Monday, June 10, 2019

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Synopsis (via Goodreads): From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic "Little Red Riding Hood"...about a woman who isn't as defenseless as she seems.

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....
"...because this was America and the two things Americans liked to stockpile in case of emergency were canned foods and guns."
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

The Girl in Red was a phenomenal read! I don't often feel anxious while reading, but this book kept me on the edge of my seat (especially when Henry brought children into it). I fell asleep thinking about the story, and was always worried about what would happen next. Red was constantly in danger, and every move she made had to be calculated from every possible angle. One wrong decision would mean death, and I felt her fear and anxiety. I could feel her need for caution and understand her determination. 

Additionally, there's a super trippy twist that I was not expecting, and it left me reeling. There are no words to convey my initial thoughts, since I don't think any of them were coherent. After Adam (don't think about Adam), I didn't know how to organize my thoughts. It was completely unexpected, but also perfect for this story. I can't really say any more, because I don't want to ruin the surprise!

Henry shows you human nature when there are no longer laws and expectations. "And people always reduced to their least human denominators when things went bad." We see what people will do when they think they can get away with anything, and witness the darkness that spills over when no one is watching. Women become objects, and children become tools and pawns. Men are recruited to a cause, or killed because life is no longer valued. Red finds herself in the middle of something she never anticipated, and she's struggling to navigate the chaos.

Red is an amazing character. She loves horror movies, reads science fiction, and has a plan to survive. She also has a prosthetic leg, but she doesn't that that define her. Red is intelligent, quick on her feet, and snarky. She doesn't like authority, and believes she knows more than your average person. She's also loyal and unbelievably kind, and fierce when she needs to be. I want more characters like her. “You think a gun is going to help me more than my brains?”

The Girl in Red is very loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood, and the similarities are few. She's trying to get to her grandmother's house, she wears a red hood, and there's a hatchet. Everything else is purely Henry, and I'm thrilled. She's an incredible writer, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future. 

40 comments:

  1. I don't know when I'll get a chance to read this, but I want to! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 👍✨

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    1. She wrote something else called The Mermaid, which I hope to get to later this year! I was excited about The Mermaid BEFORE reading The Girl in Red, and now I'm REALLY looking forwad to it. :)

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  2. Ooh I'm glad you loved this one. I still need to something SOMETHING by Christina Henry.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. This was my first something by Henry, and I'm already jonesing for more! ;)

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  3. This is the first time I am hearing of this, but wow! It sounds amazing! I like that it made you feel anxious (which is a weird thing to say), but that's a sign of a well written book! Let me add this to my library pile!

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    1. I'm happy to put it on your radar! It was an excellent book that made me question everything! She would need to make a decision, and I would seriously stress about what would happen to her if she made the wrong choice. Yes! It's definitely the sign of a well written book. I LOVED it! <3

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  4. I don't know why this book wasn't on my radar, but it certainly is now!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Yay! I don't normally try to shove books at people, but I'll make an exception for this one. ;)

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  5. I had a good time with this one. I didn't expect something like that

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    1. Right?? I was in no way expecting what happened to happen, and then it was perfect. It added an entirely new layer to the story, and I really enjoyed watching everything play out.

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  6. Ooo I love books that completely mess with you and leave you reeling! I definitely need to add this one to the pile!

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    1. I was jittery and nervous every time I picked this book up! It really felt like life or death, and I was so afraid for Red and her future. It made me feel bananas with anxiety!

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  7. Oh gosh! This sounds so good. I was tempted to get a copy, now I am kicking myself for not. I will see if I can still.

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    1. Maybe don't kick yourself, but definitely find a copy, haha. ;) It was an amazing read that I thoroughly enjoyed!

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  8. I've been hearing such good things about this book! I appreciate the details you add about the characters and world. Bumping this up my TBR!

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    1. Thanks! Both the characters and the world-building were amazing! Red and her relationships felt authentic and realistic, and the world was eerie and very believably apocalyptic. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! <3

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  9. You just got me more jazzed that I already was to get my paws on this one. I loved her Lost Boy story.

