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  • A Very Dark Retelling with Explicit Content

    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 carri

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