fairy tales for adults

Book Reviews : Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I actually liked this for Scarlet because in many ways I could relate to her. We were both close to our Grandmothers and have the same relationship with them. I thought the way she met her Wolf was clever and I liked this book because of that. I was not a fan of the insta-love.

Click here for a Pinterest infographic of these books!

Cinderella

Sleeping Beauty

Beauty and the Beast

The Little Mermaid

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Little Red Ridding Hood

Snow White

Rapunzel

Alice in Wonderland

The Goose Girl

Peter pan

Other Retellings

What is your favorite fairy tale retelling? Any retellings that aren’t on the list that you would recommend?
The Bear and the Nightingale

4 out of 5 stars

This book was like nothing I’ve ever read before, and I love it for that. I mostly read Young Adult, and while the main character is a teenager for most of the book, I’m fairly certain this book will be marketed as adult fiction (I read an ARC of the book).

It’s part historical fiction, part fantasy, and part magical realism. It takes place in Russia (or Rus’, as the territory was known back then) in the 1300s. Vasilisa (or Vasya for short) lives with her family in northern Rus’ a few weeks’ travel from Moscow, and though Rus’ has been a Christian nation for hundreds of years, many people still keep the old fairy tales alive and even leave gifts for the chyerti (little spirits or demons that are tied to households, animals, nature, etc.).

Vasya’s mother dies in childbirth at the beginning of book, and years later, Vasya’s father decides to remarry so that his young, wild daughter will have a mother figure in the house. However, he ends up with a very strict and very religious wife and she forbids the family from honoring the chyerti anymore. To make matters worse, an overzealous (yet charismatic) young priest comes from Moscow to be the new priest of the estate when the old one dies. He preaches to the congregation about hellfire and damnation and demons, putting the fear of a Christian God in them. As the chyerti lose the support of Vasya’s people, they grow weaker, and there are dire consequences to losing their powers and protection. Vasya tries to help them covertly whenever she can, but there’s only so much she can do…

I loved how unique the book felt, helped in part by the fact that old Russian mythology is not widely known in American culture. All of the chyerti and other fairy tale characters were new to me, so it felt very fresh. Also, the writing is gorgeous. Get ready to want to snuggle underneath warm covers as you read about the harsh winters of northern Rus’. Really, the descriptions of weather in this book are incredible, and when I say that the weather in the book is like a character in and of itself, I mean that both figuratively and literally (by way of the frost demon character, Morozko).

Vasya is a fantastic heroine–very strong and stubborn, but still respectful of her family, and always kind. I loved her bond with each of her siblings and the different chyerti. The book feels epic, too, with the book covering almost 20 years and the characters traveling between multiple locations, but it is fairly short for its scope. I know that it’s going to be the first of a trilogy, and I do enjoy succinctness, but the first half of the book is told almost in screenshots, and I would have enjoyed getting more of them. I also sometimes felt a little disconnected from what was happening at various times, and I’m not sure why? I don’t think it’s through any fault of the narration, but I didn’t feel as emotionally invested in some scenes as I probably should have. That’s probably just me, though.

Seriously, though, the book is beautiful and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I highly, highly recommend giving the book a try, and like I said, it’s not even very long (just over 300 pages), so it’ll probably be a quick read, too. The book will be on sale on January 17, 2017, so go check out its Amazon page and Goodreads page in the meantime!

'Once Upon a Time' Scorecard: All the Season 7 Returns and New Personas

The seventh season of ABC’s fairy tale drama Once Upon a Time is embarking on a “new chapter” when it returns in the fall, thanks to a cast overhaul and an entirely new setting. Although six regular cast members have exited the series, three of them are sticking around for the soft reboot — and exiting stars like Jennifer Morrison, Jared Gilmore and Emilie de Ravin are confirmed to return for brief visits. So though it won’t be a completely new show, there will be large-scale differences.

Co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the new season, revealing which happy endings will stick, what topical issues the series will address and what will remain a surprise until the show’s Oct. 6 return.

The New Story

While the previous six seasons centered on the story of Snow White, Prince Charming and the daughter they saved from a curse, Emma (Morrison) — whose estranged son, Henry (Gilmore), found her and attempted to lift the curse on the fairy tale characters populating her town of Storybrooke, Maine.

In season seven, an adult Henry (Andrew J. West) is visited by his own estranged daughter, Lucy (Alison Fernandez), who needs his help to save cursed fairy tale characters — including her mother and Henry’s love, Cinderella (Dania Ramirez) —from a new book.

