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January 21, 2012

Opinions, Thoughts, Ramblings: Modern retellings

Hey guys! so i'm starting a weekly sort of event/post on the blog to basically discuss anything book related that has been on my mind lately or something I just want your opinion and thoughts about. I am going to try posting every saturday, but to be realistic, I'm keeping it as a bi-monthly post. 

We've seen many retellings of past fairytales, past literary works to Greek methodology that we hold dearly to our hearts. Do we want the industry to head in the direction of retellings, or have we had enough of it all together, or just of a particular "fairytale" or "literary work"? 
I for one used to get really excited when I find a novel that is a retelling, especially if it is the retelling but with a twist, or through reading it I won't be able to predict everything that happens. I mean, who would want to read a book that keeps you constantly comparing between the original and the one you're reading. Especially if its based on a book that you love and have read countless times? 
I am going to start off by introducing a past Fairytale/literary work and showing any retellings of it.

oh yes, we're talking about the big ones here, while she's no Shakespeare, Jane Austen has captured the hearts of millions (whether in the past or present), and one of them is mine. I absolutely am in love with Jane Austen's books. She is the queen of Literary fiction in my opinion, and the publishing world seems to agree. There are so many retellings of Pride and Prejudice, that there are never a shortage of them. 
Pride and prejudice retellings seem to be a popular one. All of those have been released in 2011 with the except of Mandy Hubbard's Prada and Prejudice. What sets them apart? It's like a signature perfume, something that sets you from everyone else. I feel that sometimes the retellings are only just that, a direct retelling in a modern world. No extra flavor from the author that gives the readers something different from what they expected. 
Personally I've only completed Prada and Prejudice and I liked how the author had the whole time traveling concept embedded in the story. This makes the story memorable and not just a copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. There are other Pride and Prejudice retellings I've read and stopped, and some I haven't had the chance to read, but some of the ones I didn't like, my friends adored, so this is totally a perspective thing.

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

While Pride and Prejudice has gained a handful of retellings, some other Jane Austen books have had the honor to. We've got Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Alibi. Those are in the young adult genre. I've also seen some others in the adult fiction genre. There is also Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliette and Hamlet. Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, and Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Ofcourse there are other retellings by many respectable authors, but those are the ones that caught my eye. 
From the synopsis I've read of some of these books and I'm actually excited for a few. Juliet Immortal isn't the happily ever after, scratch that, Romeo and Juliet wasn't a happy ending, but at least we knew they loved each other to death (literally). Which is why I really liked the idea behind Stacey Jay's Juliet Immortal. As for Northanger Alibi, it isn't just a retelling of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, but also has a mix of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, so all you twilight fans, you might enjoy this!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer 

I am a huge fan of retellings of fairytales. Has anyone seen Tangled? the ADORABLE retelling of Rapunzel? There are so many fairytales that I would squeal from happiness if I found out hollywood or even the book publishing world are thinking of retelling

1. Mulan
2. Pocahontas
3. Snow White
4. The Little Mermaid
5. Anastasia 

 *Just spent around 30 minutes re-watching some of my favorite parts in these movies
Ok back to the point. We all grew up watching the fairytales and wishing we were the lucky ones, Cinderella (post maid phase), Snow White (post death phase), and even The Little Mermaid. I would honestly love to see more retellings of fairytales because every one of us still holds a bit of his/her childhood and hence those fairytales.  
Shadows Out The Moon by Zoe Marriott isn't your typical cinderella story, because this cinderella isn't satisfied with the happy ending, she wants revenge. As for Sweet Venom, it talks about the Medusa girls. Basically the descendants of Medusa.  The newest addition to the retellings is Marissa Meyer's Cinder, which is a retelling of, you guessed it, Cinderella, but set in the Cyborg world, which is pretty epic! 

 All in all I am liking the new direction of the retellings, especially the ones for the paranormal/dystopian/sci-fi genres. They usually have just enough of the actual original story but mix it up with different ideas and plots that keep the readers anticipating what might happen next without already knowing how it would end. 


  1. I had never actually realized there were so many modern Pride and Prejudice retellings! I haven't read any of those, but I imagine it would be difficult for each book to stand out among the group. The author would almost certainly have to ensure they have written a retelling that is completely unique, which is a difficult thing to do as the retelling are all based on the same basic story. But I reckon if an author DOES manage to pull it off, then retellings can be great reads. My favorite retellings are probably those based on greek mythology but I do enjoy fairy-tale retellings, too.

  2. Great post! I love retellings also; I don't think I've read one I didn't like. Also, I love that picture of the Disney princesses dressed up as their villains! :)

  3. I've just started reading fairy tale retellings. So far I think I'm a fan. I read Cinder, it was imaginative and creative. Now I'm reading Beasty. I LOVE it!

  4. I like re-tellings It's fun to see how an Author add thier spin. It's so papoular with shows like Once Upon A Time and Grimm, not to mention those two Snow White films.

    I can't wait to read Cinder though !

    1. ooh yes! i like Once Upon A TIme, and yea i can't wait to read cinder because it seems to have a totally different spin on cinderella :D

      - juhina