Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hey there little Red Riding Hood...

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.

After a childhood attack that left their grandmother dead and Scarlett severely scarred, sisters Scarlett and Rosie March see the wolves prowling the world posing as men, luring young women to their gory deaths. When these werewolves, or Fenris, begin to hunt in their small Georgia town, they realize something is very wrong.

Along with their close friend, Silas, they go hunting – for both wolves and information. Finding out that the increase in Fenris is due to a “Potential” being somewhere in the surrounding area, they vow to find this man and hopefully save him from becoming a monster.

The two sisters always felt they shared a heart and were two halves of one whole. As they grow into adulthood, differences begin to surface. Scarlett lives to hunt the Fenris and save those who cannot or will not see the monsters in the shadows. Rosie, also a skilled hunter, longs for something else. As her feelings for Silas turn deeper than just close friendship, she is torn between her loyalty to her sister and her desire for something more than hunting monsters.

A great modern retelling of the classic Red Riding Hood story, this is also somewhat a “coming of age” tale. At sixteen, Rosie is on the brink of adulthood. Circumstances of their lives have caused Rosie and Scarlett to mature more quickly than most of them contemporaries, but it isn’t until Silas returns to Georgia after being away for a year that Rosie begins to come into her own self. Because of the changes in her relationship with Rosie, Scarlett also must become her own self.

I read this book because of the hullabaloo on Twitter about a list published recently on Bitch Media: 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader. Sisters Red was originally on the list, as were Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan and Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. After a couple of complaints and a quick weekend review, the three titles were removed from the list. A timeline can be found on the blog Chasing Ray.

The complaint against Sisters Red was that the book promoted a “rape culture” due to one character having a feeling that the women who dress up and don’t know about the Fenris deserve what is coming to them. After reading the book, I feel that the passage that was quoted was taken out of context and that the book, as a whole, does not promote a culture in which the women attacked deserve what happens to them.

I guess I should thank the creator(s) of the list on Bitch Media. If the list hadn’t changed I may not have picked up this book. To you I say: Thanks for caving in to a little bit of pressure!

No comments: