The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat. Her flesh mutilated by telltale claw marks. The Wolf has broken the peace. When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations. It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect. Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town? Is it her betrothed, Henry? Or someone even closer to her? As the men in the village hunt for the beast, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long. Will Valerie discover the werewolf's identity before the town is ripped apart? This is a dangerous new vision of a classic fairy tale, the happy ending could be hard to find.
So I read this book a few weeks ago after seeing it in Chapters and realizing that it was tied in with the upcoming movie. What I didn't know was that the book is actually based on the movie, not the other way around, which is usually the case. Although this presented both pros and cons, overall, I think it was a pretty good book.
Fun Fact: the movie, therefore the book, stemmed from Leonardo DiCaprio's idea. Yummm..
So since it happened to be based on the movie, I felt that it wasn't that rich in detail.. or something that I just can't quite pinpoint. It's kind of the opposite of when a book gets turned into a movie, and you have to leave stuff out because there is no way that so much content can fit into 2 measly hours. In this case, about 2 hours did not make for very thick (the only word I can come up with to describe this sentiment I cannot explain) reading. It seemed to just fly by, and obviously, when I go to watch the movie, there will be nothing coming as a surprise. This can be construed as either good or bad.
Having said that, a very good idea was leaving out the last chapter, which I am assuming will be released at the same time as the movie, as to not completely spoil the movie for people that have read the book. I think this is genius, and cannot wait to find out how this romantic yet creepy histoire concludes.
Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!
So the book starts out with an introduction to the main character, Valerie, and her family. We also get a little insight into the crazy lifestyle of the village where she lives. (I always love a little dystopian creepiness). Basically, there is a wolf living somewhere, that only agrees not to slay the townspeople if they offer him sacrifices every once in a while. At a very young age, Valerie has a close encounter with the Wolf, thus already flagging her as weird. I thought that it would turn out that the Wolf was really just misunderstood and he was actually gentle and loving (too many werewolf books for me I guess!)
This is sooooo not the case.
Basically the wolf kills Valerie's sister pretty early on, during the Blood Moon, which apparently is not all that common in the little village. So they bring in some recruits. The
creepy renound Father Soloman is brought in to slay the wolf, and basically, after the Wolf kills a whole bunch more people, tells the people that the Wolf is stronger than he has ever seen. Oh and also that it is one of the towns-people.
So things take a turn for the scandalous when the Wolf takes a liking to Valerie, we never really do find out why-perhaps in the movie?-and wants her to leave the village with him, saying he will spare the rest of the inhabitants. At the same time though, Valerie is struggling with trying to figure out whose eyes the Wolf's eyes remind her of. Is it Henry, her basically arranged marriage; Peter, her unrequited lover; or her Grandmother, who has always been a little off.
Of course, Father Soloman finds out that Valerie has been communicating-sort of-with the Wolf, and predictably decides to use her as a sacrifice for the village, deciding that this is the only option, because the Wolf is too strong. She escapes.
This is pretty much where the book ends, and I am super pumped to find out who she chooses to stay with, whether they are the wolf or not.