retellings of fairy tales

Midnight Comes - Story by Brenna Yovanoff

Cinderella is when someone waves a wand and makes it happen.

Cinderella is when you win the big game, even though you’re the worst team in the league.

Cinderella is when the clock strikes twelve and bam, you’re a pumpkin.

Cinderella is when, even though you’re wearing your worst sweats and have black stuff all over your face and haven’t washed your hair in a week, someone brings you a glass shoe and thinks you’re beautiful.

My dad was total a TechnoGod—notorious, creator of three cult platform games, famous among certain kinds of crowds. But then he wrote this smoking-hot piece of software designed to manage bits and wrangle bytes and solve world hunger and the payout was big—it was massive.  We got a new house and a new life and a new family.

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For those looking to read some retellings

She’ll die before your very eyes. She’ll die gasping and choking and there will be blood. God, there will be so much blood. Her lips will be stained and so’ll the skin on her chest and it’ll get everywhere, the blood. You’ll find it on your fingertips, behinds your ears, under your clothes and you will never escape it because you’ll never escape her.

You’ll feel her loss like you’d feel a stab in the heart or the tug of your guts. There’ll be no warning. And when it comes, you will remember the way she gasps when the poison sears her from the inside out. You’ll never forget the way she screams your name when you let her die (before your very eyes). You can’t escape the way you only see things in shades of red or the way your breath always comes out strangled, never whole.

You won’t like the way apples taste, look, smell. You won’t like anything sweet anymore. You won’t like the way it all tastes like metal and rust and blood. You’ll remember her and you won’t want to. You’ll shy away from books written about hope and life because if those fairy tales were true, animals wouldn’t talk, wishes wouldn’t come true and princesses would die gasping for air, an apple like death itself lodged at the base of her throat.

—  The three ways you’d lose her// fairy tale retelling (Snow White)
The Fiction Trend: Fairy Tale Retellings

I know I mention fiction trends a lot, but rarely actually go into detail… Well, I’m sure you’ve all noticed fairy tale retellings are popular. It’s not exactly new news in fiction, but then again, not much is. Fiction is slow to adopt trends and just as slow to end them - agents might not want to see any books about vampires or werewolves anymore, but there are still awesome werewolf books being published (I just read one that I absolutely loved! When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord - published April 2015.)  

Fairy tale retellings are absolutely everywhere in today’s YA and are typically easy to pick out on the shelf - between the cover and the title, they aren’t trying to fool anyone. While there are plenty of those out there and many I’m sure are amazing, if you plan on reading anything in this vein, start with the fairy tale retelling queen, Angela Carter and her most notable collection The Bloody Chamber. Though it’s not super recent (published back in ‘79!), it’s without a doubt the “need-to-read” fairy tale retelling text. Though I warn, Carter’s The Bloody Chamber is not for the faint of heart. These fairy tales echo back to their original texts - not the Disney edits. 

And for fans of The Bloody Chamber, I also recommend the collection My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, from contemporary darlings such as Aimee Bender, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kelly Link (and lots more). 

When it comes to using this trend in your own work, I have just a few little suggestions that might help: 

  1. Know the story. This might seem obvious, but hear me out. Say you want to do a retelling of Cinderella - you know all about Cinderella, you’ve watched the movie over a hundred times. Sure you know the plot, but Cinderella is a hugely popular story and the fairy tale it was based on has many many many variations. Sure there are a few recognizable plot points, but if you’re going to retell it, I strongly recommend doing a bit of research. Fairy tales are highly interpretive and often involve a lot of poetic justice. There might be something in a less popularized version of the story that goes perfectly with your vision for the retelling. 
  2. Read up on the other retellings. If you’re writing a novel on werewolves, you pretty much should read up on most of the other werewolf books already out there. When it comes to fairy tale retellings, it’s the same, but all the more important. If you’re all using the same plot, how is your story going to be different? 
  3. Don’t be afraid for it to get a little bit weird. Fairy tales are weird. If you don’t think so, just google search Baba Yaga. If this is your biggest concern, I’ve got a few tips on how to hold your novel in high-regard and avoid wimping out on daring ideas. 
Auburn - Story by Brenna Yovanoff

My hair was the brittle color of drying blood.