Yes, those season one callbacks are intentional.

“We’re not going to be retelling season one, but we always have echoes,” Kitsis tells THR. “The premise is of the show was fairytale characters who no longer remember who they were searching for happy endings. That’s the spine that we’re still following, like a road map.”

The New Setting

The action moves from sleepy small-town Storybrooke to the big city: Hyperion Heights, a neighborhood in Seattle.

“Unlike Storybrooke, which was separate and just fairytale characters, the idea was to be in a world where there would be regular people like us mixing in and intermingling with the fairytale characters. They’ll be some element for the audience of who is who, and will they or won’t they figure out who they are?”

The New Characters

In addition to Fernandez, Ramirez and West, new faces also include Gabrielle Anwar as Cinderella’s evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, Adelaide Kane as Cinderella’s evil stepsister, Drizella, Mekia Cox as The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana, Rose Reynolds as the new Alice (as in Wonderland), and Emma Booth as The Witch.

The New Personas

The returning characters include Lana Parilla’s Regina (now a jeans-and-t-shirt-wearing, curly haired rocker named Ronnie), Colin O'Donoghue’s Hook (now a uniformed cop) and Robert Carlyle’s Rumple.

Says Kitsis, “Ronnie runs a bar in a neighborhood that Lady Tremaine is trying to gentrify. She is trying to push out all the fairytale characters so they can’t find each other. Ronnie is the person who has no problem sticking up for the neighborhood and fighting a bully.”

As for O'Donoghue’s character, Hook is a “good cop” with a “good heart” haunted by a case, says Kitsis. Adds Horowitz, “He has a fake hand. There’s no hook in Seattle.”

Rumple’s new identity is still a mystery — and will remain so for a while.

“A lot of that we do want to try to preserve as a surprise,” says Kitsis. “Needless to say, he is someone who has his fingers in a lot of pies, who’s connected to many of the stories in ways that are very Rumple-like. He’s an intimidating figure.”

The Returning Favorites

Fans of one of the show’s strongest relationships — the love between Emma and Captain Hook, who married in a musical episode toward the end of season six — should be pleased with the second episode of the session, which will see Morrison return to reprise her role (the fourth episode will provide similar back story for de Ravin’s Belle).

“For ‘Captain Swan’ fans that are worried, don’t be. But watch it, and all will be explained in episode two,” says Horowitz. “They don’t have to be frightened, but they do have to watch.”

Adds Kitsis, “We are very cognizant of the passion.”

Once Upon a Time moves to Fridays for season seven, premiering Oct. 6 on ABC.

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I think we adults should also visualize before sleep that an angel is going to come and make our lives more beautiful the next day.
We, adults, need more fairy tale work in our lives than children do.
Just imagine how beautiful the next morning will turn out to be when we are ready to start each day on a new journey with a beautiful smile dissolving all the unpleasantness.
We will be able to have all the good changes and such a wonderful state of bliss.
Now let the magic begin
—  rasica-p 
‘Once Upon a Time’ Creators Tease Season 7: It’s The ‘Same Show’ in ‘New Worlds’

With its season 6 finale, Once Upon a Time is closing the book on Snow White, Prince Charming, and Emma Swan. And when ABC’s fairy tale drama returns this fall, it’ll start a new chapter, featuring an adult Henry Mills and his daughter, Lucy.

Six series regulars are departing OUAT, including stars Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Josh Dallas. Going forward, the show will focus on Henry (Andrew J. West), Lucy (Alison Fernandez), Regina (Lana Parrilla), Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), and Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle).

It’s a major reset for the series after six seasons. Creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz talked to Yahoo TV about where OUAT is headed…

You guys had said previously that this could’ve worked as a series finale, if ABC didn’t renew the show for season 7. But do you mean the ending with adult Henry opening the door to Lucy, or that last montage of Snow, Charming, Emma, etc.?
Horowitz: This ending, whether we were renewed or not, was always the ending, up until the end at the door and all that. We obviously hoped to be renewed and but it was a plan that had been in the works for a while and we had been building to all season. We’re very glad we got to continue, but we took the characters to the place where we wanted to finish them at the end of this season and then open that door, literally and figuratively, at the end.

