I wasn’t quite sure what to title this post, so this is what I’m going with. I love reading retellings, whether they are based on fairytales or classic novels. Saying that, most of them are soooo bad. But not all of them. Some of them, hidden under dusty piles of pages, are really good. So today I’m going to share with you a bad retelling, and then share a good retelling based on the same thing (or something similar).
I got this idea after reading Jane by April Lindner, which I read early on in this month and thoroughly enjoyed. I thought about how many retellings I’ve read, but how few I’ve actually liked.
As always, these are just my opinions. You may love some of the books I hated and hate some of the books I loved. Keep that in mind while you’re reading this post, and make sure to leave comments saying if you liked a book I disliked.
Both are different perspectives of Shakespeare plays (one of Hamlet and the other Macbeth). Both are told from the perspective of teen girls (one the lover of Hamlet and the other a ward of Macbeth). But for me, the former was boring and flat, while the latter was interesting and unique. It’s cool to see a young woman in the Macbeth household watch as the couple she considers as second parents absolutely loose their minds.
Beauty and the Beast
These are also both YA retellings (what is it with teen books and retellings?) and both came out when I was fourteen or so. But where the former seems boring and predictable, the latter was a really interesting and a unique way to retell the classic fairytale. The Princess and the Hound follows a prince with animal magic and a princess who has a hound (I’ll give you a hint, the prince and the hound have a lot in common). There is something incredibly serious and beautiful about the story. I actually really should reread it, because I haven’t read it in several years.
Sleeping Beauty vs. Snow White
Both of these came out when I was young and I read them soon after. A Kiss In Time is a Sleeping Beauty retelling, where the characters are frustrating and unrelatable. Fairest is a complex retelling of Snow White, where Gail Carson Levine (the same author of Ella Enchanted) creates an interesting twist on the original fairytale.
Northern European Fairytales
The first is based on a bunch of Russian fairytales, and I found it boring and disappointing after all the hype. The second is based on a Norwegian fairytale which is a bit similar to Beauty and the Beast. The fairytale is called “East of the Sun West of the Moon.” I grew up loving this book. And if you like East, I recommend Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George, which is based on the same fairytale and very similar. I just prefer East slightly more.
Have you read any of these books? What are some of the retellings you hate/love? I’m always looking for more novel retellings, both to read and to avoid! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,