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Title: Once Upon a Time: Red's Untold Tale (Once Upon a Time #4)
Author: Wendy Toliver
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Synopsis: It’s Wolfstime, the foreboding period around each full moon when villagers must protect their homes and families against the giant, ferocious wolves that roam the forest. On the day Red turned thirteen, Granny gave her a special red cloak upon which a spell had been cast to protect Red from wolves.
Red is now sixteen and is desperately trying to fit in among her peers, save Granny’s failing bakery business, and, of course, protect herself from wolves. Her crush on Peter and her determination not to let the mean girls sabotage her blossoming romance cause Red to make some questionable choices.
Will these choices let the wolves in? Will Red pick the right battle? Will her skills be strong enough to keep her alive?
Review: I really enjoy fairy tale retellings and reimaginings and I kind of love watching Once Upon a Time even though it sometimes (often) makes no sense and goes way off the rails. Red is one of my favorite characters on the show, and I've always wondered about her time in the Enchanted Forest. So obviously when it crossed over from TV into books, I knew I had to read Red's Untold Tale.
The story itself is interesting, but I felt like there wasn't much to it. It's basically a week or two in the life of Red as she tries to save Granny's baking business, not get attacked by wolves, and deal with her giant crush on her friend Peter. I enjoyed the flashbacks and seeing her life over the past several years and learning more about her part of the Enchanted Forest, but I just felt like there was something missing or that there could have been more. I have so many questions about Red's parents and her family that haven't been answered in the show either, and I wanted them to be answered in this book.
My favorite part of this book was seeing all of the parallels between the TV show and the things happening in the book. There were times when I knew more than the characters, and I was really hoping they would discover the things I already knew. Sometimes they did, but other times those revelations were outside the scope of the story. For example, there's more to Red's cape than the book gives away, but there was no reason for her to find that out in this story. I'm kind of hoping there's another book that starts to tie the show and the book more closely together, because I'd love to read about the times the show doesn't cover!
Overall, I thought this was a nice read for fans of the show. I don't think it would resonate as well for people who don't know the characters and their histories (and even their futures), but it could still be a fun book for any fans of Little Red Riding Hood and fairy tales in general. It's a very easy read, and goes by fairly quickly. I'll definitely be looking out for more Once Upon a Time books though! 3/5.