Reasons I love retellings + recommendations! | Aka I’m super excited for Beauty and the Beast (!!)

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. 🙂

Retellings Not-yet-read

BASICALLY ALL OF THEM. I will make a small list… and I shall hide at the end of it…

Sleeping Beauty

Cinderella

Snow White

The Wizard of Oz

 

Peter Pan

Alice in Wonderland

Other Retellings

Not yet released:

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! ❤

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43 thoughts on “Reasons I love retellings + recommendations! | Aka I’m super excited for Beauty and the Beast (!!)

  1. You gave me A NEW FANTASTIC POINT OF VIEW on YA retellings! 😉 I’ve read the Lunar Chronicles, Heartless, The Wrath and the Dawn and A Thousand Nights but you’ve just added so many more I didn’t know about to my list! Awesome post and I can’t wait for Beauty and the Beast!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PETER PAN WAS MY FAVE I DIDN’T KNOW PETER PAN RETELLINGS EXISTED THANK YOU ANALEE ❤
    I’m also super excited about The Beauty and the Beast movie! My favourite thing about fairytale retellings is seeing how the characters adapt and change according to the different settings, I don’t know if that makes sense. Retellings take the basic idea of the story and put it in a different setting or change the character’s personality and I find it fun to read all the different authors adding their own ideas to transform the stories we know and love. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • YOU’RE WELCOME, I LOVE IT TOO!!! ❤❤ I need to read these retellings, I believe there’s also Tiger Lily and Never Ever that are Peter Pan retellings. 😉😍
      Right??! I can’t wait to watch it. That makes sense, that’s definitely another good reason! Retellings give the opportunity for the characters to be placed in a different setting/world, or time, than the original, and it’s interesting to see what plays out in that situation. It’s so much fun reading retellings and seeing the author’s own spin on it! The basic idea is there, but so much of it is their own creativity and it’s so great to see both similarities and the differences. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’d never heard of any of them so thanks!
        Yes exactly! Like in Cinder, the setting was so cool but so different from the original. Also Cinderella is kind of um, useless? (I love her, but she doesn’t really do anything xD) But Cinder is awesome! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, you just reminded me of Beauty and the Beast movie release! But looks like I won’t see it any earlier than the end of the month when I get my pay 😦
    For all those listed retellings here – GONNA ADD EM ALL TO MY TBR! Well, except for Lunar Chronicles, which I already finished and LOVED to death! Can’t wait to read all Alice in Wonderland retellings existing! Especially Collean Oakes ones, because they give me a strong feeling of American McGee’s Alice videogames (and I happen to love Alice: Madness returns game!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, that’s too bad! ☹️ At least you can savour it even more when you finally get to watch it?? I don’t know where my logic came from but I hope you get to see it sooner than later! ❤
      YESS GIRL! Show those retellings some love haha. The Lunar Chronicles is SO good I love them so much. 😍
      I really need to get to the Alice in Wonderland retellings! I’ve heard so much about the Colleen Oakes books as well, and I can’t wait. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was such a lovely post, Analee! I really enjoy retellings, even if I only discovered that this was a thing like, well, not that long ago, haha. I LOVE The Wrath and The Dawn, The Forbidden Wish and Cinder, they are among my favorite books of ever ❤ ❤ Unfortunately, Splintered was maybe a bit too weird for me? It made me so sad because Alice is one of my favorite stories.Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! Haha same, actually, I haven’t read many of them, but I still love them! 😂 Oh my gosh YESS!! Those books are amazinggggg I love them so much. 😍😍 The premise is definitely odd! It’s too bad you didn’t enjoy it as much though. Thank you!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely love retellings! They’re just so much fun! I think my favorites are a tie between the ACOTAR trilogy and The Lunar Chronicles, because both are so fantastic for so different reasons! Hopefully, I’ll watch the movie; my family rarely goes to the movies, but I really want to see it!

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  6. I can’t wait for Beauty and the Beast too!! I am so excited and have already bought my tickets for the 16th because my theater is doing this special thing. I was over the moon when they cast Emma because I used to tell my mom that she would be the perfect Belle.
    Anyway! I adore retellings too. I love when an author can take a beloved story and either make it completely their own (i.e. ACOTAR) or peel back layers of the original while adding something new (i.e. RoseBlood). There so much possibility with retellings and with each one released my TBR gets longer. I’ve actually only read RoseBlood from your list but the rest on my TBR impatiently waiting for me to read them. Great post and recommendations, Analee!! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • YESSS!! I’m going to be buying my tickets soon hopefully and I am SO EXCITED for its release. Oh my gosh yes!! Emma being cast as Belle is actually the best thing ever, and I am sure she nailed the part perfectly. ❤
      Yes! A well-known and loved story being turned into something totally new like ACOTAR, makes for such a unique and great experience. I haven’t read RoseBlood yet, but I definitely want to! I’m intrigued to see what the author did with that one.
      The options are actually limitless! There are so many retellings out there that I have to read aha, they’re all waiting on my TBR as well. Thank you! 💞

