A few weeks ago, people were posting their Top Ten Tuesday posts via photos on Instagram, and I participated for the very first time. “Seriously?” Yes, seriously. While I participated in other memes over the last 5 years+ that I’ve been blogging, that Instagram post was my first time having some top ten fun, and this week, for the first time, I attempted to do Top Ten Tuesday on my blog. I’m a huge fan of fairytale retellings, so I thought this was a great time to share some of the ones I loved and some others that I hope to read soon.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce: When I was a kid, “Rumpelstitskin” was one of my favorite fairytales. It was a happy coincidence for me when Scholastic Canada sent me a copy of this award-winning, historical YA a few months after I started YABookShelf.com. If “Rumpelstitskin” is one of the fairytales of your heart, too, and you love strong female characters, you should definitely check it out.
- Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce: I’ve read all the books in Pearce’s Fairytale Retellings series, but the first book, Sisters Red, is by far my favorite. She takes “Little Red Riding Hood” to a new level. Rather than one main character, Pearce divides Little Red into two sisters, Scarlett and Rosie, who tempt werewolves sexually and then attack them with weapons they’re hiding on their person. The action sequences are amazing, but the thing that spoke to me most was the close relationship that Scarlett and Rosie share.
- Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi: While not YA fiction, I fell in love with Oyeyemi’s writing and the way she not only explores “Snow White” from the perspective of the evil stepmother…at least at first. In addition to “Snow White,” the author makes allusions many other famous fairy tales and nursery rhymes, but also invents entirely new ones, which places readers squarely in the uncanny world of the Gothic that I love so much. With a diverse cast of characters, you can’t go wrong with this example of an adult literary retelling.
- Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu: Part retelling of “The Snow Queen,” part re-imagining of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, part a lot of fairytale allusion goodness, Anne Ursu leaves breadcrumbs for middle grade readers of any age to follow while Hazel goes on her quest to save Jack.
- The Selection Series, especially The One by Kiera Cass: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the Cinderella-esque story of The Selection, The Elite, and finally, The One are some of my favorite, guilty pleasure reads. The One, in particular, is pure, cotton candy bliss in a book. I also like how the series is continuing through Eadlyn’s perspective, but it’s not a Cinderella story by any means.
- The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste: Rooted in Caribbean folklore, especially the Haitian tale “The Magic Orange Tree,” Tracey Baptiste crafts a creepy book for middle grade readers that you won’t soon forget.
- While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell: As a child, I loved “Sleeping Beauty” and the idea that you could somehow fall under an enchanted sleep and wake up 100s of years later, completely unchanged. It’s pure magic. So when I heard about Elizabeth Blackwell’s adult novel, While Beauty Slept, I immediately added it to my Goodreads TBR list. Unfortunately, it’s still there, but I can’t wait to read it when I have a chance.
- Red by Alyxandra Harvey: Alyxandra Harvey is a Canadian author who understands how to craft a creepy, Gothic story, which is something I really value. I can’t wait to read how she uses her signature style to make the “Little Red Riding Hood” fairytale her own.
- Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell: This is another Cinderella retelling that is on my TBR with a steam punk vibe. Anyone who I know whose read it already – and whose reviews I trust – has loved it, so I can’t wait to check it out for myself.
- The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary: The Night Parade was pitched to me as a middle grade cross between the movies Spirited Away and Pan’s Labyrinth, so I knew I had to read it. For those of you who don’t know, not only are these two of my favorite movies, but also the former – a Ghibli studio animation classic – is based on a Japanese fairytale about a magical place where you visit for what seems like a short time, but when you return to the real world, hundreds of years have passed. It doesn’t come out until January of 2016, but I’m so excited to see how the story unveils itself.
Have you read any of these books or are any of them on your TBR? Let me know in the comments’ section below!