Review: Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff (Blog Tour + Giveaway)Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on April 12, 2016
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Oh, reader, what big teeth you have! The better to devour RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD!
Can’t get enough of the new fairy-tale-retelling trend? Don’t miss Liesl Shurtliff’s new dark, humorous stand-alone middle grade novel RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD (on sale April 12, 2016)!


Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.

But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

Liesl Shurtliff weaves a spellbinding tale, shining the spotlight on a beloved character from her award-winning debut, Rump.

And don't miss Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, "a delightful story of family, perseverance and courage" (Booklist).

RED Blog Tour Banner 
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Red: The True Story of Red Riding by Liesl Shurtliff (April 12, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers) I’m very excited to be a part of this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I hope you enjoy my review!


I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade. But the few I’ve read so far have been epic! And Red was no exception! I loved the mingling of fairy tales, as well as the world and the rules. I love twisted fairy tales and this book was the perfect combination of twisty and fun!

It takes a little while to warm up to Red. In the beginning, she’s a bit snippy, bossy and rude. But she was also fierce, brave and determined. I don’t know if it’s just because their stories stem from the same fairy tale or what, but Red reminded me a LOT of Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles! She definitely had a LOT of character growth from beginning to end!

Goldie was really chipper and kind, but also incredibly innocent (borderline naive) and just a touch annoying – especially in the beginning. She definitely means well, she just doesn’t seem to know how to express certain things. By the end of the book, though, I adored her and the friendship between her and Red!

I loved the wolf. From the very beginning, we were led to believe he was the bad guy. But I refused to believe it. You can judge for yourself when you read the book, but I loved his character and the way his story ended.

There were a LOT of secondary characters that I adored, but it’s hard to discuss them all without spoilers. So I’m just going to encourage you – again – to read this epic book!

There were also a LOT of life lessons in this book. Maybe I just noticed it more because I’m older, but it felt like each one was not-so-subtly shoved at the reader; however, this was a good thing because the life lessons taught were VERY important! The biggest life lesson this book teaches – in my opinion – is about fearing death and that you actually shouldn’t. Death is a part of life. It’s good to feel sadness in times of loss because it means we have loved and lost, but we’re truly alive. That death isn’t the end because we live on in the memories of others. Another important life lesson is that you should trust yourself and be confident in your abilities. The other life lessons I noticed are a bit more spoilerish, so I won’t share them – You’ll just have to read the book to discover them!

Red is a companion to Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin and Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but it can be read on its own. There were a few moments when Red mentioned Rump and I could see how reading Rump first might help, but I never felt lost or confused or like I HAD to read them.

My biggest issue with this book? I wanted maps! The land was described in such detail and Red and Goldie traveled to such amazing places, I just wanted maps of EVERY place they went! Desperately! (Dear Knopf Books for Young Readers: Please give me maps! In the book or as swag for the book.. I’m not picky! Just please give me maps!!!)

There were some epic twists and turns in this book. Some I expected, some I didn’t. But all of them kept me intrigued and dying to find out how things would end. I read it in a matter of hours because it was a quick, fun book and I just didn’t want to put it down!

Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I adored this book! If you love fairy tale retellings, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of middle grade! And if you don’t read much middle grade, I still highly recommend it – it just might change your mind!


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Liesl Shurtliff_credit Chad Barth Abot Liesl:
“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy-tale.” – Hans Christian Anderson

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah the fifth of eight children. My seven siblings tortured me but I really like them now. I loved dancing, singing, playing the piano and reading books by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Roald Dahl. I also read Grimms’ Fairy Tales so often I wore through the binding. Today I live with my husband and three children in Chicago, which is a wonderful city except that it is decidedly flat and very cold in the winter. When I write, I often wander back to my childhood and gather the magic that still remains. I hope to share that magic with children everywhere.

If you would like to learn a little more about me (and even see some childhood pictures!), just click HERE.


Liesl Shurtliff’s first book, Rump, won over kids and critics alike, earning an IRA Award, a Texas Bluebonnet nomination, a Whitney nomination, and a starred review from Kirkus, proclaiming it “as good as gold.”

In RED, Liesl Shurtliff is at her best. New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Chris Grabenstein raves that “Liesl Shurtliff has truly out-magicked herself. Red is the most wonder-filled fairy tale of them all.” RED will capture the hearts of readers who like it Grimm, as well as followers of ABC’s TV show Once Upon a Time.

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