or do they? Sucks to suck but this girl starts her period right then and there. I would've been extremely embarrassed, like she was, and probably would've ran away like she did. Now that we are all caught up, she is being chased by a wolf. She eventually finds a way to defeat the wolf and goes home to an unsuspected grandmother. Trust me guys, this book was so good. Again, weirdly good. It was definitely interesting to see these guys turn into vicious wolves when it comes to girls. Then to see them support and stand up with one another when it came to these decisions put a smile on my face. I, of course, had questions about some stuff happening in this book but I don't want to spoil too much of it. In the end, definitely happy I got my hands on this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shayela Tahura

    I am sad - and furious - that so many women have internalized misogyny to such an extent that they deem this book an attack on men. There are brave, progressive, feminist men in this book - men as heroes and accomplices to women wronged. And even if there hadn’t been, the fact that I’m sitting here watching women label this book as misandry - when every man killed is slain by women defending themselves from a murderous attack — is appalling. Every young woman should read this book. We can expand I am sad - and furious - that so many women have internalized misogyny to such an extent that they deem this book an attack on men. There are brave, progressive, feminist men in this book - men as heroes and accomplices to women wronged. And even if there hadn’t been, the fact that I’m sitting here watching women label this book as misandry - when every man killed is slain by women defending themselves from a murderous attack — is appalling. Every young woman should read this book. We can expand on how such a narrative that involves menstruation speaks to trans and non binary people or could include them, but this is a story of one specific, tight knit group of four women facing male predators. And you all feel sorry for the men who were about to rip their throats open? It makes me a little ill. Y’all will read dystopian thrillers or high fantasy cheering on young women who take on the role of soldier, in allegiance to a monarchy or an abstract code of honor, but killing rapists mid-attack to save a life is too much. The hypocrisy, it stinks.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Moore

    The first word I thought of to describe ‘Red Hood’ is outstanding. It holds a potent message of female empowerment and gives us a whole new image of ‘Little Red Hiding Rood,’ and it’s coated in so much blood it feels like a murder-mystery. If just that makes you uncomfortable or woozy, you probably won’t be able to handle all the intense themes and topics* that author Elana K. Arnold weaves into this hypnotic coming-of-age tale. But if you love a brave story where cruel realities meet bold fanta The first word I thought of to describe ‘Red Hood’ is outstanding. It holds a potent message of female empowerment and gives us a whole new image of ‘Little Red Hiding Rood,’ and it’s coated in so much blood it feels like a murder-mystery. If just that makes you uncomfortable or woozy, you probably won’t be able to handle all the intense themes and topics* that author Elana K. Arnold weaves into this hypnotic coming-of-age tale. But if you love a brave story where cruel realities meet bold fantasy and aren't afraid to enter the woods, you should definitely proceed. There are countless stories where women and girls are at the mercy of men, of predators, where they are abused and assaulted, and it takes a lot for retribution to happen. Sometimes it never does. They are stories that mirror reality and they are hard to read and hear because they are too familiar to many of us. 'Red Hood' flips that story on its tail, with Bisou discovering her birthright when she gets her first period at the light of the full moon on Homecoming night; she suddenly has the otherworldly power to fight and kill the predators she can now sense in the dark Seattle woods. Bisou can sense when the wolves, these broken boys, are attacking their prey, and she is compelled by her own past, her bloodline, to protect and save these young women, these girls, and go on the hunt. With a story loaded with an emotional hot-button issue like sexual assault (and revenge-killing) in a social climate where the #MeToo movement is on everyone's radar, this book is sure to catch the attention of a lot of readers. And it will be the reason some have to stay away; that's fine, we know our limits. There will be discussion over whether 'killing the wolf' (and whether an 'eye for an eye') is justified. But I liken this kind of justice to that of other vigilantes out there in our fantasy worlds, our superheroes, Batman, Arrow, Hawkeye. I have to wonder if this kind of vengeance is called into question further because it's a woman carrying it out and because of the connection to sex. And no, I don't think we have to answer how the 'boy became the wolf' because that's a whole other story, and not for Bisou's tale. We don't always have to answer where the evil comes from to know that we have to get rid of it. I struggled to write this review, as I often have when a book really blows me away. I’d been lost for words since I read it, but thought about it a lot, and had somewhat pointlessly ‘written’ a review in my mind several times. I just want others to feel the way I did when I read it, clinging to every word. Last year, it was ‘The Grace Year’ by Kim Liggett that did the same thing for me. Both books portray women finding their place, their truth, and their power, albeit through very different stories and means, but both left me feeling that women can change their circumstances, they can be emboldened and empowered, and that they are ENOUGH. 'Red Hood' is magical and profound. It's also an intimate tale of one girl's discovery of her tragic past and her personal power. And as I said, it's outstanding. *Aside from sexual assault, murder, revenge-killing and rape, some themes and topics raised: sexual intercourse (including loss of virginity, and teen sex), drug and alcohol use, menstruation, abuse, bullying, suicide, self-harm, stalking, toxic masculinity, harassment. ~Thank you to Harper Teen for providing me with a review copy of this book for early reading. This did not influence my rating of the book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erin Kelly

