Published: October 22nd 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young-Adult/ Fairy Tale/ Retellings/ Short Stories/ Anthology/ Classic/ Fantasy/ Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars
From Sir Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen to E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” literature is filled with sexy, deadly, and downright twisted tales. In this collection, award-winning and bestselling authors reimagine their favorite classic stories, the ones that have inspired, awed, and enraged them, the ones that have become ingrained in modern culture, and the ones that have been too long overlooked. They take these stories and boil them down to their bones, and then reassemble them for a new generation of young adult readers.
Written from a twenty-first century perspective and set within the realms of science fiction, dystopian fiction, fantasy and realistic fiction, these short stories are as moving and thought provoking as their originators. They pay homage to groundbreaking literary achievements of the past while celebrating each author’s unique perception and innovative style.
My Thoughts: I won this book when it was released over a year and a half ago. It got shelved until I felt the pull to read it. I’m really glad that I fell into my I-want-to-read-something-from-my-childhood mood. I didn’t like a couple of these stories as much as I did the original, but they are still good. A sense of nostalgia fell over me while reading, and I know that my Aunt Catherine would have loved this anthology.
This anthology consists of retellings of some of the most popular classic fairytales & some literary fiction that I have not had the pleasure of reading. What did I decide to do after bookmarking several of the stories? I made a note on my calendar to go to my library and hunt down the original stories. That will be easier to do because at the end there are the names of the original story and it’s author.
This book is categorized under young-adult, but I think that adults would enjoy this more; simply because of the classic stories and literature. Not saying that young-adults haven’t read any classic literature, but I’m not sure that it could be as appreciated as much as someone who has actually held on to these stories for many years. Like Sleeping Beauty, for instance, has been modernized for centuries, as other folklore hasn’t. Kids of every generation knows who she is or at least the premise of the story. The title has changed over the centuries and I guess SB felt like the right catch to keep little girls interested.
I was introduced to The Jolly Corner when I was 15 years-old, by my aunt Catherine. She loved old books and movies; and that’s where my love for classic literature stemmed from. Once I was over the fear of the story, I always asked for more. This book contains great retellings of some very memorable characters. The Jolly Corner retelling is my favorite in this collection; Kami Garcia’s version of Rumpelstiltskin is a close second.
The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster is one that I haven’t read before but I do like the story Carrie Ryan penned for this book. The Faerie Queen, The Monkey’s Paw, and The Caged White Werewolf of the Saraban are just a few more of the stories that I liked in this book. If I hadn’t been oblivious to a couple of the stories, i’d have given this a solid five stars. I definitely recommend this book.