Saturday, April 12, 2014

{Birthday Blogaversary Bash} The One Who Fangirls Over Retellings

We meet again, lovely people. Today, I am excited to have Meredith from Pandora's Books fangirling over something I am absolutely obsessed with as well...retellings!  If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely LOVE retellings, especially mythology and fairy tales. So, let's give Meredith a warm welcome!

There aren't many things I fangirl over. So when I DO fangirl over something, it’s because it’s epic. Today, I’m going to discuss one of the things I fangirl over: Retellings in young adult books. There are so many different types of retellings – based on mythology (Greek, Indian, Egyptian), fairy tales, classics, etc. I could go on and on. It doesn't matter what kind of retelling it is, I usually love it.

Greek Mythology Retellings:

I was in fifth or sixth grade when we first started studying Greek mythology in school and I fell in love with it. I've been fascinated with the original myths ever since, but I also love reading modern takes and retellings. Two of my favorite Greek myths are Persephone and Pandora’s Box (Hence my blog name!). I've read some amazing Persephone retellings – Meg Cabot and Brodi Ashton are just two authors who have done great jobs bringing this intriguing myth – about Hades and the Underworld – into modern day.

One of my all-time favorite authors, Heather Lyons, recently released a Medusa retelling. If you love Greek Mythology, I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s full of awesome and bursting with Greek mythology, not just Medusa.

I haven’t stumbled on any Pandora’s Box retellings, though, so if anyone knows of any, please feel free to share that with me in the comments!

Not a fan of Greek Mythology? That’s okay! Check out Amalie Howard’s The Alpha Goddess – it’s Indian mythology and it’s so amazing, I re-read it immediately after finishing it! (Literally... I finished it late at night on March 6 and re-read it right after on March 7).

Want to continue branching out? Kiersten White wrote The Chaos of Stars, which has Egyptian mythology. I was always intrigued by Egyptian Mythology, but never went out of my way to read retellings with it – until this book. The first half was a little slow, but the twists and revelations in the second half of the book will make your eyes bug out!

Fairy Tale Retellings:

I was a big fan of Disney and the Disney Princesses. They were all based on fairy tales, myths and legends. So I started off, at a young age, loving those things. Not to mention the fact that fairy tale retellings are also plentiful in the YA book community and I've read some wickedly amazing ones lately – like The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. The Lunar Chronicles is based on several fairy tales and includes a retelling of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White.

One retelling I read recently that merged Greek mythology with fairy tales was Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. While I didn't enjoy the book, I LOVED the combined retelling. It focused on the Persephone myth and the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. (Aside from Rachel here--I LOVED Cruel Beauty. But then, you should have already known that.)

Classic Retellings:

Recently, I've stumbled upon a lot of retellings based on classics like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. Now, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t read the original Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz. I do own them (I swear, I can send pictures as proof!) but I just haven’t gotten to them yet. But I grew up on movies, television shows and the kiddie versions of the books.

When I was growing up, Disney had a live-action version of Alice in Wonderland. I loved it so much! I also devoured the movie with Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp. Frank Beddor wrote an incredible retelling back in 2006, but I hadn't read any amazing retellings recently.... Until I discovered the INCREDIBLY TALENTED A.G. (Anita) Howard and her book, Splintered. Best Alice in Wonderland Retelling EVER. Seriously.. The world of Wonderland is creepily re-imagined and ... MORPHEUS. Yeah... MORPHEUS. Also, Jeb. Because even though I’m 100% Team Morpheus, I still like Jeb – And even if you hate love triangles, you will LOVE this one. Anita is just that amazing a writer.

Also in 2015? Marissa Meyer (previously mentioned for her Lunar Chronicles fairy tale retelling series) will be releasing a book called Heartless - “A prequel to ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ HEARTLESS will tell the tale of how a marquis’ teenage daughter became the infamous Queen of Hearts,” (From Goodreads). Umm..... SIGN ME UP!

With The Wizard of Oz, obviously I've seen the 1939 Judy Garland movie. I loved it as a kid – devoured it, honestly. I also loved, loved, LOVED the 1985 “sequel” with Fairuza Balk. This was an intriguing, darker story. Dorothy returns to Oz to find that it’s a broken mess. Honestly, Return to Oz is really what sparked my interest in Oz retellings. Seeing that darker, slightly less than kid friendly version of things? So, of course, I've been hoping for an epic retelling in book form – and I finally got what I wanted with Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die. I’m currently reading it - I’m about 200 pages in and I LOVE IT TO PIECES. So, so, so much fangirling over this book so far. A darker Oz, Dorothy as the villain and every character you thought you knew... is nothing like they should be. Also, this is a trilogy! So, that’s an even bigger win!

Another classic retelling I've read – and loved – recently? Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes. It’s a modern retelling of Oliver Twisted with computer hackers. Sold? Sold! It was amazing and I loved it so much. I haven’t read Oliver Twist, but Vivi did a beautiful job of maintaining aspects of the classic without making it confusing for those who haven’t read it.

Other Notable Retellings:

Remember how I said I loved all retellings? That includes King Arthur/Merlin retellings, like Melissa de la Cruz’s recent release, The Ring and The Crown. It had magic, historical elements and epic characters.

Have you read anything by Claudia Gray? She wrote a story called Fateful. Guys, it’s the Titanic... and werewolves!!! Read it!!

So, case-in-point: Retellings are epic and will always intrigue me! I find them fascinating and I highly recommend you guys check out any (or ALL) of the books I mentioned in this post. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed!

Now, share with me: Have you read any of the above? What did you think? And if you haven’t, do any of the above intrigue you? Which ones are you adding to your TBR??

Thank you, Meredith, for that awesome post! One of my absolute always favorites is the Percy Jackson series, as well as the spin-off, Heroes of Olympus. I will basically read anything Rick Riordan writes. He also has an Egyptian mythology series, The Kane Chronicles. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen is an amazing Robin Hood retelling. One that I feel doesn't get as much attention is Kenneth Oppel's The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, which I love. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake is worth mentioning as well. And since I could be here for days listing awesome retellings that you should read, why don't I just redirect you to the awesome infographic that EpicReads made.

And Meredith has been kind enough to give away an ARC of The Here and Now by Ann Brasheres! So, thank her profusely and enter below! And if you haven't already, enter the Blind Date with a Book giveaways, which end in a few days!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. MORPHEUS is my name/your adoration cannot be blamed/join my minions and follow me/ best choice you'll ever make, honestly.

    <3 @MorphTheMoth

  2. I love Morph! #MothMinion forevah :) I've never heard of several of those retellings, so I'll be sure to add them to my goodreads! Thanks!