If it had been the series finale, that would’ve been some cliffhanger. Is that what you envisioned as the ending way back when you first started the show?
Kitsis: It’s something we thought of in the beginning. Whether or not we were canceled, we would have kept the Henry thing. You know, what we liked about it was what Snow White says — that the story continues, living our life, it’s the journey not the destination. Since we’re picked up, it doesn’t matter. If we weren’t , we might’ve done something different. But we were feeling pretty confident in talking to the networks since around Thanksgiving of last year. So we just moved forward with this plan.

The ending echoes how the series began. But adult Henry and Lucy are different people from young Henry and Emma. So, how will the story be different this time around?
Kitsis: It’s the idea that it shares the same DNA. We’re not trying to parallel everything that we get exactly before you know it. It’s the same show but it’s going into new worlds in with some new characters and with some old characters. What we hope the fans take away from the end of the season is that Once Upon a Time is coming back and it’s going to be surprising and hopefully really exciting and intriguing next year.

Horowitz: For us, season 1, the premise was there was a curse on the town and no one knew who they were and we ended the season breaking it, which everyone thought that would be what the show is. So, every year we feel like we’ve reinvented it, whether we go to Neverland or Wonderland. So, for us, it was time to complete this book, so to speak, and begin a new chapter.

The finale really drove home the themes of believing and hope. Will you continue exploring those themes going forward?
Kitsis: I think we want to explore new themes but at its core, Once Upon a Time is about hope. It’s about people needing hope in the real world. And of course, as the show went on and on, it became about the characters and their rich histories. But the central premise of people in the real world, in a world without magic in need of hope, that’s what the show will remain to be. We will hopefully tell new themes and things that are relevant for today.

You said earlier that it won’t be a complete parallel, but when the show started, Henry was the believer and Emma was the skeptic. Is Henry now the skeptic, with Lucy the true believer?
Horowitz: I mean it certainly looked like Lucy was a believer at the end of the episode, and that’s the jumping off point. I will say we really really hope that the directions we go are surprising and exciting. We’re really not trying to retread and do the same thing exactly. But there will be echoes and there are themes that are at the heart of Once Upon a Time, and belief-versus-cynicism is one of them that we’ve dealt with that throughout the show and probably will continue to.

We recently made this family tree infographic of the show, and it’s crazy how the characters are tied together, beyond blood. With so many characters leaving, how will you fill those holes?
Kitsis: That tree remains that tree, and what we’re going to do is something new. We always said that the original first six seasons were Henry’s goal of reuniting his family, which he did. As we saw in the beginning, he went to get his mom, but what he really wanted was to reunite this crazy family. And the very last image last night, we see them all having their dinner together. And so I would say that this is this is this is a new adventure.

Horowitz: And I think also this is kind of one of those things that it’s easy to kind of overlook because Andrew West is coming on the show now, but that’s still Henry. And you still have Regina as mother. So the family is still at the center of the show. It’s just grown and evolved as all families do.

So, there will be explanations for where Emma is, where Belle is?
Kitsis: Oh yeah. I mean, the first thing to say is that the situations we’ve left the characters in — I don’t want to call them happy endings, because they’re not ending — those situations remain. So when the show continues, the idea is that those characters are out there and that’s all been happening. Just because not everyone is a regular doesn’t mean that their stories haven’t continued and that we might not hear about them. We might see some people pop in and out. It’s just going to be in a slightly different configuration.

How much of the universe you’ve built over six seasons will play a part in the new story? Will we see familiar faces like Ariel or Tinker Bell or Peter Pan again?
Kitsis: We’ll see some old faces. That’s the thing we love about the show — that it’s never one show all the time. So you know people that died two years ago, we’ll see for an entire hour. So, we want to see old faces and we’re really excited to see new ones.

Horowitz: What we’re really excited about in how we’re going forward is, because we’re closing the book on this chapter of the story of these characters, we can start a new story without having six years of back story from the previous stories, so audiences come in and start fresh with these characters and learn. Yeah, so you can have whatever the familiar faces we bring back pop in and out. But you’ll be tracking a whole new adventure and a whole new story.

Who are some of these faces we’re going to see? I imagine one of them will be Lucy’s mother.
Kitsis: We’re not fully ready to say who we’re going to see or who are not. We just ended the season yesterday, so we want to enjoy that and let the fans enjoy that final montage. But I will say who Lucy’s mom is and Henry’s relationship to her is going to be an epic romance in the Once tradition of Snow and Charming. And who she is and what character she is will be revealed probably this summer.