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    1. Yes! Get jazzed for this one! I haven't read any of her other books, but I definitely want to after reading this one. It was such a refreshingly unique read. Loved it! <3

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  10. Oh yea, I need to read this one. I wanted it before, but I really want to read it now. Brilly review!

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    1. Thanks! I wanted to read The Mermaid before (another one of Henry's books), but now I REALLY want to read it after experiencing how amazing her writing is. She's a phenomenal storyteller. :)

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  11. I loved Henry's novel The Mermaid, so I'm highly anticipating this one. Her writing always tackles such complex themes and I'm even more excited to hear that this one is a fast-paced one!

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    1. I've only heard good things about The Mermaid! I really hope I have a chance to read it soon. Have you read any of the author's other books? I believe there's one about Alice?

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  12. I will definitely be requesting this one from the library when it comes out. And maybe one of her other books in the meantime. I've heard good things about all of them.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. It's not what you typically read, but I think you'll love it! It's just that good, Karen. It does have elements I think you will enjoy, and some that I believe will surprise you. :)

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  13. Now you've got me totally intrigued! I'm going to have to pick this one up pronto!

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    1. If you have a chance to read it, I would love to know what you think! It's a fantastic read, and I hope you enjoy it. :)

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  14. Ooh awesome. I have to get this now (and I saw your note on Twitter too- I'll definitely be reading this!!). It sounds super intense, and I love books like that that keep me on the edge of my seat. I was wondering too just how this worked as a post apoc and a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, and you answered that in your review, so it makes sense now. :)

    Awesome review! Can't wait to get this!!

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    1. I need someone to read this soon, because I really want to talk about it in detail! Like, I have thoughts that need to be shared and discussed, but they're all spoilery. IT WAS SO INTENSE. It's been ages since a book made me feel scared and sick with worry over a character, but this book does that and more. Dude!! I want to tell you something that would make you want to read this EVEN MORE, but I CAN'T. I need you to read this soon!

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    2. Ha ha I'm almost tempted! I'll read it soon (maybe next)! And I get it- sometimes you want to discuss a book spoilers and all and you just need people to READ it already lol!

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    3. Karen was approved for it today, so hopefully she'll be starting it soon as well! Yes! I need to discuss this THING that happened, and no one else has read it!!

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  15. Yay! So many of my favorite bloggers are loving this. I'm first in line at Overdrive when it releases and I HAVE to read it! I adore Henry. Did you read Lost Boy? That's one of my faves of all time. Also The Mermaid was pretty good. Great review!

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    1. Nice! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I haven't read Lost Boy, but I'm definitely adding it to my list. Henry has made me a forever fan simply for writing this book. I hope to read The Mermaid next! <3

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  16. You know a book is good when you fall asleep thinking about it. It sounds like the emotion and tension were so well-written! I'm so glad to hear you liked this one, I'm excited to try it!

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    1. Right?? I kept trying to anticipate what would happen next, although none of my predictions were even close. It was a very thought-provoking book, and it consumed my brain. ;) I really hope you love it as much as I did! <3

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  17. This sounds so good! I love having emotions while reading a book and being anxious just sounds like it hit right on the spot. I hadn't heard of this author or book before!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

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    1. I'm happy to put them on your radar! I'm really excited to try Henry's other books, especially The Mermaid and Lost Boy. Lost Boy was recommended on here in the comments, so of course I have to read it. ;)

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  18. Another great review, Lindsi. I love reading books that stay with me and linger in my thoughts even when I put it down. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

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    1. Thanks! It's so distracting when books stay with you, but in the best possible way! I kept trying to figure out what would happen next, but I was blown away every time. :)

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  19. I enjoyed one of her previous novels, so I'm definitely going to try this one out!

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    1. Which one? I've heard wonderful things about Lost Boy and The Mermaid.

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― Marissa Meyer, Heartless