Lola had done it in her mother’s kitchen.  She said we needed to be more glamorous.  She said, I dare you, and the next thing I knew, I was standing at the sink with my head under the faucet while a flood of vivid water ran down the drain.

It wasn’t glamorous, but red like desperation.  The kind that says look at me look at me please please tell me I’m pretty!  It was a Lola color, is what I’m saying. When I pictured my own face wearing it, I could taste it in my mouth like metal.

We were the only girls in the pit.  Onstage, Mason Tyler was humping his guitar, crooning in his signature rasp.  He was the official love-mascot of Lola’s life.  She wrote poems about his hands.  She dove into the crush, where boys made plunging circles and didn’t care about the bruises.  Their arms thrashed like branches, a forest of bodies, and Lola was the gleaming fairytale tower  at the center of it.  I was no one.  Red-headed cipher.  Zero.

The guy in the hunting jacket wasn’t punkrock. He didn’t bic his head or bleach his hair or wrestle it into a prissy double-hawk. He didn’t look like Henry Rollins or Jimmy Urine or Johnny Rotten, is what I’m saying.  He didn’t look like anything.

Lola didn’t see him coming.  Her fist beat time to the bassline, and when he smacked her with his shoulder, she didn’t even flinch.  He hit her again, harder, slamming her against the rail.  The look on her face when she turned was close to magical.  She punched him in the back of the head and everything got slow.

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On the fateful day of July 21, 2015, The Last Ever After hit the bookstores and brought us all one step closer to that much delayed The End to The Tale of Agatha & Sophia.

Fortunately, I know that some of you still don’t have your own copy of the book or at least finished reading TLEA, so I’m not going to post any spoilers until at least 5 more days have passed (lol so a week from now enter this blog at your own risk) and I will be fervently praying for all your feels that will be demolished by the time your eyes read that last sentence of this super amazing book (minor spoiler: the last line was pretty epic).

But in any case, you will not be disappointed with this book because it is breathtaking, heartbreaking, tear jerking, and all around the easiest way to leave yourself an empty husk of your soul because that was what happened to me when I finished this book around midnight today (which would be yesterday’s afternoon for anyone who lives in the Western hemisphere).


I HAVE TO ADMIT - NOT EVERYONE SURVIVED (but I’m sure we all saw that coming)

Originally posted by nesoxochi



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BUT YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!! (Hopefully, depending on how hard you shipped character A with Character B) :)

My overall conclusion: 10 out of 5 stars! (yes, i know that this is is an improper fraction thing it just shows how SPECTACULAR THIS BOOK IS)

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Originally posted by allreactions

anonymous asked:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens! What are some of your favorite things?

Original meme

1. Bookshelves

I’m an avid reader, so the sight of bookshelves is always a pleasing one - all that potential knowledge is stacked up colorfully, orderly and neatly! It just makes me happy to see it. 

One day I’d like a library of my own but in the meantime, I collect pictures of shelves and pretty libraries. My favorite’s the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. 

2. Fairytales

With the current renaissance in fairy tale retelling, it’s easy to take this genre of literature for granted. But I love studying these. Their age means they hark back to some very primal parts of human desire - good and evil, rewarding the worthy, etc. - but it also means they may teach morals that are counterintuitive/just plain wrong in today’s society. 

Does the Little Mermaid glorify female abuse? Is Red Riding Hood veiled sexual assault? Is Frozen sexist? We need to think about these issues, because blindly retelling these stories means perpetuating them. But for what it’s worth Hollywoods fairytale retelling culture means the literature and interest in meta-folklore is expanding, and it’s something that both excites and worries me. 

3. I’m cheating on this, but Art Nouveau. 

I’m in love with Horta-style architecture, especially using warm colors and spirally zig-zags. And I know it’s a cliche, but I love Mucha style illustrations, especially the circle halos he’s so famous for. 

