Beauty and the Beast is releasing in less than a week!! I am SO excited, you guys. I love Emma Watson, I love the fairytale, I love Belle, all in all means I’ll love the movie, right?! I’m only slightly over the moon about this. Psh. It’s not like I already planned out two Beauty and the Beast-themed posts for the coming week. Nope.
All that aside, I suppose I’d be lying if I said that this post wasn’t inspired by fairytales… I mean, I’d always loved fairytales as a kid, and now, I have retellings of them that keep the fairytale love alive. And with the Beauty & the Beast movie-retelling approaching, I thought I might talk about why I love YA book retellings–I definitely don’t talk about them much. ❤ Let’s get into it!
1. An old concept gets developed into something new.
Fairytales like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, all of them, are something pretty much everyone is familiar with?? If you’ve never heard of these, I’m sorry, but the only thing I can ask is HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK??! Of course, for the lesser known fairytales, it’s a different story, but most people know of the fairytales I mentioned (thanks, Disney). But nonetheless, whether you live under a rock or not, the point remains with retellings: an old concept gets developed into something new! One of the most basic reasons I love reading retellings is because I get to see elements of the original fairytale/story, mixed in with new ideas, ultimately turning it into its own tale.
2. Uses much creativity!
I LIKE CREATIVITY. And imagination.
Because I have none of my own. Because I love seeing the power of a person’s mind and I love it when someone else is able to make me see things their way, or show me a whole new world. (Comment if you got that!!) You’d think retellings require less creativity than books written based off nothing. Thing is: no book is ‘based off nothing’. And to write a good retelling, a GREAT one, you need a heck a lot of creativity and talent. Because a great retelling, isn’t just re-telling a fairytale. It’s creating something alike in concept, but something different and yes, CREATIVE (I used that too many times, but oh well), because no one wants to read a rehash of something already written, am I right? Hence creativity comes into play.
3. Upgraded version of fairytales
Kicka** protagonists, anyone?? (*Cough* Cinder *Cough* Feyre) The original fairy tales deserve credit for sure (especially for lasting so long in people’s minds haha) but retellings have the opportunity to include things that the OGs missed. It’s up to authors of the 21st century, to write the story how they will, which means we get to say goodbye to aspects like the damsel in distress (not that there is anything wrong with that trope, just I’d say we’ve had enough of that for a lifetime, eh?), and perhaps offer the villains a chance to either redeem themselves or gather our sympathy. AND THAT IS SO AWESOME. Personally, I love both stronger and less damselly protagonists AND villain POV stories, and it’s so cool that recent retellings have both, and more, to admire and read about. Retellings = upgraded fairytales, and sometimes they sound like they’re better than the originals, or they turn out to be better than the original.
I’d usually list a lot more, but these are actually the main reasons I can think of at the moment, so I’ll leave it at thar haha and allow you guys to chime in if you have any other reasons. 🙂
YA Retelling Recommendations
I don’t think it would be right to have this post without a few recommendations for some of my favourite retellings, now isn’t that right? Becuase obviously now you think retellings are fabulous, and require many retellings to satisfy your need for them right now. I AM YOUR HERO.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. It’s a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, which I’d never heard of actually until this book and it was so great, I’m telling you. GO READ IT if you haven’t already.
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston*
Another retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, I’m actually currently reading it, and although there’s a chance I won’t end up liking it, so far it’s really good so at the moment, it’s a tentative rec!
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
An Aladdin retelling that is pretty much BETTER than the original!! This book features an amazing protagonist, wonderful setting and characterization, and plot, all in all such a great read. It had elements of Aladdin, but was such a unique story on its own!
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Featuring: retellings of Cinderella (Cinder), Little Red Riding Hood (Scarlet), Rapunzel (Cress) and Snow White (Winter, and Fairest from POV of Evil Queen). This series melds 4 different fairytales into a seamless series full of action, intrigue, and romance. I loved how all their stories interconnected, it was so great!
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
An Alice in Wonderland retelling–and origin story of the Queen of Hearts, if you will–this book, although entertaining, I’ll admit didn’t really reach my expectations, especially considering how much I loved the author’s previous series! But, I’m putting it on here because A) There aren’t many Queen of Hearts origin stories and B) I am but a black sheep, and perhaps you shall enjoy it more. I hope, anyway!
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
This series is actually a Robin Hood retelling! And I liked the first book, although it does have a love triangle, so be warned! The ‘Robin Hood’ of the story was a girl, actually, and the author put a nice spin on the story. However, I have not since picked up the rest of the series, so no idea how it continued!
Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
A retelling of Blackbeard, the pirate, there was very little actual pirating in the first book, but it was a very nice read nonetheless! I really liked the characters, and am eagerly anticipating reading the second book, which I’ve heard holds more pirating. 🙂
BASICALLY ALL OF THEM. I will make a small list… and I shall hide at the end of it…
- Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
- A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
- Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas
- Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
- The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
- Mirrored by Alex Flinn
The Wizard of Oz
- Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
- Spelled by Betsy Schow
- Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
- Never Never by Brianna Shrum
Alice in Wonderland
- Splintered series by A.G. Howard (Alice in Wonderland)
- Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
- RoseBlood by A.G. Howard (Phantom of the Opera)
- Entwined by Heather Dixon (12 Dancing Princesses)
- Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan (Rapunzel)
- A Whole New World by Liz Braswell (Aladdin)
Not yet released:
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (Pitched as “The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsman” aka me going OMG OMG OMG.)
- Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (Sleeping Beauty, sounds good!)
- Because You Love to Hate Me anthology edited by Ameriie (various authors + booktubers pair up to write stories from the POV of the villains; more OMGs.)
- Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (“A feminist reimagining of the Snow White fairy tale”)
SEE? SO MANY I HAVEN’T READ. *hides* (And yes, I do realize I put no Beauty and the Beast retellings here…) But you’re welcome if I helped grow your TBR. *evil laugh*
But I am very qualified to list the reasons why retellings are so awesome, as I have done in this post. *nods* So tell me! Do you love retellings? Why or why not? Which ones have you read? Any recommendations for me? Did you get my clever-not-clever hidden-not-hidden little pun in reason #2? Do you prefer the originals or the retelling? Let’s talk! ❤