I love Christina Henry’s books. Especially her fairy tale retellings – if you haven’t read Alice or Lost Boy yet, you should get on that. Needless to say, I was very excited to pick up Henry’s newest book, The Girl in Red – her take on the Little Red Riding Hood story. Because a postapocalyptic Red Riding Hood sounded pretty amazing. And it was.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
The Girl in Red is the story of an adult Red trying to get to her grandmother’s house. Only, instead of the big bad wolf, there is a virus that wiped out a significant portion of the population, gangs battling for territory and food, the military that wants to put everyone in camps for their protection, and something that is eating people from the inside (and may or may not be related to the virus). There’s a lot going on. And Christina Henry does a great job of immersing you in this world.
I loved Red. She was such a badass, despite all the obstacles she has to fight her way through. She’s also bisexual, disabled, and biracial. So if you’re looking for a diverse lead in a science fiction novel, here she is. I think she might be my favorite Christina Henry character so far (which is kind of a big deal, because all of her protagonists are amazing). For a book that revolves so much around one character, it’s very important that said character is great. And I think Henry pulled it off here. I really enjoyed Red as a character, and she definitely made this book for me.
I also really enjoyed the story as a whole. The side characters had a lot of depth, even if they were only featured for a chapter or two. The sci-fi elements were really well done as well. Honestly, this book kind of gave me a Zombieland vibe, even though there are no zombies. And I love Zombieland. Postapocalyptic, dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy retelling, whichever category you want to throw The Girl in Red into, it’s still a fantastic novel.
★★★★★ – I loved The Girl in Red. It was just as good as all the other Christina Henry novels I’ve read. And it was such a great read for the spooky season. Highly recommend!