Top Ten Tuesday: Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read (or you could do fairytales I want to be retold or fairytales I love)

Like most of us, I’ve read my fair share of fairy tale and myth retellings (just this year I’ve read Cinder, A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, The Wrath and the Dawn, The Darkest Part of the Forest, and Valiant – I’m probably forgetting some), and I loved them. But there are SO many out there I still want to read, so I’m just going to focus on retellings I WANT TO READ – ones that are already published and ones that are yet to be released. These are actually a mix of fairy tale, myth, and comic retellings. 🙂 *All covers linked to Goodreads*


Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson     Scarlet by Marissa Meyer     Splintered by A.G. Howard     Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

 The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler     The Artisans by Julie Reece


Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl     The Stars Turned Away by Lisa Maxwell     Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman     A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

What are your favorite retellings? Which ones are you looking forward to?

Book review: Valiant by Sarah McGuire (ARC)

Valiant by Sarah McGuireAuthor:  Sarah McGuire
Genre: Middle grade, fantasy, fairy tale retelling
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: April 28, 2015 (I thought it was June 9! That’s what Netgalley said. Oops)
384 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Egmont USA for letting me read this!

Saville hates the bolts of fabric that her father loves more than her. After Saville’s father moves her to Reggen, he becomes ill, and she must find a way to survive, even if her plan involves wearing boy’s clothes and using those hated bolts of fabric to gain a commission from the king. Life gets even crazier when giants, which are supposed to only be stories, come for Reggen. Saville tricks them into leaving, and as court gossip does, tales of her triumph quickly turn into stories of giant slaying. But will the tailor be able to save the whole kingdom especially when she never meant to be a champion?

This one had a slow start for me. I don’t think we had enough time to really connect with any of the characters before things started happening – events during which we were supposed to care for them. I actually wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish it, but suddenly, somewhere in the story (almost halfway, I’d say), I got hooked. I don’t know whether it was the giants, the insane, power-hungry Duke, Saville’s daring bravery, or the love interest. But whatever it was, I raced through the rest of the book in no time. However, while I enjoyed reading Valiant, I felt like a lot of it was filler. There was a decent amount of time waiting for something to happen or with Saville’s inner thoughts that felt unnecessary.

On the other hand, I loved the creativity and the story here. It’s a retelling of The Valiant Little Tailor, but Valiant was also really imaginative and a tale of its own. Saville is a great character: brave, smart, and independent. Occasionally, I felt that she changed her mind too quickly; a few times, time that she spent deciding/learning/growing (like the first few months creating clothes for the king) was skimmed over, which made it hard to connect to her and the story.

The bottom line: Valiant is the simple story of a girl who becomes a champion. It’s creative and (after the beginning) pretty entertaining. It was fun to read but not without its problems. I’d recommend it to those who love fairy tale retellings, particularly those fairy tales that are usually ignored.

Rating: 6 – good, but not great

DNF Review – Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross (ARC)

Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross is a Snow White retelling that was really intriguing at first, but I just couldn’t finish it. Reasons below.

Tear You Apart by Sarah CrossAuthor:  Sarah Cross

Genre: YA, fantasy, fairy tales, retellings

Publisher: Egmont USA

Publication Date: January 27, 2015

384 pages, hardcover

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Egmont USA for letting me read this.

Tear You Apart is set in a strange town called Beau Rivage that is full of the Cursed – people who’ve had curses places on them by malevolent fairies, each curse repeated over and over. So you have past Snow Whites and Cinderellas and Sleepy Beauties. It’s a seriously cool concept and I was really intrigued by it. Viv is a Snow White; she knows that her stepmother Regina (WHYYYY would you give her the same name as the OuaT queen??) will eventually order her best friend Henley (given the Huntsman curse) to kill her. I LOVED Beau Rivage, overflowing with curses and princesses and evil stepmothers. It reminded me of Storybrooke from Once Upon a Time, which was a plus. I could have really loved the fairy tale retellings but I couldn’t finish.

But there were a lot of things I didn’t like:

– The absolutely volatile relationship between Viv and Henley. Viv is jaded and horrible and she toys with Henley’s heart and if he were to want to kill her, she’d definitely be the reason why. She pushes him away for something he might do but then turns right around and cuddles with him. She got on my last nerve and is a big reason I stopped reading.

– I liked Henley at first – he was just trying to love Viv – but his obsession with her was creepy and weird.

– The darkness given to the story was really cool. BUT why does that have to come with abusive, clichéd relationships (can you say love triangle?)?? The characters are shallow and unlikeable on top of that. Strange that Tear You Apart has great world building and horrible characters.

I ended up taking a break from this book 50% of the way through to read something else in the hopes I’d want to finish it after. When I finished that book, I had no desire to pick Tear You Apart back up. And that right there is the reason I had to DNF this one at 50%. We all know that hardly ever happens for me, so I’m really sad about this. It’s also my first DNF review on the blog. I wanted to love this one so much, but I couldn’t do it.

I’m pretty sure I know what happens at the end anyway.

The bottom line: DNF’ed a 50%. I can definitely see some people liking this one. The retelling is interesting and Beau Rivage is a cool place. I just couldn’t get past the relationships and the MC.