    If I could give this 500 stars, I would. This book is incredible. The dreamy-like quality of the second-person narration; the clever callbacks to fairy tales of yesteryear; the amazing feminist undertones and overtones; the character- and story-building; even the chapter headings and moon cycle illustrations are strategic and on-point. I hope this book finds its way into the hands of teenage girls everywhere, so they can begin to unlearn the culture of toxic masculinity in which we’ve all been br If I could give this 500 stars, I would. This book is incredible. The dreamy-like quality of the second-person narration; the clever callbacks to fairy tales of yesteryear; the amazing feminist undertones and overtones; the character- and story-building; even the chapter headings and moon cycle illustrations are strategic and on-point. I hope this book finds its way into the hands of teenage girls everywhere, so they can begin to unlearn the culture of toxic masculinity in which we’ve all been brought up, and start learning the truth—that women MUST lift each other up if we are *ever* going to topple the dangerous hierarchy that’s been created for us. (AGAINST us, actually). I read and loved Damsel. I love this one even more. The badassery of Elana Arnold knows no bounds.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Poetic, unusual, powerful. A gritty Little Red Riding Hood with strong messages of consent, and the power of friendship as well as the power of femininity. If you think about it too hard, with regards to world-building, as you would with a regular fantasy, it doesn't answer a lot of "How" questions. But that's irrelevant. It's more of a prose poem about womanhood than anything else. But although I am all for demystifying periods, I really, and I mean really, do not need actual details about chan Poetic, unusual, powerful. A gritty Little Red Riding Hood with strong messages of consent, and the power of friendship as well as the power of femininity. If you think about it too hard, with regards to world-building, as you would with a regular fantasy, it doesn't answer a lot of "How" questions. But that's irrelevant. It's more of a prose poem about womanhood than anything else. But although I am all for demystifying periods, I really, and I mean really, do not need actual details about changing tampons. I mean, for teenage girls who might be wondering "Is this normal?" sure. Judy Blume never gave me THESE kinds of details. But where I am in life, and with my frequently reading while I eat, I was not the biggest fan of a couple of the, um, gory details. So just consider yourself warned. This is definitely for older teens, content-wise, but NOT just for girls. The frank talk about consent, not to mention the double standard exhibited, and talk about "incels" and stalking, is for everyone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bang Bang Books