Will you continue plumbing the depths of Disney’s archive? Or go in completely new directions?
Kitsis: We’re kind of a show that has always had a mash-up. I mean, this is a show that has had a running One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest reference for six seasons. We also had Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Mad Hatter and Tinkerbell. We want to pull from everybody, as well as newer characters that we haven’t got to yet in the Disney universe.

What will be the balance between seeing the real world and the magical realms?
Horowitz: There’s going to be a real world component, that we saw Henry in last night in Seattle. And we’re going to flash back to the Enchanted Forest because we realize that all those scenes we saw in the opening of the episode were actually flashforwards. So the show will remain the same it’s just going to have new settings new worlds and new adventures.

The musical episode came off really well. Any thoughts on doing another one?
Kitsis: I think we should do the stage show. I think that should be the next step should be the next one. It was a lot of work, so I don’t think we’ll do one next year.

Once Upon a Time on Broadway!
Kitsis: Yes, Once Upon a Time on Broadway sounds good to me!

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Have you pre-ordered @juliecdao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns yet? Yes? Good! 

She’s been so lovely to host some amazing pre-ordered giveaways so keep an eye out on her feed for those (you can see the hair comb I won in this picture!) and save your receipts! 

I’m SO excited to start this book y'all. Hoping to read it as a part of #ARCAugust!  

Is FOTL on your TBR?

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Guillermo del Toro’s highly personal monster film ‘The Shape of Water’ speaks to 'what I feel as an immigrant’

Throughout his career, Guillermo del Toro has bounced between large-scale studio films like “Pacific Rim” and “Hellboy” and smaller, more idiosyncratic ones, like “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone.” His latest movie, “The Shape of Water” — the story of a mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with an aquatic humanoid creature being held captive in a secret government laboratory during the Cold War — is, perhaps needless to say, one of the latter. It’s also being hailed as one of his best.

Building on the raves it earned in its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the movie — a fable of improbable love in the face of fear and intolerance — drew cheers at its first North American screening Saturday at the Telluride Film Festival. It will play the Toronto International Film Festival next, before opening Dec. 8, in the thick of awards season.

The morning after the Telluride bow, The Times sat down with del Toro to talk about what inspired his surreal adult fairy tale and why its fantastical, period-set beauty-and-the-beast story is all too relevant in today’s real world.

* * *

Your friend and fellow director Alejandro Iñárritu has said that he thinks “The Shape of Water” is your most personal movie. Do you agree?

It’s the movie that I like the most. It’s this one, then “The Devil’s Backbone,” then “Pan’s Labyrinth,” then “Crimson Peak,” and so on and so forth. That’s the order for me — it doesn’t mean people have to agree. It’s sort of the aim-and-target quotient for a filmmaker — did it land where I wanted it? This landed exactly where I wanted it.

But “most personal” also suggests that, of all the films you’ve done, there’s the most of you in this one.

There is the most of me. Most of the time — in “Pan’s Labyrinth” or “Devil’s Backbone” — I’m talking about my childhood. Here, I’m talking about me with adult concerns. Cinema. Love. The idea of otherness being seen as the enemy. What I feel as an immigrant. What I feel is an ugly undercurrent not in the past — not in the origins of fascism — but now.

It is a movie that talks about the present for me. Even if it’s set in 1962, it talks about me now.

That era is often depicted through a nostalgic prism as somehow being the good old days. But this movie paints a very different picture, bringing out the undercurrent of fear and intolerance.

I think when people say “Make America Great Again,” they’re thinking of that America, which actually never ended up really crystallizing. If you were a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, then things were great. You had jet-fin cars, super-fast kitchens. But everyone else didn’t have it so good. And the creature sort of represents everybody else.

Obviously the world has changed dramatically since you were shooting this film. I can’t imagine you could anticipate the way those themes would resonate …

I did. And the reason why is that I’m Mexican. I’ve been going through immigration all my life, and I’ve been stopped for traffic violations by cops and they get much more curious about me than the regular guy. The moment they hear my accent, things get a little deeper.

I know it sounds kind of glib, but honestly, what we are living I saw brewing through the Obama era and the Clinton era. It was there. The fact that we got diagnosed with a tumor doesn’t mean the cancer started now.

