Friday, October 10, 2014

REVIEW: Quite Contrary by Richard Roberts

My Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

Mary is lost in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, continually jumping between various fairy tales and myths to escape the Wolf who's trying to kill her... and so the story goes.

I almost didn't finish this, had pretty much decided to give up after five chapters in. Mary was quite contrary alright, so much so that I couldn't care less what happened to her. I started to wish she'd just die already so the story would be over! Her bad attitude was just plain rude, vulgar, nasty, and mean. And it was hard to believe she was only twelve years old based on her thought process!

However, after reading several Goodreads reviews that mentioned Mary's change in attitude, and the dawning realization that a change was taking place, I decided to plod on. It was around the 1/2 way point that I started to enjoy this story a bit more. Mary's tough exterior began to soften and crack in places, and as she opened up her emotions to her companions—a rat and a wooden doll—the reader starts to learn a bit more about what makes her tick, and why she's so nasty.

The final chapter was a bit of a letdown. It tried to summarize the entire story, making it Mary's own instead of that of Little Red Riding Hood, but it left out a lot of detail, and also changed some parts along the way. I guess the author's reasoning for including it was that Mary was retelling her own story, but I still thought it was too simplistic.

Overall, the last part of the book redeemed itself for the first half, thus bringing my rating up slightly from the original 1 star I was going to give it.