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Saturday Seven: Favorite fairy tale retellings

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews

I’ve been contemplating a Cinderella story … it wasn’t what I’d planned on working on, but it won’t let go, so I find myself plotting things every time my brain has the slightest bit of downtime. It’s wreaking havoc on my sleep, let me tell you! But it got me to thinking about the trend of fairy tale retellings I’ve seen lately, mostly in YA.
1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer — SO well done! Here’s a bit of the blurb:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

2. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine — fun, quirky and sometimes a little painful. Poor Ella! Here’s the blurb:
At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it’s to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate…
Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever.

3. Splintered by AG Howard — I honestly struggle a bit with Alice in Wonderland… it’s SO odd. But this book intrigued me. Here’s the blurb:
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

4. Heartless by Marissa Meyer — Less a retelling, more a prequel, this book tells the story of The Queen of Hearts and how she came to be, well, heartless. If you’re looking for a happy ending, this is NOT the book for you. But if you’re into well written novels, I can recommend. Here’s the blurb:
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

5. Beastly by Alex Flinn – I’ll hang my head in shame and say I actually haven’t read this book, but I did see the movie and it was pretty dang decent. A neat twist on the tale. Here’s the blurb:
I am a beast. A beast! Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. I am a monster.
You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll,stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

6. Wicked by Gregory MacGuire — as a tween, the Oz books were my crack. I read every last one of them and used to pretend I was in Oz. When this book came out, I was incredibly conflicted… but I gave it a try. I admit, I came to the book exceptionally biased by my lifetime of feelings about the Wicked Witch of the West, but this author does a great job creating sympathy. This is the closest thing I can find to a blurb:
A fable for adults on the subject of destiny and free will by a writer of children’s books. It tells the story of Elphaba before she became the Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz. The novel traces her career as nun, nurse, pro-democracy activist and animal rights defender.
7. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer — I know, I know it’s part of the same series as Cinder, but the series is awesome! Here’s the blurb:
Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison?even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does?in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.
What are some of YOUR favorite fairy tale retellings?

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I loved Wicked, although I was never able to get into the sequel to it. Did you ever see the Broadway musical that was based on Wicked? I’ve heard it was really good.
    This is my Saturday Seven post for this week.

    1. I live in the sticks so don’t get out to shows much anymore (I used to, years ago … I miss it). I haven’t read any of the Wicked sequels. Never really wanted to. I think that’s a reflection of my Oz days, too. I like thinking of the Wicked Witch *as* wicked.

  2. I liked Ever After. It’s basically the other side of the Cinderella coin. She’s happy and well-adjusted and ends up having to help save the hero. I loved it. I have no idea if it was a book first. Lol!
    Here’s my Saturday Seven post: . 🙂

    1. I don’t think “Ever After” was a book… but it IS one of my favorite all time movies.

    1. What a great list! It’s been a long time since I first read Ella Enchanted and Wicked, but I sure enjoyed them both. I will definitely be looking for books by Marissa Meyer — thanks for making another introduction.

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