The Best Of: YA Retellings #2

Retellings, especially creative ones are one of my go-to genres when picking which books I want to read. Sometimes I don’t even realise that I am doing this. I am a sucker for a retelling which is why it surprised me when I couldn’t really find many more that I have read. 

There are a couple I have read, but I wasn’t a huge fan and obviously, I can’t include a book I didn’t like in a best retellings post. So I’ve managed to come up with three more retellings that I love. If you haven’t checked out any of these yet then you definitely should. Also, let me know some of your favourite retellings in the comments as I am always looking for new ones to read!

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron 

Inspired by: Cinderella 

This was my first read of 2021 and what a way to start the year. I absolutely loved this book. It is such a creative play on the classic Cinderella story and I honestly could not put it down. 

The world this is set in is so much crueller than the classic tale. If by your third time to the ball you are not chosen by a man you are declared a forfeit and never heard from again. Sounds harsh right? It really is and that’s what makes this such a great retelling.

There are no talking or singing animals to be seen with this Cinderella. If you couldn’t tell from the title she’s dead and has become an important historical figure for which girls have to base their lives around. 

Check out my full review of Cinderella Is Dead here

Goodreads synopsis: “It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .”

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Inspired by: Romeo and Juliet 

I think everyone and their dog has talked about this book by now. Myself included. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of These Violent Delights way back in October and what an inventive retelling it is. 

I’ve always quite enjoyed the tale of Romeo and Juliet and honestly, this book made me like it even more. No soppy romance here. Oh no both Roma and Juliette are cutthroat gangsters who are in opposing gangs in 1920s Shanghai. 

Throw in a mysterious illness and you’ve got yourself an interesting story. I wouldn’t even think twice about picking this one up if I were you. 

Read my full review of These Violent Delights here

Goodreads synopsis: “The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.”

A Deal With The Elf King by Elise Kova 

Inspired by: Hades and Persephone 

This one is more of an inspired retelling rather than being outright obvious with what it is based on. The tale of Hades and Persephone is one of my all-time favourites so of curse I had to check this out. Also, Elise is one of my favourite authors so that’s a double yes from me. 

A Deal With The Elf King is another example of excellent world-building. I found myself lost in this book with no want to escape. I’m a huge fantasy lover and the idea of all of these beautiful elven buildings and landscapes was completely dreamy. 

I could talk for pages and pages about how much I loved the characters, but I don’t think it’s wise to do so here. 

I am really looking forward to reading more books set in this world and I cannot wait for the release of A Dance with the Fae Rogue which is set for release later this year.

Check out my full review of A Deal With The Elf King here

Goodreads synopsis: “The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.”

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


Like this post? Why not read this one too? Book Confessions: YA Tropes I Hate

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