While on the lovely blog Everything Alyce I saw a flow chart created by Epic Reads about YA retellings across cultures and genres and I was immediately sucked into a google-hole as I searched each one individually. (If you are new to this blog, hello! I’m Kayla, and I have a serious
problem addiction affinity for any and all retellings of myths or fairy tales or what have you. If you have been here for any length of time, though, you probably know where this is going).
Image courtesy of Epic Reads
I know retellings have gotten a lot of flak around bootube, booklr, and other bookish blogs, and for good reasons. But I still love them 🙂 When a retelling is done well, seeing facets of the original turned on its head or explored differently — or even seeing how plot points or themes of the original can stretch to another, wholly different context — is uniquely beautiful to me. It’s a lot of technical skill to do well, and as a writer myself I have a special appreciation for it.
I’ve made a list. A list of books. A list of books I want to review and discuss with y’all.
Most of the books below are from the chart above, but some are not. Some of the “categories” on their list included no books that interested me or I otherwise just felt wouldn’t be the best introduction to the story its derived from. (I am looking into other liaisons into mythologies that aren’t Greek or Roman…so if you have any recommendations, please let me know! I have a few ideas on my Goodreads to-read shelf, but it’s just taking me a minute to get oriented enough to find a good starting point since I have no background knowledge). Similarly, if you have any additions on the list below, hit me with them! Literally. Just deck me.
Onto the list! Which is in no order, because it’s me that made it.
Beauty and the Beast: The Hollow Kingdom, Clare B. Dunkle
The Little Mermaid: Midnight Pearls, Debbie Viguie
Cinderella: Ash, Malinda Lo
The Magic Flute: Sunlight and Shadow, Cameron Dokey
Rumplestiltskin: Spinners, Donna Jo Napoli
The Frog Prince: Enchanted, Alethea Kontis
The Ugly Duckling: The Sweetest Spell, Suzanne Selfors
The Snow Queen: The Raven and the Reindeer, T. Kingfisher
Red Riding Hood: The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly
Twelve Dancing Princesses: Wildwood Dancing, Juliet Marrilier
Hansel and Gretel: Sweetly, Jackson Pearce
Rapunzel: Bitter Greens, Kate Forsyth
Snow White: The Glass Casket, McCormick Templeman; Tear You Apart, Sarah Cross
Tam Lin: The Mirk and Midnight Hour, Jane Nickerson
Sleeping Beauty: Briar Rose, Jane Yolen; A Wicked Thing, Rhiannon Thomas
Frankenstein: Clay, David Almond; Spare and Found Parts, Sarah Maria Griffin; This Monstrous Thing, Mackenzi Lee
Jane Eyre: Dark Companion, Marta Acosta
Macbeth: Enter Three Witches, Caroline B. Cooney
Greek Mythology: Quicksilver, Stephanie Spinner
Hades & Persephone: Everneath, Brodi Ashton; Destroyer of Light, Rachel Alexander
Helen of Troy: Starcrossed, Josephine Angelini; Goddess of Yesterday, Caroline B. Cooney
I have already reviewed several retellings on this blog, most of them Hades & Persephone. (Here, Here, Here, and Here). I am especially eager for more recommendations on that front. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Everneath as a series, so if you know of any others, help a sister out.
I can’t say I’ll be doing individual reviews for all of these once a week, which was my original intent, but I hope to knock out at least two or three a month and maybe do a roundup then, with a final kind of overview at the end of the year. I have a few planned out specifically already — I want to have my Beauty and the Beast review review up before the movie, obviously, and I want to do Frankenstein and Jane Eyre around Halloween, etc. etc. Not that y’all need to know what goes on behind the curtain.
Regardless! I’m very excited to start this. I’ve got The Hollow Kingdom, Ash, and Destroyer of Light en route to my humble abode as we speak, so expect these reviews first. Until then, I’ve got a special post in mind for Valentine’s Day, and a review for Hold Me Closer, Necromancer sometime this week to keep everyone in the romantic spirit 😉
I hope your weekend was wonderful and more restful than mine ended up being. :’) Again, I’d love to hear any recommendations or thoughts you have to add to my above list. I’ll be seeing you!