But (if I’m allowed a personal pet peeve) Mucha-style redraws for female characters (i.e. Disney Princesses, pop culture geek icons, etc.) are really overdone. We need more Mucha-style men, or Mucha-style Extreme Dinosaurs. I could get behind that. 

fic: North of the Winds, West of the Wilds (Chapter 3)

Pairing: Hiccup Horrendous Haddock/Jack Frost

Fandoms: Rise of the Guardians/How to Train Your Dragon

Rating: PG-13 (liable to change)

Summary: When Jack was fifteen, he freed a dragon caught in a trap. When he was eighteen, the dragon came to him and took him to a kingdom believed to no longer exist, deep within the mountains where no human could climb. A kingdom where he was to be a companion to a prince who never showed his face and only appeared to him when the sun set, a prince who offered to fulfill all of Jack’s family’s needs, and Jack accepted.

A fragile trust broken, Jack must go right his wrongs and seek aid from the only ones who can take him to a land a mere human could not go; the four winds.

A retelling of the Norse fairy tale, “East of the Sun, and West of the Moon.

Previous Chapter / Chapter 3

(this chapter got so long god why do i hate myself okay ENJOY EVERYONE GOODNIGHT)

Fairy Tale Fridays is a weekly feature here on Dame’s Book Nook highlighting everything mythological and folkloric in the book world. This can be everything from anthologies, retellings, poetry, or nonfiction. 

The Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar

Find it on: 

From Book Depository: 

This Norton Critical Edition collects forty-four fairy tales, from the fifth century to the present. The Classic Fairy Tales focuses on six tale types: “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Snow White,” “Cinderella,” “Bluebeard,” and “Hansel and Gretel,” and presents multicultural variants and sophisticated literary rescriptings. Also reprinted are tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Oscar Wilde. “Criticism” gathers twelve essays that interpret aspects of fairy tales, including their social origins, historical evolution, psychological drama, gender issues, and national identities. A Selected Bibliography is included. 

This is an amazing little collection of essays, tales, and retellings filled with a wide variety of opinions, stories, and characters. I can honestly say that this is one of the books that inspired me to look deeper into the study of the fairy tale and how it shapes so many cultures. But it doesn’t just have that. It also has retellings from the likes of Angela Carter, Roald Dahl, and more. Reading this book leaves you both entertained and enlightened about such an integral part of literature, and I honestly recommend it for everyone, not just fairy tale lovers.
Dean S. Fansler's Philippine Folk Tale: Maria And The Golden Slipper
Dean S. Fansler's Short Story: Maria And The Golden Slipper. Read online

I’ve seen people on here debate over whether or not Disney can make non-European versions of fairy tales, the main reasoning against them being “Disney mostly adapts fairy tales that are only in/from Europe.”

However, fairy tales can evolve and change over time, and this story is a good example. It’s a Filipino version of “Cinderella,” taking elements primarily from the Brothers Grimm. Even more intriguing to me is the setting; is it in the Philippines? Spain? Some mishmash of both countries? Either way, this is a good example of how a fairy tale’s setting can be vague enough to be reset anywhere.

By the way, I’m still waiting for a Filipino Disney Princess, just saying.

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix BOOK REVIEW

Spoiler Free. Trust Me. 

Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of those authors who are unnoticed but absolutely amazing and talented. I read, Among the Hidden (1st book in Shadow Children series), Found (1st book in the Missing series), and now Just Ella (first book in The Palace Chronicles). I highly recommend any and every book by her because they are incredible. 

Just Ella is a fairy-tale retelling about Cinderella. In this retelling there is the no magic, no fairy godmother, no friendly mice, but the absolute gravity and reality of Ella’s situation. The book takes place two months after the ball when Ella is living at the palace for preparation to be Prince Charming’s wife. It should be a fairy-tale, a dream, but only to Ella it’s seems to be a ridiculous nightmare. 

It’s a wonderful, hilarious, and truthful take on the Cinderella story. It is so good! Ella is not the average heroine. She wasn’t kick-ass, she wasn’t fragile, she was just Ella. A normal smart girl, deciding what she wants out of her life. The writing style is like a dream, very simple, but very good. Most of the story plot line feels like a childhood fairy-tale, but when it got to the end the plot line becomes quite mature. It’s a nice show of progression.