Hopefully one of the things the movie shows is that from 1962 to now, we’ve taken baby steps — and a lot of them not everyone takes. The thing that is inherent in social control is fear. The way they control a population is by pointing at somebody else — whether they’re gay, Mexican, Jewish, black — and saying, “They are different than you. They’re the reason you’re in the shape you’re in. You’re not responsible.” And when they exonerate you through vilifying and demonizing someone else, they control you.

I think the movie says that there are so many more reasons to love than to hate. I know you sound a lot smarter when you’re skeptical and a cynic, but I don’t care.

Going back to the beginning, what was the initial germ of this movie?

I’ve had this movie in my head since I was 6, not as a story but as an idea. When I saw the creature swimming under Julie Adams [in 1954’s “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”], I thought three things: I thought, “Hubba-hubba.” I thought, “This is the most poetic thing I’ll ever see.” I was overwhelmed by the beauty. And the third thing I thought is, “I hope they end up together.”

I kind of doubt that’s what most 6-year-olds were thinking.

No, I’m a weird one.

Is there part of you that feels like, as soon as there’s a monster or any fantasy or genre element in a movie, it automatically gets put in a box and isn’t taken seriously?

Oh, for sure. But that would be important if I cared — but I don’t.

Look, I’ve been doing this for 25 years. If I thought it was not the route to go, I would have changed. To me, the genre is my Campbell’s Soup can if I was [Andy] Warhol, or my comic book vignette if I was [Roy] Lichtenstein.

We forget that the primal motor of storytelling is fable and parable. I don’t come at it from an illiterate or a pop point of view. I come at it with every literary tool I can, every artistic tool I can. I truly try to create beauty and reflection and all of that as conscientiously and judiciously and minutely as I can. And then it’s up to people.

But you’re not on a mission to change the way people see genre?

No, I can’t. I know that what I saw when I was a kid had redemptive powers. Some people find Jesus. I found Frankenstein. And the reason I’m alive and articulate and semi-sane is monsters. It’s not an affectation. It’s completely spiritually real to me. And I’m not going to change.

This movie has a real spirit of innocence and old-fashioned romance, but at the same time, there are aspects that are very adult and sometimes jarring. The first time we see Sally Hawkins’ character, for example, she is masturbating.

Well, to me, there is no perversion in sex if you’re not perverse. You can do whatever you want and as long as you do it in the most beautiful way, it doesn’t matter. A woman masturbating makes it clear to you that this is not your regular Disney princess.

The movie is in love with love and in love with cinema. Sex, violence — whatever it is — the spirit of the movie is so gentle. I wouldn’t recommend it for kids, but for adolescents, it’s a beautiful movie. It’s sort of liberating.

And because you were making it on a budget of under $20 million, no one told you, “Let’s make this safer and more broadly appealing”?

Never. That was the point. The reason why the exercise of cramming a $60-million movie into a $19.5-million budget is worth it is that you get the freedom. I think that money takes freedom away. More money, less freedom.

So as you go on, are you finding yourself pulled more away from the part of the business where there are those kinds of money pressures? If you were approached to direct a tentpole that had to be a huge, four-quadrant blockbuster, like a mainstream superhero movie or a Star Wars movie …

If I choose a franchise of that size, I try to make sure that we’re aligned — and if we’re not, I walk away.

I have been offered massive stuff, and I’ve turned it down. Why? Because, A, I live a very sort of simple life. I dress like [garbage], I drive a 4-year-old car, I spend all my money on rubber monsters. So I’m OK [laughs]. And also I have this idea that if you do movies for any other reason than the stories, you’re screwed. It means something just gave in.

Photographs:

  • Sally Hawkins, left, and Octavia Spencer
  • Sally Hawkins is Eliza Esposito
  • Michael Shannon portrays Strickland and Michael Stuhlbarg is Hoffstetler
[TL] Otona no Meruhen Vol.2

This is one of the cutest drama CDs I’ve ever listened to!! omg Peter Pan is just so precious and pure and innocent. I hope you guys love him like I do. (♡ơ⌄ơ) Just get some tissues ready for later. Like usual, correct me if I translated something incorrectly.

WARNING: This is a r18 drama CD!!

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Follow Forever!

We did it, folks! Another milestone. And I have all of you lovely people to thank. 300 is massive, holy cow. This is a shout-out to some of the people that keep me here and make writing as fun as it’s supposed to be. While I couldn’t tag everyone I follow/that follows me, I love each and every one of you. Thank you for sticking around. This is going to be long, so bare with me here…

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