Book Review

Once Upon A Time: Red’s Untold Story -Wendy Toliver


Book Review spoiler free19th August to 22nd August ~ Physical Copy ~ Link to Goodreads



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 helps 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

Pre-read Thoughts:

I felt pretty lucky to find this book. I am a massive fan of Once Upon a Time and I didn’t realise there were books out that added to the show. I found this was pretty luckily in my local Waterstones & couldn’t wait to get around to it!

The Good:

There is only one good point I’m afraid and that’s that Granny was the only character who was true to how the show portrays her and even then we didn’t really see much of her.

The Bad:

I’m going to try and keep this as brief as possible because I feel like a lot of the reasons I didn’t like it wouldn’t have mattered if I was 10 years younger. For starters Red was not at all like how she is portrayed in the show she is whiny and wimpy and very 1 dimensional. Nothing about her has anything in common with show Red and so I was really disappointed. The book tends to go backwards and forwards in time but not in a very clear way as 13 year old Red is the same as 16 year old Red and so I’d think I was reading about her now (16) and it would mention she was 13 which really affected the flow of reading it. Peter was very Blah there was nothing really to show how amazing he was – in fact you never get to see why any of the characters are you are always just told. The writing style was very wooden and seemed to go around in circles like a one legged duck! Money trouble > Violet trouble > confusion over feelings for Peter > Granny acting “weird” or “insane” > Something about a wolf and repeat for 297 pages!


To me this book shouldn’t be sold as something associated with Once Upon A Time because there is nothing in it that links it to the show. If it had been a Red Riding Hood re-telling I would have left it well alone but I was expecting a sassy, confident, free spirited teenage girl that doesn’t take any BS because that’s OUAT’s Red and what I go was so far from this I was genuinely angry while reading. There was so much potential and I feel like maybe if it hadn’t been sold as OUAT then I would have rated it hire because I’d have had no expectations but this is a big fat thumbs down for me I’m afraid!

paw heart


One thought on “Once Upon A Time: Red’s Untold Story -Wendy Toliver

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