      Liked by 1 person

      • I completely agree, it’s incredible when an author can take a well known story and turn it into something completely new while still keeping those familiar hints of the original. It seems to be the running theme for ACOTAR so far. First book was Beauty and the Beast and the second was Persephone and Hades. It makes me wonder if the third will be playing on another one.
        I hope you enjoy RoseBlood whenever you get around to it! Seems to be a bit of a hit or miss but I ended up loving what the author did with it. 😊
        You’re welcome!! ♥

        Liked by 1 person

  7. IT’S A WHOLE NEW WOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD (Aladdin, right? Listening to the Hamilton station on Pandora is paying off!)
    And omg I LOVE RETELLINGS AS WELL THEY ARE SO AMAZIIIIIIIIIIING. I am also super excited for B&TB because EMMA WATSON, RETELLINGS, AND BEEEEEEELLE (same reasons as you lol). And eek I’ve been meaning to read Dorothy Must Die whoops.
    I agree with all the reasons you listed. It’s a fresh twist on an old classic! And TLC YAAAAAAAS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YESSSSSS!!! 😂 At least somebody got my not-a-pun/ reference I AM PROUD OF YOU.
      They most definitely arrrrrre!! (Idk what’s up with those multiple r’s I swear I’m not trying to be a pirate) Aha yesss those are pretty much the only reasons? Jk there are more but the main ones haha SO EXCITED. 😍😍 Same! At least I’m not the only one haha. 😂 Yesss the Lunar Chronicles are THE BEST!! ❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is an amazing post Analee. I am a massive fan of fairytale retellings as well. I think the main reason is because I always loved reading the original fairytales when I was younger so seeing all these retellings is a way to relive the story I love without reading the same book over and over again. Alice in Wonderland is my favourite and I love Heartless by Marissa Meyer and the Splintered series by A.G. Howard. If you have Splintered on your to-read list it’s one I’d definitely recommend. Also, oh, The Lunar Chronicles series is one of my all-time favourites, just in general not even just among the fairytale retellings I’ve read. Actually anything Marissa Meyer writes is probably going to be a favourite of mine! 😀
    Great post, and I can’t wait for The Beauty and the Beast film. I’ll be going to see it with my sister and I’m already so excited even though it hasn’t been released yet! 😀

    Like

    • Thank you Beth!!! ❤ Aha that's so true. The original fairytales, are actually quite twisted and I didn't read them until I was older, but growing up I loved reading the Disney fairytales, and it's so great to see the themes and storyline of those fairytales reincarnated into new books. Like you said, reliving the story! I really have to read Splintered! It's definitely on my TBR, I can't wait to pick it up, Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourites as well! Haha so true, same for me! The Lunar Chronicles were so great, all-time favourite for sure. Haha Marissa Meyer is such an amazing author, I can't wait to see what she comes up with next??!
      YES!! I'm actually so obsessed it's not even funny… LOL. I can't wait to see it, only a few more days ahhhh!! *throws confetti in excitement*

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s all right! 😀 ❤ It was the same for me, I grew up with the Disney version and then when I was in high school I got into the twisted versions. I will admit I prefer the Disney versions! And I love books that take the themes and give them different happy endings (I like there to be happy endings still!)
        In that case Splintered is a must for you I think. Neither can I, I think fairytale retellings and Marissa Meyer are a winning combination.
        Not long to go! 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so excited for the movie! Among all the fairy tales Beauty and the Beast is always my top favorite and I’m total sucker for it’s retellings. If you give me anything related to B&B I would read it. I really love this post and it would be awesome if you also recommended some B&B retellings. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love fairytale retellings so much. They are so charming and I confess, I kind of love knowing a story is going to end in a happily-ever-after. I love The Wrath and the Dawn. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is a good one too. I’m in love with Juliet Marillier’s Wildwood Dancing, which is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed!! ❤ Aha that is so true, among all the books with ambiguous or perhaps sad/dark endings, it's comforting to know it ends happily (unless the book warns in advance that it doesn't aka villain stories haha) The Wrath and the Dawn is SO GREAT. ❤ Ooh, I haven't read any retellings of 12 Dancing Princesses, and only heard of Entwined being one. I will definitely have to check out Wildwood Dancing! 🙂 Thank you!

      Like

    • Thank you! I’m glad you think so. Yes, fairytales are so great??! Retellings are such a great way to relive them while still reading something new. Yayyyy that’s great to hear! Retellings for the win. 😉
      Yes it was!! I LOVED IT SO MUCH.

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