    2.5 Issues I Had With This Book * Why the 2nd Person?: I feel like if you are going to write a book in 2nd person, there should be some impact but I didn't feel it here. * I See What You're Doing Here: My friend and I were reading this at the same time and she pointed out how Arnold is teaching teens how to do stuff such as make tea and put on a condom. And although some teens do get sex ed in books and I didn't find anything wrong with teaching, I just wish Arnold could have found a more clever wa 2.5 Issues I Had With This Book * Why the 2nd Person?: I feel like if you are going to write a book in 2nd person, there should be some impact but I didn't feel it here. * I See What You're Doing Here: My friend and I were reading this at the same time and she pointed out how Arnold is teaching teens how to do stuff such as make tea and put on a condom. And although some teens do get sex ed in books and I didn't find anything wrong with teaching, I just wish Arnold could have found a more clever way of doing this. -Arnold also used her protagonist to teach girls that it's okay to like sex and bread and once again, great on the message but it was painfully obvious what she was doing which made the writing simple. I know I'm an adult reading a teen book but books should transcend age and the writing is too simple and it won't challenge readers of any age. Maybe it's not supposed to challenge us, I don't know. -I've never read anything else by Arnold but I'm guessing she likes to shock people to get them to pay attention. I'm a teen librarian and I don't think teens need shock value to make them pay attention or feel secure in the fact that they menstruate and that it's not gross. Once again, THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY TO TALK ABOUT THIS. Basically, I'm saying that I didn't like the writing style. * That Message Tho: I had a problem with the message of, just kill them and that will eliminate your problem. I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with serial killers and one thing they have in common is that they kill people with no remorse. So when I read books about people/teens who kill with no remorse, I instantly think they are a serial killer and I feel no sympathy for their character. I'm not justifying what the boys did but THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY TO SEEK JUSTICE. Bisou at one point says something like we should teach boys not to become wolves-YES!!! YESS!! Go with that, please. But no, that line was in there because someone had to say it and get that out of the way to make room for more killing. What I Liked About This Book * I appreciate the attempt Overall This book was incredibly slow, I didn't like any of the characters, the writing was not special, and I hated the message. I don't think I will buy this book for my collection because I didn't like the message. I read another book about toxic masculinity written by a man, Lamar Giles, and it was much better than this one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Spectacular! I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* Dear Lord this review is a hard one to write. Not because the book was bad, but because it was SO DAMN GOOD! I knew after reading "Damsel" that Elana would do the same with Red Hood too: deconstruct the fairytale and give to the readers the spirit of the story set in the real world: that everywhere there are predators and sometimes women have to fight back and become equally Spectacular! I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* Dear Lord this review is a hard one to write. Not because the book was bad, but because it was SO DAMN GOOD! I knew after reading "Damsel" that Elana would do the same with Red Hood too: deconstruct the fairytale and give to the readers the spirit of the story set in the real world: that everywhere there are predators and sometimes women have to fight back and become equally as predatory as the ones who hunt them. Bisou Martel lives with her grandmother in a quiet town. She has a loving boyfriend but when at the party of her high school something goes wrong, Bisou wakes up the next day with the news that a boy from her school was killed in the woods. But Bisou had only seen a wolf hunting her. This story is about rights: the right to love your body as it is, the right to defend yourself, the right to have friends despite the different backgrounds. And above all? The right to your body from having your period to deciding when you want to make love with the one you choose to. Bisou passes through the emotional rollercoaster any teenager has been through but in a toxic environment in school. With boys feeling entitled to anything they want, quiet girls trying to overcome trauma and sweet boyfriends who are supportive. The grandma was also a surprise as we also get to read her story too. The entire book is written in the second POV and personally I didn't mind because I felt like I was being the one addressed to. I loved the symbolism and the slight touch of paranormal in the plot, which made it even more realistic and damn scary. Because all of you know that the world isn't always as safe as we hope it is and that you can never know what can happen to any of us. Red Hood is a spectacular symbolic story and Elana has again outdone herself in this one!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ardent Reader

    Three reasons to not give 3 stars: 1. Second person POV. (Really I can't bear the second person narrations). 2. Start was so slow. 3. Couldn't bring myself to agree with the feminism part which the author tries to narrate through this story. Three reasons to not give 3 stars: 1. Second person POV. (Really I can't bear the second person narrations). 2. Start was so slow. 3. Couldn't bring myself to agree with the feminism part which the author tries to narrate through this story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sheila G

