All About Books Book Review

Fairy Tale Retellings: Yay or Nay?

We grew up hearing and reading Fairy tales. Even if most of them are prejudistic and misogynistic, fairy tales has a certain charm associated with it. The beautiful Palaces, gorgeous Princesses, chivalrous Prince Charmings, Fairy Godmothers, Witches, Goblins and Magic! However, given a chance, wouldn’t you want to rewrite some of the popular fairytales? I would most definitely want to change the ‘damsel-in-distress’ themes to I-can-look-after-myself storyline.

Hundreds of Fairy tale retellings do exist and here are few of my favorites and most anticipated reads of 2019.


Based on Cinderella

Cinder and The Lunar Chronicles

Marissa Meyer’s Cinder has Cinderella revamped! Imagine a badass cyborg Cinderalla in New Beijing, China! Our heroine, Cinder, is a mechanic. She fixes Prince Kai’s android and the romance begins. She is brought up by an evil stepmother (duh!) and has two step-sisters of which one adores her and the other loathes her. As the story progress, we come to know that the world is suffering from a deadly disease and the only hope is making an alliance with the evil Lunar queen.

Cinder isn’t a stand-alone book. It is a series with the name The Lunar Chronicles. If you want to read sci-fi romance with a feisty heroine, pick this one up! The other books in the series are Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, and Winter based on Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White! Ah, I should read these ones as well.

All the Ever Afters:

There are many fairy tale retellings based on Cinderella of which the book ‘All the Ever Afters’ by Danielle Teller is my favorite. I’m only halfway through the book but the plot had me intrigued. This retelling of the Cinderella story is from the evil stepmother – Agnes’s point of view. What I love the most about this book is the inclusion of parts of the original story in the most surprising of ways. The writing style is beautiful and the story flows smoothly. It is fascinating to read the other side of the popular story and I must say, I picked up this book for its rave reviews and stunning book cover! What a beauty!

Ella Enchanted:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine is a Newbery Honor book which was later remade into a movie. The book and movie are poles apart, so do not dare compare the two. Ella was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. But was that really a gift? Imagine this:

“Ella, hold your tongue!”

Screenshot from the movie

Now you know what I mean. It was sort of the curse of compulsion and Ella couldn’t deny any orders given to her. So, Ella embarks on an adventure to find a way to break the curse. This books is packed with lots of fun and adventure. A romance is definitely in order and a happily ever after is a given!


One of the most anticipated YA reads of the year, Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly claims that it is a feminist retelling of Cinderella with Isabella, the ugly stepsister, the protagonist. I can’t wait to read this book!

Based on Beauty and the Beast

A Curse So Dark and Lonely:

Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely was one of the most anticipated reds of the year. It has been making the rounds on Bookstagram for a while now and I too have a copy of this gorgeous book with a holographic cover. It’s a stunner! Alas, I couldn’t read it as I am traveling this month.

Prince Rhen of Emberhall is cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth over and over again where he could be saved only if a girl falls for him. However, he turns into a beast and destroys everyone who holds him dear. Harper Lacy tries to save someone in Washington but finds herself in Rhen’s cursed world. Will she be able to save Rhen? And herself?

Based on Alice in Wonderland


Here’s another book by Marissa Meyer! Heartless is a prequel to the classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Heartless is an epic retelling of Alice in Wonderland, with the focus being on The Queen of Hearts. It is the villain’s story before she became the notorious Queen of Hearts and that itself is intriguing enough for me. Lying on my Kindle, I am hoping to read this book before the month ends.

Based on The Little Mermaid

The Surface Breaks:

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’ Neill is a feminist retelling of the Little Mermaid. Gaia, our little mermaid lives in a patriarchial kingdom where for mermaids, it is important only to have beauty and not brains. The women are oppressed and powerless. When you read this book, you cannot help but ponder over how we can very much relate to the present world. I have a few favorite lines from the book like below.

“I will flay the skin from the bones of men like my father. I will tear them apart and I will eat them raw. Oh, I will set them on fire and devour their ashes whole… I will have my vengeance.”

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That’s all for now!
Have you read any fairytale retelling? Which is your favorite? Let me know.
I hope you’ll drop by tomorrow too.

My theme for the A to Z Challenge this year is ‘Celebrating the Bibliophile in me’, where I would share the books, authors and fictional characters that I love, loathe and tolerate.
Ah, there could be more!
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P. S: Do you want to treat yourself with a multitude of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from the Spice Capital of the World? Check out my food blog for some tantalizing recipes from Kerala.


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