by Jackson Pearce
Published April 5th 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: April 5th 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Paperback trade, 352 pages
Series: sort of
Source: my own copy
There are dozens of fairytale retellings out there. Maybe hundreds, I don't know, I'm too lazy to count. Anyway, what I mean is that after so many rewrittings/versions it can get kind of boring and even repetitive to read pretty much the same thing every time.
But Sisters Red is almost a whole new story. Sure, it's based on the Little Red Riding Hood tale, and it has a few things in common: the big, bad wolf, the dead grannie, the woodsmen, and even the walk in the forest with the food basket thingy... BUT in this version the Little Red Riding girls fight back. Yup, they kick some serious wolf ass. Heh.
This was my first Pearce book, and, boy, did she get it right! Her writing just flows, and when you least expect it, the book has ended! The characters are all very well-portrayed, very different from each other and from usual YA stereotypes. Even the younger sister, Rose, who had many weak and girly and romantic moments managed to suck it up and save herself, killing a handful of monsters while doing so. I really can't recall the last book I read in which a heroine saved herself by herself. O.o They usually have at least a little help or are next to completely helpless. Loved that! And, oh, boy, oh, boy, were those Fenris guys (wolves?) hot. It was no surprise those silly Dragonflies (as the main character called those clueless, pretty little girls who made themselves into perfect victims in the night) were drawn to them. I guess we all love to flirt with danger sometimes... even more when it's in the shape of attractive young men.
Oh, and one of our MCs, the older sister, Scarlett (love the name), was a tough cookie from the start. The girl killed her first wolf when she was just a child! For that she received many scars, on the inside and on the outside. The poor thing lost an eye and had half her face disfigured, along with her arms and most of her body. But that doesn't stop her from hunting. No, siree. Scarlett was the most adult and, well, simply the most different character I have found in YA until now. She doesn't care about love, friends, school or her appearance. All she cares about it hunting down and killing as many Fenris/wolves as she possibly can. That is her whole life, what drives her and completes her. That and her little sister, Rose. Oh, and her childhood friend, Silas.
But things get weird when Rose and Silas start to fall for each other... and start to want to hunt a little less and spend some more time alone, just doing... uh, nothing much. Scarlett cannot possibly understand that, especially when they have been so busy looking for the Potential to try and lure the Fenris close enough to kill them all. Oh, and talking about the Potential... that was the worst possible level of 'I've seen it coming from the start, how more obvious could it be', but even that didn't stop me from enjoying the book.
What ruined a lot of my glow was the ending. Keep reading if you don't mind a little bit of spoiler.
How could the author send the pretty boy, who used to like the scarred girl for who she was and despite what she looked like ever since they were little kids, off to live happily ever after with the perfect sister and leave the scarred one all by her lonesome??? That was just... heartbreaking! Does she not deserve some love, too? Could she not learn to care for something more than just hunting? SHE NEEDED TO GROW IN THAT SENSE!!! She needed more in her life and you gave her no chance! :((
Well, drama and disappointments aside, this one is still a keeper. Why? Because the plot was very clever, the cover is beautiful and interesting all by itself and I can always change the ending in my head. LOL.