The 10 Most Unique YA Fairytale Retellings – Book Edition

Since ‘Maleficent’ came out last month and is still running in theaters, I figured I’d honor the movie with a post about the most unusual – though not necessarily new – fairy tale retellings the YA book world has to offer; after all, ‘Maleficent’ is a retelling of the classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’. I myself haven’t watched the movie yet, but my brother gives it a thumbs up, which is good enough for me. So anyways, here we go!

10. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen




‘Scarlet’ is a wonderful retelling of Robinhood, though of course, the reason I read it was because there’s romance in it. It’s cool how Robin is exactly how you’d imagine him to be (albeit younger), and how unassuming he is when it comes to the ladies, for example, the tomboyish one dressed as a lad right under his nose!





9. Entwined by Heather Dixon




This book is a retelling of The 12 Dancing Princesses, and ‘Entwined’ was a wonderful portrayal of the story. The first time I heard about the plot in general was when I was watching the Barbie version, but this book really brought the story to life. Each book version of the age-old story is a little bit different, but this one was my favorite out of them all. I guess the pretty cover might be part of the reason…




8. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson




This is the one book on the list that I haven’t read, though I’ve been meaning to get to it. The cover is really pretty, and the synopsis sounds very intriguing. I’ve seen many positive reviews of the novel, one even claiming that “It was breathtaking. Intense. Beautiful. Dark and gothic. Thrilling. Scary. Heart-pounding.” If that doesn’t sound like this book will place an 8 on this list, then I don’t know what will.




7. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine




I think this is probably my second favorite of Gail’s novels. I love pretty much all but one of her books (Ever), but this one stuck out because it is a retelling of Snow White. However, instead of being the fairest in the land, she’s kind of the ugliest in the land. Similar to Snow White though, the main character is unimaginably kind. Add to that her beautiful voice, and she’s a great girl for any prince!




6 My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison




‘My Unfair Godmother’ is the second book in the My Fair Godmother series, and though the series is aimed more toward a younger age group, it’s a delightful read, and another unique take on the tales of Robinhood and Rumpelstiltskin. It’s not so much that the fairy tales are different, but the way they’re incorporated into the story. The whole idea of having a fairy godmother who messes up your life and gets you stuck in the weirdest fairy tales is something that everyone can laugh about.



5. The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry




Ever since I happened upon this title in the library, it’s been one of my favorite fairy tale retellings ever! This novel happens to be a retelling of Cinderella, but at the same time it’s just so different. We have the evil stepmother, as always, and also a prince, but what the original Cinderella didn’t include is a mysterious visitor, a jewelry shop, an Amaranth Witch, a spell, and a plot to avenge the death of a pair of beloved parents.



4. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine




‘Ella Enchanted’ is a Cinderella retelling that has been with me since forever, and it will always remain my favorite Cinderella retelling yet. It’s almost completely different from the Cinderella we know; in fact, when you think of ‘Ella Enchanted’, you don’t think of Cinderella, but Ella, and quite possibly Anne Hathaway. The novel is a classic in its own right, and this book would have been #1 on the list if it was based on favorites and not uniqueness.



3. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge




This is actually the first ‘Beauty and the Beast’ retelling I’ve read in my entire life, so of course it made the list. Not only that, but the story is quite different from the Disney classic, what with the main character not being the quiet, book-lover we all know and love. Also, the “prince” isn’t quite a beast, but more of an all-powerful, immortal, evil guy. Also unlike the Disney version, this guy is HOT (in my head anyways). ‘Cruel Beauty’ was the best retelling released this year, though I do prefer the classic ending to this book’s unusual one (it wasn’t as romantic).



2. Splintered by A.G. Howard




A retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but a highly unusual one. Then again, anything to do with Alice has to be unusual, doesn’t it? I haven’t watched either of the Disney movies, or even read the original novel by Lewis Carroll, but even I know that this book had a whole lot of crazy going on. I loved all the magic and romance going on, and that “sexy but suspicious Morpheus” dude (quoted that straight from the synopsis) is kinda hot and kinda creepy. So overall, a go-to book for anyone craving unique.



1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer




Hands down the most unique and most interesting version of Cinderella yet, ‘Cinder’ has been huge success with the YA world. The cyborg Cinderella concept is amazing since it combines one of the most well-known princess stories ever with futuristic technology. And then there’s the whole “the evil alien queen wants to marry our prince” ordeal. Of course, my absolute favorite parts from the book include Prince Kai himself, probably ’cause he’s just so swoon-worthy.




So which fairy tale retellings are your favorite?


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