book reviews

The Girl in Red

43550676.jpgThe Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Rating: XXXXX

Published June 18th by Titan Books

“She was just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that didn’t look anything like the one she’d grown up in, the one that had been perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.”

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods…

You know that author you keep putting off reading? Not in an unkind way, but in an “I WILL get around to reading one of their books” muttered every time you see them because you just know they’re going to be great and you then something comes up and you for whatever reason the thought slips your mind again and again and again. This is Christina Henry for me so when the lovely Julia from Titan Books asked if I wanted to review The Girl in Red by Henry and take part in the Instagram book tour in I jumped at the chance! I love retellings at the best of times but this sounded like a really interesting inspiring take on the Red Riding Hood Story.

I found The Girl in Red to be slightly terrifying, absolutely creepy as heck and wholly addictive. It reminds me a lot of the human element to the earlier episodes of the Walking Dead when you begin to realise it’s not the zombies, or in this case, the cough that are the things you have to watch your back for it’s the survivors, most of who have become desperate or cruel (if they weren’t already) since the crisis. It’s not a unique tale by any means and is a little repetitive and predictable in some places but forgivably so because the real star of this book for me (other than main character Red herself) was the amazing way Henry builds tension. I found I was holding my breath, clenching my teeth and I had trouble reading it in my house alone, at one point my phone rang (a rare occurrence) while I was reading and it was during such a tense moment in the book that I screamed so loudly I woke up my four year old. On the slightly negative side, I did personally find the ending very rushed and a little unsatisfying but the book, even on reflection was no less enjoyable for it.

Red has possibly become one of my favourite fictional characters. She is a fantastic mix of badassery and compassion, she will kill and make tough choices to survive but she doesn’t let herself become dehumanised for it which I found a really refreshing balance, when she has to fatally defend herself she doesn’t relish it, when she has to take supplies she takes what she needs and likes to make sure that there is enough left if someone else needs them etc. Red often overthinks things, often to a fault and often thinks herself round in circles to inaction which is a habit I am also extraordinarily guilty of, so seeing it portrayed in this fantastic character who acknowledged that her obsessive and sometimes paranoid thinking could be debilitating like that felt incredibly eye-opening and has really helped to keep my own obsessive thinking in check by being able to identify it.

Main character Red is also an amputee and obviously, I can’t speak to the accuracy of her experience or identify with it but I found it really enlightening and I hope it helped people who find themselves with prosthetics feel seen and represented as well as hopefully helping to educate others. There is a line that is said in relation to someone question how much Red is capable of due to her amputation and Red replies with “Stop treating me like half a person…I am missing my leg below the knee. My brain is still functioning. I know what I can do and what I can’t.” and this feels SO important and relatable for anyone who is judged, babied and looked down on because they’re differently abled.

The Girl in Red is out in stores and online today!

 

spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – June

It’s the first Thursday of the month so it’s time for TBR Thursday where I reveal the books I intend to read this month (hopefully!). It’s not a huge list this month and very subject to change as I’ve applied for some ARC’s that I’m hopeful I’ll be accepted for, I’m also not quite halfway through The Dark Phoenix Saga by Stuart Moore and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett which I’m reading at the moment and I think six books in a month might be a little hopeful for me but we’ll see!

The Girl In Red by Christina Henry
As mentioned in yesterdays WWW Wednesday post this is a retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale with a twist. I’ve heard great things about it and this is my next read for sure, I’m so excited to get into it!

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
I fell in love with this book the moment I saw the arcs going out and read the synopsis, it sounds amazing and I think Tabby will almost certainly be a character I can identify with. Anxiety and book clubs? Sign me up.

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link and Robin Wasserman.
Despite my, not exactly falling out of love with Shadowhunters, but more my becoming less excited by I’m still eager to check out the short stories contained within the Ghosts of the Shadow Market collection. The past two Shadow hunter anthologies have been really enjoyable and I’m hoping maybe this will reignite some of my love for the series. This book may, however, get swapped out if I’m chosen to receive any of the ARC’s I’ve applied for.

D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer
I don’t often read a lot of books heavily featuring animals because I worry that something bad will happen to them (thanks Marley and Me and the Warrior Cats books) but something about D-Day Dog just called to me, especially the absolutely beautiful cover by Tom Clohosy Cole. 

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I NEED TO FINALLY FINISH THIS DAMNED BOOK. I started reading QOAD when it was released LAST YEAR. I found the physical book far too big and clunky to read so opted for the audiobook read by the lovely James Masters and…it’s not a bad book exactly it’s just so drawn out. It’s obviously a long book and some bits have been brilliant so far but some of it just drags so much. I have about an hour and a half left to listen to which I’m determined to get done this month no matter what!

There are so many books I’m trying to restrain myself from buying this month that I cannot explain. I’m also at an event on payday halfway through the month so need to restrain myself (hahahahahaha) as we’re also off to Legoland at the end of the month!

Are there any books on here you’ve read that you enjoyed? What are you hoping to get read this month?