Weirdly, Just Ella, is a trilogy. I’m very excited to pick up the next book, Palace of Mirrors, because I have zero clue how this story can continue. I trust Haddix to break my every-sequel-is-awful streak I have been experiencing, lately. Five out of five stars. I recommend this to any person who grew up reading Cinderella, because this would change your view of the story completely! 


If anyone else read Just Ella, we need to talk about this story, right now!

anonymous asked:

I recommend The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! it's such a fantastic series, it's action-packed, has romance but the romance does not overpower the overall plot of the series! it's also fairy tale retellings! 10/10 would recommend

Thank you soo much!! <3

Book Recommendation Help!

Hey guys, I need your help!

I’m trying to make a list of books that feature awesome Middle Reader/YA female characters for a blog post I’m doing. They don’t have to be the main protagonist, but if you know of any books that you could add to the list, please let me know! I wanted to make a list for girls who want books about diverse heroines they can look up to. I’m hoping to get characters from different types of backgrounds and with different strengths. Feminine, masculine, big or small, warriors or not, I would love to know of books that have women in a variety of roles.  I would appreciate any input!

Here’s what I have so far: 

Middle Reader/YA Books - Fantasy

Throne of Glass (series) by Sarah J. Maas

Graceling, Fire, & Bitterblue (companion books) by Kristin Cashore

Song of the Lioness (series) by Tamora Pierce

Immortals (series) by Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small (series) by Tamora Pierce

Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce

Beka Cooper (series) by Tamora Pierce

The Circle of Magic (series) by Tamora Pierce

The Winner’s Curse (series) by Marie Rutoski

The Demon King (series) by Cinda Williams Chima

Cold Magic (Spritwalker Trilogy) by Kate Elliott

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (series) by Laini Taylor

Rook by Sharon Cameron

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series) by Rick Riordan

An Ember in the Ashes (series) by Sabaa Tahir

Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen (series) by Garth Nix

The Cadet of Tildor (series) by Alex Lidell

Artemis Fowl (series) by Eoin Colfer

Inkheart (series) by Cornelia Funke

Poison Study (series) by Maria V. Snyder

The Cry of the Icemark (series) by Stuart Hill

Court Duel/Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

A Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Queen’s Thief (series) by Megan Whalen Turner

Eon (series) by Allison Goodman

The Hunger Games (series) by Suzie Collins

The Merchant of Death (series) by D.J. MacHale

YA Books – Paranormal

Vampire Academy (series) by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines (series) by Richelle Mead

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Series) by Cassandra Clare

Middle Reader/YA Books – Fairy Tale Retellings

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter (Lunar Chronicles series) by Marissa Meyer

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

The Wrath and the Dawn (series) by Renee Ahdieh

Book Review: The Beast’s Garden

Author: Kate Forsyth

Publication date: August 3, 2015 [ Random House Australia Pty Ltd]
Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction (World War II, Nazi Germany), Fairy Tale Retelling (Grimm’s Beauty and the Beast), Adult Literature, POC Characters, LGBT Characters, Disabled Characters
Pages: 512
Rating: 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⚡️


Ava fell in love the night the Nazis first showed their true nature to the world .’ A retelling of the Grimm’s Beauty and The Beast, set in Nazi Germany.It’s August 1939 in Germany, and Ava’s world is in turmoil. To save her father, she must marry a young Nazi officer, Leo von Löwenstein, who works for Hitler’s spy chief in Berlin. However, she hates and fears the brutal Nazi regime, and finds herself compelled to stand against it. Ava joins an underground resistance movement that seeks to help victims survive the horrors of the German war machine. But she must live a double life, hiding her true feelings from her husband, even as she falls in love with him. Gradually she comes to realise that Leo is part of a dangerous conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. As Berlin is bombed into ruins, the Gestapo ruthlessly hunt down all resistance and Ava finds herself living hand-to-mouth in the rubble of the shell-shocked city. Both her life and Leo’s hang in the balance. Filled with danger, intrigue and romance, The Beast’s Garden, a retelling of the Grimm brothers’ ‘Beauty and The Beast’, is a beautiful, compelling love story set in a time when the world seemed on the brink of collapse.


