(4 / 5) – Worth It!
I am not a huge fan of fairy tales. Never really have been, but with the influx of rewrites these past few years, I’ve picked up a couple here and there and still, not really a fan. They are fine, but meh, I could take them or leave them. So it was a huge surprise when I thoroughly enjoyed “The Girl in Red” by Christina Henry.
In an effort to read a bit darker and moodier books this October, I chose a few books off of a “spooky reads” list, from somewhere, that look a bit interesting; this was one of them. I reserved this book at the library and was pleasantly surprised by what a quick, quirky and dare I say fun, read it turned out to be. I hesitate to use fun since it is a post-apocalyptic survival story and the apocalypse was caused by a highly contagious virus that started with a cough and ended in death. Yep, that’s right folks! This book was published in 2019 and WHEW did it hit close to home!
I, as a reader in 2022, found the character of Red charming in her survivalist, no nonsense way. She is finding her way through the woods and a web of “wolves,” to her grandmother’s house, a place she prays she will be safe and survive this new world. I mean, that is as much as this lines up with the fairy tale version. Along the way we hear about her “before” and her “after.” Henry structures and times this narrative so well. I kept turning the pages, not stopping until the end.
I enjoyed the brevity of this story and the physical and emotional places Henry took Red. I think for many this book could be deeply troubling but I found it a refreshing take on an old tale. I’m not sure what that says about me, but if Henry’s world ever comes to reality, I know I want to be friends with Red.