Little Red Riding Hood – Quarantine style

The Girl in Red is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling about Red, who is living in a pandemic world, similar to our current Covid-19 environment.

READ IF YOU…

  • Want a foreboding atmosphere
  • Like dystopian, apocalyptic books
  • Want a book where the MC is a tough girl
  • Like retellings

TitleThe Girl in Red | Author: Christina Henry  Rating: 3.5/5

This was an unexpectedly good read. I’d put it off for quite some time now, and it seems now was the perfect time to read it.

The Girl in Red is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling about Red, who is living in a pandemic world, similar to our current Covid-19 environment. The government is telling everyone to wear masks, and is rounding up the population and putting them in “quarantine camps”. The sickness, which some people call “the cough” is ravaging through the population, and Red soon finds herself without her family – they’ve all succumbed. And so begins her solitary journey to grandma’s house.

Red, though, is missing a leg and so has a prosthetic, but it slows her down. In a post-apocalyptic world, that could mean death. Still, Red trundles on, trying to escape bands of militia, the military, and bandits.

I enjoyed this book more because it’s mirroring our current world, minus the post-apocalyptic turn, with quarantine camps, no running water and electricity, and roves of crime and kidnapping. Though, maybe this is a harbinger of what is to come. (I doubt it).

One thing I thought was subpar in the story, though, was Red. I liked her as a character, since she was tough and used her brains to escape to grandma’s house. And she managed to get past “big bad wolf” moments. But I felt she was forced to touch upon every “diverse character” that’s big right now in YA books:

  • Has a prosthetic
  • Is BIPOC
  • Is bisexual
  • Is cold and distant female

Because of this, I liked her on a superficial level, but did not connect with her. She was far too cold, far too distant, and much less human than she should have been. All the ways we were meant to connect with her: being mixed-race, etc. were all the ways that distanced me a bit because it was so obviously a way to “check off the diversity boxes.”

Even so, I enjoyed this Little Red Riding Hood retelling for what it was: a retelling of an old story in a modern world.

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