The Best Of: YA Retellings

Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia every now and again and what better way to feel this then to read a retelling of a classic story? I find that I often accidentally read retellings as I had no idea that were based off something else. I actually really love a retelling and thought I would share some of my favourites with you.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer 

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my all-time favourite series. Like most retellings, it very loosely follows the original story. Book one, Cinder is based on yes you guessed it, Cinderella. However, this Cinderella has a slight Sci-Fi twist… she’s a cyborg. Pretty cool right. 

This whole world is something that amazed me more and more as I read each book. Marissa Meyer shows amazing character development, especially with Captain Thorne – who you meet in book two Scarlet. She writes funny and witty characters who you can’t help but love and cruel and evil characters who you love to hate.  

Goodreads synopsis: “Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.

She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the centre of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.”

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo 

If you hadn’t guessed already this is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, there seems to be quite a few of these knocking about at the moment. This one is my favourite though. 

Focusing more on the cutthroat world of sirens, To Kill A Kingdom takes the main premise of The Little Mermaid and twists it into an entirely new story. 

Less focused on romance and more on swashbuckling pirates, this retelling is perfect for those who are not huge fans of cliche romance. It definitely has elements of romance however they are so few and far between that the only way to describe it would be an extremely slow burn. 

Goodreads synopsis: “Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?” 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I’m going to be honest and admit that I had no idea that this book was a retelling. Its probably one of the loosest retellings I have ever read as at the time I didn’t even notice the similarities to Beauty and the Beast. Looking back I can now very clearly see these.

I probably don’t need to talk too much about this book as I’m pretty sure everyone and their dog has read it by now, but seriously I highly recommend checking out the entire series. 

Goodreads synopsis: “Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.”

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Legendborn is the debut novel by Tracy Deonn, and what a debut it was. Secret societies, a plot full of twists and turns and relatable characters made for an incredibly mysterious read.

Based on the tale of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, this was an interesting retelling. It’s probably more inspired by the tale than actually telling the story of it, but still. 

This is book one in what I think is going to be a three-part series, so get reading now before book two comes out! 

Goodreads synopsis: “After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.” 

What are some of your favourite retellings? Let me know in the comments below.


One comment

Leave a Reply