My daughter is a big ONCE UPON A TIME fan, and she spent quite a bit of her spare time this summer streaming the first two seasons and telling me all about the various intricate plot lines and character relationships. Among her favorite stories was the Red tale, which she said was “exciting but also sad.” My daughter thought it was a good storyline, because it revealed how everyone has an inner beast they have trouble controlling and that occasionally when you’re pointing at others, you miss the truth about yourself. That’s pretty mature for an almost 11 year old right?
I went into reading the book knowing that Red’s backstory isn’t all sunshine and roses; she’s an orphan after all. She also makes her fair share of mistakes. But it’s obvious why someone so sheltered and overprotected (in her case, by Granny) would dream of leaving the Enchanted Forest and of life outside of her Granny’s strict grasp. And it’s natural that someone besieged by a “mean girl” would feel angry and even vengeful. That didn’t bother me, because there are mean girls all throughout fairy tales. Although there aren’t other crossover characters from the show present in the book, I knew my daughter would enjoy it, and I was relieved that it was accessible to younger YA readers, show fans, and fairy tale lovers alike.
Red is 16 and lives with Granny in a cottage in the village, where boarding up the house and hiding during Wolfstime is a means of survival. Red help’s Granny with Granny’s baked good business, catering as well as door-to-door sales.
Red has a constant internal battle between her wild side and her strict, overprotective upbringing, and the issue of “control” as she discovers she has a hot temper when the “mean girls” push her too far. (“When we learn to control it, we needn’t fear it,” Rumpelstiltskin says in the series.) She has flashbacks to her 13th year when she received her cloak and the nickname “Red.”
She is plagued by nightmares that she doesn’t understand, but the “Once Upon a Time” fans will recognize them as her wolf side coming out. Red balances the difficult times with Granny at home and the girls at school with an emerging and satisfying romance with Peter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy Toliver is the award-winning author of four YA novels: The Secret Life of A Teenage Siren, Miss Match, Lifted, and Once Upon A Time: Red’s Untold Tale. She lives in the Utah mountains with three sons, two cats, two dogs, and one husband. She enjoys reading, hiking, wakeboarding, snowboarding, watching movies, sweet potato fries, Halloween, and daydreaming.
MORE FAIRY TALE 2.0 RETELLINGS
Follow along with hashtag #FairyTale2pt0 to discover giveaway opportunities for more twists on classic tales:
A WHOLE NEW WORLD by Liz Braswell (In stores now)
What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney’s Aladdin. When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish. To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war. What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.
A FROZEN HEART by Elizabeth Rudnick (In stores Oct. 6)
Told in alternating chapters from both Anna’s and Hans’ perspectives, A Frozen Heart takes a sophisticated look at events of Frozen, exploring the couple’s backstories, motivations, and doomed relationship.
In honor of fairy tale 2.0 we’re giving away a prize pack. Open to US addresses only. Prizes provided by Disney-Hyperion. To enter, leave a comment by 11:59 PM October 15th. For extra entries, follow us on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. Samples and prizing are provided by Disney-Hyperion. A winner will be randomly selected and contacted by email or social media. The winner will have 48 hours to reply to notification or another winner will be selected.
One (1) winner receives:
- Copy of Red’s Untold Tale;
- plus FAIRY TALE 2.0 tank, notepad, cosmetic pouch & pillow.
FTC Disclosure: Disney Hyperion provided Teen Lit Rocks with prizing and a review copy of the book for this campaign. No other compensation was received.