arc provided by Cupid Publishing through Netgalley
Red Riding Hood is my favourite fairy tale - it lends itself to so many interpretations, and is the one most commonly associated with erotic themes, including, of course, sexual awakening, and the dangers of alluring strangers.
The thing is, if you're going to take the erotic route with this tale, you have to either:
- make the protagonist older
- make it clear that this is disgusting and reproachable, like Wendy Wheeler's Little Red from Snow White, Blood Red
- actually be Angela Carter, and make it poetic and brilliant, so we all go, "ew, gross... but it's so well written...", like her The Company of Wolves from The Bloody Chamber
The writing was serviceable with a few nicer sentences here and there, which makes mentions of a 15 year old's "luscious body" all the more inexcusable... This isn't helped by the Wolf constantly referring to Red as "little girl" while they're being intimate and saying things like, "Luckily for you, you're still a girl. I have to bide my time" or "Your girlhood is your own to keep. Your womanhood is mine to take."
It's just... creepy.
The thing is, this is a nice story, it really is. Simple, but entertaining.
And I would have enjoyed it if the protagonist wasn't a 15 year old girl being seduced by a grown man...