Yesterday I reviewed Michelle Diener’s The Golden Apple, an adult re-telling of a Norwegian fairy tale and I’m kinda loving the theme at the moment. I recently finished Marissa Meyer’s Cress and Stacey did a review of Cinder, the first book in that futuristic series. So fairy tales are on the brain.
I love what authors are doing with fairy tale re-tellings right now. There are so many inventive tales out there and a few forth coming. Look at Marissa Meyer’s series, she’s got a Cinderella cyborg, a genetically modified wolf hunting down Little Red, and Rapunzel’s tower is a space station. This is amazing and unique. And it is why I love fairy tale re-tellings. Authors can take the bare bones of a story and make something completely new and reach a whole new audience. This is an amazing thing.
Why are re-tellings popular? There are re-tellings for all ages. Picture books for kids, and novels for kids to adults. I think this appeals to many because it brings a sense of nostalgia to the reader. Most people on the Western side of the world has grown up with some exposure to fairy tales, whether they be in school or a storytime or reading with your parents, or even through Disney. So, when you pick up a re-telling it’s a little like going back in time and getting those warm and fuzzy feelings. Of course, with these re-tellings, we soon learn that there are a lot of dark elements that we didn’t see as a kid and we’re able to take a look at the tale in a new way. There is not always singing dishware, my friends. But, this is what I like about reading re-tellings as an adult. I like comparing it to what I remember, I like seeing a different spin on a common tale.
Personally, my favourite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast. Loved the Disney version of it as a kid and I will read anything that has that beauty vs. beast trope going in it. It works fantastically in the romance genre whether it be contemporary, historical or fantasy. I love that it’s just that versatile. Many of the fairy tales out there work the same way. They are generally simple stories, which lend them perfectly to adaptation. So what’s your favourite fairy tale to be re-imagined?
As for other books out there, I’m not going to write out an exhaustive list of fairy tale re-tellings. So many people have done this, and Goodreads has an excellent list. And Epic Reads created an AMAZING chart of YA Retellings that I think is so cool. They don’t just focus on the fairy tales, but broaden their scope to other re-tellings that authors like to re-visit. So have a look, and add some great books to your to-read pile!
The one thing that I wish there were more of is adult fairy tale re-tellings. It seems that there are so many cool new versions for teens and kids, but I want something with a little bit more mature content. Don’t get me wrong, I love YA, but I would like to read a good fairy tale re-telling that has an adult feel – this one of the problem’s that I had with yesterday’s read. I’m putting out a request – if you have a adult fairy tale recommendation, I’d love to hear about it. But remember, I must have a happy ending!