Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

November 2011 Jenna Hathaway

I picked up this book for two reasons: first, I recognized the author from a previous story I have read called As You Wish, which is another delightful young adult light fantasy book (also recommended to you!). The second reason is that it’s a story that is adapted from fairy tales, and I love those more than anything. Sisters Red is based on the famous tale of Red Riding Hood. Only it’s much more gruesome and scary than that, if it’s actually possible! The story tells of a pair of sisters called Scarlett and Rosie March. When they were little, their grandmother was killed by a Fenris—also known as werewolves. They masquerade as ordinary men and only turn into their beastly form when they have cornered their prey. And their most favorite prey? Young girls wearing bright red colors.

The Fenris that killed their grandmother would have killed them too if Scarlett had not helped defend her sister, and it cost her one eye during the battle. Ever since then, the sisters made it their mission to hunt and kill every Fenris they come across. The job becomes their life; something they dedicate all their waking hour to. Or at least that’s how it is for Scarlett, who lives and breathes hunting. She cannot think of anything else. The sisters also have a hunting companion in Silas, a young woodsman who soon becomes the very thing that might divide the sisters.

You see, Rosie isn’t as hunting-obsessed as Scarlett. She knows how important the job is, but she has also started dreaming of being able to live a somewhat normal life alongside it. That she can do what she likes, just because she wants to, not because she has to. And then she also starts developing feelings—romantic ones—for Silas, which complicates everything even more. As the sisters move to the big city of Atlanta to investigate the rise of number in Fenris and try to figure out how they operate so they could be hunted more efficiently, things begin to change between the girls. Rosie starts feeling brave enough to go for what she dreams--with the encouragement of Silas--and all the while keeping it secret from Scarlett. When both of Rosie’s desires come out in the open, will Scarlett understand, or will she think her sister and her best friend are abandoning her to their quest?

This is the best book that I have read in a while. From the beginning, it's just been great writing that I enjoyed so much. It was easy to sympathize with each of the characters, no matter how they can be in opposite spectrums most of the time. They were well-developed and complicated and I felt their pain along with them even if sometimes I also find them frustrating or ask them why they’re doing what they’re doing. The sisters’ relationship is both flawed and beautiful, and it’s something that becomes my main source of interest throughout the whole book. Sisters Red is only the first and what I hope to be a lot more fairy tale retellings by Jackson Pearce. The next one out is Sweetly, a story based on the equally famous Hansel and Gretel tale. I have yet to read it but I can’t wait. I hope you decide to pick up this book soon and get as hooked as I am!