I received an advanced reader’s copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What got me interested in reading this novel is it combines historical fiction and fairy tale retelling, which are currently two genres I’m very into reading this year, so my excitement to find both in one novel was just immense and it did not disappoint.

Since the historical setting is World War 2 in Nazi Germany, I was worried putting a Beauty and the Beast twist on it will cheapen and trivialize that time period, but I was glad to be proven wrong. The fairy tale retelling part of the story is very sublimely and elegantly woven in, it’s not heavy handed, even when the protagonist breaks fourth wall and references tale plenty of times. It is also not the Beauty and the Beast that we are more familiar with, though the recognizable elements are there, but it is based more on the Grimm Brother’s  The Singing, Springing Lark.

I would have given this novel a full five stars if I haven’t read Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See earlier this year, which I think has a stronger prose. This is novel has more a thriller feel to it in terms of writing, and less lyrical, but captivating nonetheless.

This novel reminds me also of the movie Titanic, in the sense that the main characters are fictional, but everyone else are based on real people. Even Hitler and Himmler were actual characters here instead as ominous beings at all times, but it doesn’t make them sympathetic. Most of the plot points are also based on real events, the rise and fall of Hitler ( it’s fascinating how at first everyone though Hitler was a joke at the beginning, almost like Donald Trump, but then that quickly changes when his evilness was inflicted onto Germany and the rest of the world), the numerous attempts on Hitler’s life, Operation Valkyrie, the mass deportation of Jews, etc.

The beast in this novel is Leo, who’s a spy for the Nazi, and if there’s a concern this is one of those novels who makes Nazis sympathetic or romanticizes them, that’s not accurate to this novel. This novel didn’t shy away from the evils of Nazis, didn’t make excuses for them, depicted the sufferings and injustices towards Jews, ghetto and camp stories were told from the perspective of the Jewish characters, nothing was sugarcoated. But this novel was mainly told from the perspective of those part of the underground resistance in Germany against the Nazis and Hitler, which Leo and Ava were a part of, separately then together.

Ava, our main protagonist, while she is not Jewish, she is suspected to be half-Gypsy, which puts her in danger of being deported so she marries Leo for protection, and ends up falling for him. She is a real badass, but she doesn’t have a YA heroine’s special snowflake-ness, she had nothing to go with but her courage and her resiliency, and her conviction to stand up for what is right and save her loved ones. 

Aside from Ava, there are also other compelling female characters in this novel, some you’ll really hate for remaining loyal to Hitler, some you’ll really admire for fighting against the Nazis and for surviving. What I like about this novel is plenty of times and especially in the end, it’s the women who saves the men. While this is fictional, women are so often erased in history, that at least in this novel, their efforts are celebrated. While Ava and Jutta and Libertas might not be real people, there were plenty of women who were like them who did what they have done and more in that period and throughout history. 

I highly recommend this book, it’s both educational as well as captivating.

nerds-and-novels asked:

If you want a good sci-fi read, I highly suggest looking into the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Sci-fi retellings of fairy tales (like Cinderella and Rapunzel) with kick-ass characters (most of whom are female and POC), great writing, the works. I've also heard great things about the Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman, the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown, and the Proxy duology by Alex London, just to name a couple. But that's just my thought, you do you. Thanks!

Thank you! Some of those books are on my tbr but..

If I am to read sci-fi, I will not read YA. As much as I love YA, it’s not the kind of sci-fi I want.

I‘ve been writing for years, but I’m finally beginning to grasp what I’m all about

If you look at any piece of fiction I’ve written or am writing, it will probably include at least three of these:

  • pacific northwest gothic
  • queer as default sexuality
  • solarpunk
  • the inverse of space opera (sci-fi themes and plots in fantasy settings)
  • cults. so. many. fucking. cults.
  • fairy tale retellings
A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Book Review

I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all. ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Goodreads Synopsis: A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore. When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a…

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