Best of 2017 So Far

2017 has been a decent reading year so far, but I felt that while I read a lot of good books – I haven’t read as many exceptional books this year. All of the books that ended up on this list are very special and memorable to me.

Best of 2017 First Half

The list also came a bit later than usual because my reading life skyrocketed with a couple of excellent reads in June – so I had to wait until I finished them to complete the post. It’s still missing a couple of books I started in June, but completed in July – but you’ll find out all about them at the end of this year ūüėČ

2017 Top 01

Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap: I read this novella at the turning of the new year, and it touched me on such a personal level. Magical Girls is one of the tropes I grew up consuming and loving, and in Hurricane Heels it gets such a visceral and modern treatment. The book is filled with complicated friendships between girls trying to juggle their momentous destiny with daily life. Continue reading “Best of 2017 So Far”

Fairy Tale Retelling Masterpost: PART 2

fairy-tale

Find Part 1 (Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Red Riding Hood) HERE.


Cinderella

Cinderella
From The Art of Cinderella

One of the most popular fairy tale of all time. Of course it would be: who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches and make over story!

  • Ash by Malinda Lo: ¬†Cinderella falls in love with the Prince’s Huntress instead of the Prince.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer: ¬†The first of the Lunar Chronicles series: ¬†Linh lives in a futuristic world called New Beijing, and she’s half a cyborg! Highly recommended.
  • Bound by Donna Jo Napoli: ¬†The story is retold in a new setting: ancient China.
  • Ash and Brambles by Sarah Prineas: ¬†Pin is a seamstress, forced by the fairy godmother to create ball gowns worthy of those fairy tales. A story on agency and freedom, released in September 2015.
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: ¬†A classic, Ella is cursed into obedience, but she still finds ways to rebel.
  • Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George: Part of her Twelve Dancing Princesses series. Poppy is the main character, and she finds herself in the middle of a plot schemed by the Fairy Godmother.
  • Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge:¬†A dark novella from¬†the author of Cruel Beauty. ¬†Neither the Cinderella or her prince believes in love. Maia had to pretend to be happy her whole life, as her dead mother made a terrible bargain with the kingdom’s most evil force: any who hurts Maia will be punished by this curse.
  • Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott: ¬†Apparently marketed as Cinderella meets Memoirs of a Geisha. Suzume is trained in the art of shadow-weaving and assumes¬†multiple identities.

Continue reading “Fairy Tale Retelling Masterpost: PART 2”

The Fairy Tale Retelling Masterpost: PART 1

fairy-tale

I’ve always been a great fan of fairy tales, whether it be in told through books or Disney movies or comics. ¬†These stories have always been ubiquitous, inspiring generations of writers time and again. ¬†I love a well-done retelling as it refreshes the classic theme to capture a modern audience. However, 2015 is particularly swept up with this fairy tale retelling charm, I can barely keep track of my to-be-read/to-be-watched list. ¬†Below is a list of all the books¬†I have read or hope to read, sorted by tales for your perusal! ¬†I hope someone else also finds this helpful.

Note: ¬†I was inspired to make this post after reading Mishma’s post on book trends on Chasing Faerytales. ¬†I thought that fairy tales, like other trends, aren’t just a passing phase. ¬†They’ve always been around, but it’s our luck that they’re extra prolific on this year’s catalogue of books!

EDIT:  This turned out a longer post than I anticipated, so I will use my authority as blogmistress to declare this Part One of Many.  Featured today are the tales of Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Red Riding Hood and The Little Mermaid.


Snow White

fairy tale retelling, snow white, young adult books
Art by James Jean, Fables Comic.

I’ve always been a little bit creeped out by the tale of Snow White. ¬†I blame this primarily on¬†the dwarves in the Disney version. ¬†It’s¬†also due to the idea of a prince falling in love with a corpse he sees in the forest. ¬†The way the evil queen hounds her in the original version was also dark and twisted – what with poisoned comb and suffocating ribbons.

  • Nameless by Lili St. Crow: An urban fantasy revolving around Cami, the adopted daughter of a mafia lord in a magic-ridden world. ¬†Not sure how this is related to Snow White, but it’s been marketed as such. Plus, bonus pretty cover!
  • Fairest by Gail Carson Levine: ¬†This Snow White isn’t physically beautiful, it’s her magical voice that captivates the prince and enrages the evil Queen.
  • Fairest & Winter by Marissa Meyer: ¬†The Lunar Chronicles series is one big fairy tale story, connecting many beloved princesses. Fairest is a novella that zones in on Queen Levana, whereas we will see Winter feature our dark-skinned Snow White.
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman: ¬†This one mixes Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. ¬†I want it because i) Neil Gaiman! ii) promises of princesses who rescue¬†themselves and iii) the illustrations (by Chris Riddell) that have been floating around the internet are drop dead gorgeous.
  • The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman: ¬† Nag’s End, Rowan’s tranquil village, is thrown into chaos and confusion when five horsemen rides off into the forest and are later found dead. ¬†The book has very polarising reviews, but I’m still interested in checking it out as it seems like a creepy, dark fantasy.
  • Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente: ¬†The protagonist is labelled ‘Snow White’ by her stepmother as an insult, she’s half-native American, so her skin will never be the colour of snow. ¬†This is a mix between Western + fantasy, I do not like Westerns but I do love Catherynne Valente, so I’m very interested in this title.
  • Mirrored by Alex Flinn: ¬†Tbh I was not impressed by Alex Flinn’s take on Beauty & the Beast. ¬†Nonetheless, this version of Snow White focus on the protege of the witch – I love baddies as protagonist so I might have to give this a whirl.
  • Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi: ¬†This book is narrated by the stepmother, her stepdaughter, and her biological daughter. ¬†It’s set in a world without magic and brings up questions about race and identity using the familiar mirror as a symbol. ¬†Again, it has mixed reviews, but it sounds very intriguing!
  • Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis: ¬†Snow White in space, fixing drones in sub-zero temperature. ¬†Where do I sign up?
  • Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Macguire: I confess to never having read any of his books, but I thought he should be included as he’s such a prolific writer of these retellings. It appears to be a cross between historical fiction starring the Borgias & Snow White.
  • Snow, Glass, Apple by Neil Gaiman: A fun short story from the stepmother’s POV, with Snow White as a vampire.
  • White as Snow by Tanith Lee: ¬†A dark retelling of Snow White, with elements of Demeter & Persephone from beloved Greek myths. ¬†Thanks to Glaiza of Paper Wanderer¬†for this recommendation.

Continue reading “The Fairy Tale Retelling Masterpost: PART 1”