    I'm excited to be a part of the RED HOOD blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club from, February 18th - February 24th, 2020! I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. Content Warning: Premarital Sex, consensual and non-consensual, Death of a loved one and on-page death, Murd I'm excited to be a part of the RED HOOD blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club from, February 18th - February 24th, 2020! I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. Content Warning: Premarital Sex, consensual and non-consensual, Death of a loved one and on-page death, Murder, Assault, Blood & overall graphic content, Harassment, Bullying, Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Under-aged Drinking, Physical abuse Fairy tales and fables are powerful because they tell us truths we already know. They ring a bell deep inside us, striking a resonant, vibrating note that makes us nod yes with recognition. First and foremost, I want to say that Red Hood is a solid book with all-in-all, a good message. However, I think it is being marketed to an age group much younger than it ought to be. There is a lot of graphic material in here, specifically in regards to sex, menstruation, and several other intimate details that may be very uncomfortable for some people to read about. I know I would be mortified as a young adult to read the material here. I’m twenty-nine and still find it uncomfortable. This book is written in second-person perspective, which makes this experience even more personal as it puts the reader in the literal shoes of the main character, Bisou Martel. Bisou is a teenager at a Seattle high school. She has always drawn the attention of others, and boarders on popularity, but her relatively contented life masks a horrific tragedy in her past. Having no parents, she has resided with her “Meme” (grandmother) for years. The story starts out with Bisou and her boyfriend attending their school’s Homecoming dance, where things get a little rowdy. James and Bisou decide to leave, and end up parked near the woods to “rendezvous.” When Bisou suddenly gets her first period, she’s mortified, and runs into the woods. Suddenly, she comes across a wolf that attacks her. Fearing for her life, she somehow kills the wolf, and heads home, shaken. The next day at school, everyone is alerted that a classmate was found naked and dead in the woods--right where Bisou had met the wolf the night before. She begins to question herself and her sanity. Did she really encounter a wolf? As time passes, the full moon seems to time itself with the appearance of more wolves, and more brutal attacks. Bisou uncovers that there is a correlation, and has a special calling to hunt these predatory wolves that hunt girls each full moon. Gentle nods to Little Red Riding Hood gets a hard rewire with this feminist tale calling woman to ban together and fight for one another against the idea that they belong to those that desire them. Forcing anything when it comes to sex is completely unacceptable. Red Hood tackles a hard topic of toxic masculinity. I have a feeling this review will ramble a bit, because there a a lot to talk about, but I will refrain as much as I can. I want to clarify from the beginning that I do not identify as a modern Feminist. Even though I’m a woman, I don’t believe in a lot of the propaganda that feminists shout about via the media. I think that men and women should be respected and treated equally. What I really don’t like, is when women discredit men altogether, making them out as some primal beings who are only looking for one thing. I don’t think men in general are being targeted in Red Hood. However, I did find Bisou’s boyfriend to be very one-dimensional, which makes me wonder if men that are incredibly passive are the only type agreeable to feminism. This is where my congruence with feminism hits a wall. Many feminists out there are trying to completely obliterate men and in a way, make them “obsolete.” Both men and women are vitally important. What’s even more important, especially in a relationship, is respect, transparency and selflessness. (And so much more, if we are being honest.) Red Hood mainly discusses the type of boys/men who find themselves entitled to a woman’s body, no matter what her feelings are. It also discusses how social sabotage affects girls so easily, and in one step, can ruin their reputation. High school is a brutal experience for almost everyone who goes through it. Small gossip easily turns into a firestorm, and Maggie becomes the main fuel for the fire. Taking a stand and calling out those who are responsible for passing around such poison is a necessity, and a step in the right direction towards healing. Understanding is part of it. We need to understand what motivates and drives the culture of toxic masculinity. We must be willing to look for it and call it out whenever it appears, whether it’s presented as jokes or as something else. And we must act. When we see it, we must protect those who are its victims. We must tell the boys who hold these ideas--the carries of this virus--to stop. To go elsewhere. To work on healing and educating themselves. Red Hood is very well-written, and was easy to get lost into the recesses of Bisou’s thoughts and experiences. I think that there are vital problems within our society brought up and investigated, but not directed towards the correct audience. It also focuses a lot on menstruation and how it makes woman strong, which I think is weird and just not necessary. It makes a bloody story even more gory, even if it is the truth for woman. Vulgarity: Moderate. Sexual content: A LOT and graphic. Violence: A lot. My Rating: ★★★1/2 My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook

  30. 5 out of 5

    Prerana

    Imagine if you just barely escaped one of the most embarrassing moments of your life to find yourself at the mercy of claws and teeth. You're running through the forest, but you know in your heart that you aren't fast enough to escape the wolf. You turn around and make a stand as adrenaline courses through your veins and a sense of purpose washes over you. The wolf is dead at your feet. The first thing that stood out to me about this book was the second person POV. Very few books I have ever read Imagine if you just barely escaped one of the most embarrassing moments of your life to find yourself at the mercy of claws and teeth. You're running through the forest, but you know in your heart that you aren't fast enough to escape the wolf. You turn around and make a stand as adrenaline courses through your veins and a sense of purpose washes over you. The wolf is dead at your feet. The first thing that stood out to me about this book was the second person POV. Very few books I have ever read have done a second person POV well, and I'm not sure if this was the best one I've ever read, but it was damn well interesting. That hint of mystery and intrigue that automatically comes with a point of view that puts you in the shoes of the narrator coupled with the message of the book drew me in instantly. I could not firmly say whether I thought that all aspects of the book were amazing; neither would I advocate for everybody to read this book. I don't think everyone will appreciate it. But I sure as hell got something from it, and I think a lot of people will as well. I wouldn't label this book as satisfying either. I came out of it feeling slightly unsettled. But I definitely didn't dislike that feeling. Ultimately it is up to you whether you're willing to push your boundaries a little, especially if you go in expecting a werewolf YA book. It's not that. However, if you go in with an open mind, you'll come out of it with something new. And I'm out.

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