Fairy Tale retellings, ala Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, have been ala mode in the book world for quite a while. These days, though, it seems like re-told and re-imagined versions of classic literature are packing the shelves. Here are some of my favorites–and a few more I’d love to check out.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

When they put “dark descent” in the title, let me assure you that they truly meant it. This retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is right up my alley, spinning the tale from Victor’s cousin Elizabeth’s point of view. It’s a fascinating book, and I always enjoy White’s atmospheric writing. [Amazon]

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

For a refreshing take on Pride and Prejudice, I recommend Ibi Zoboi’s Pride. It keeps the romance mega-swoony while also commenting lightly on current issues–just like Jane Austen. [Amazon]

A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

For some modern Alice in Wonderland action, I enjoyed the way A Blade So Black melded the Wonderland world with our own. It’s just as strange, though perhaps a bit bloodier. I like a retelling that nods to the original while forging its own path, and A Blade So Black does just that. Since I tend to recommend young adult with more crossover appeal, I’d just like to note that this book definitely seems pitched to a younger, solidly YA audience–which, in my opinion, is a notch in its favor. [Amazon]

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tinkerbell narrates this retelling of Peter Pan, with Tiger Lily and Peter at the forefront of the drama. And Wendy, of course. This dark spin on Neverland is one of my very favorite classic re-imaginings. [Amazon]

~~Still on my to-read pile~~

Roseblood by A.G. Howard

Modern-day retelling of the Phantom of the Opera. [Amazon]

Hyperion by Dan Wells

Canterbury Tales. IN SPACE. [Amazon]

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

Jane Eyre. IN SPACE. [Amazon]

~~Media Bust: TV Edition~~


Once my favorite television show (until it stabbed me in the back…I probably should’ve seen that coming), Revenge took its original premise from none other than the Count of Monte Cristo. The first season was a clever mirror to the book–a prime-time soap inspired by classic literature? Genius. I liked the second season, too, when it shifted toward a long-term vision; I disliked the show’s inability to commit to a plot direction in the seasons that followed. Still, the first two seasons are well worth watching, for Emily VanCamp’s performance alone. [Amazon]

Speaking of books that are cued from the classics, I totally wrote one. (Smooth segue, eh?)

Raised by a heartsick AI, she’s programmed to kill. And desperate to flee. Astra’s been raised to care for no one but herself. Now she’ll have to decide if she’s willing to trade the star system’s freedom for her own.

Parting Shadows is a far-future take on Estella Havisham’s journey in Great Expectations, and the first installment in Kate Sheeran Swed’s Toccata System novella trilogy.

[Amazon] [Barnes & Noble] [Indigo] [Goodreads]

About Kate Sheeran Swed

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