Welcome to Feature Shelf, a series that provides book recommendations based on theme or title suggestions. We are temporarily making the change to podcasts for production time reasons. I actually hope to continue the podcast even after transitioning back to video. Thanks for understanding about the switch, though.
Feature Shelf #32: The Fairy Tale Remix Edition (Text only)
So Marissa Meyer’s Cress, the third book in the Lunar Chronicles came out in early February, and in honor of that release, I thought I’d tell you about some similar stories. I am the (book) supplier and this is Feature Shelf #32: The Fairy Tale Remix Edition.
Since this shelf is in honor of Cress, it makes sense to start with the first book in that series, Cinder Cinder is a reimagining of Cinderella, where Cinder is a cyborg in a world where cyborgs are second-class citizens. The kingdom in which she lives is threatened by the Lunar Queen, who wants to marry the prince and essentially take over. Of course, Cinder and the prince meet and do all that Cinderella-y stuff, you know fancy dances, losing cyborg feet and all that. All of my book buddies who have read this series so far absolutely love it.
Another Cinderella retelling is Ash by Melinda Lo. It has some things one would expect of a Cinderella story — father dies, Cinderella, who is called Ash in this story, is left at the mercy of her wicked stepmother. By the fireplace, she dreams of the stories her mother used to tell her, and that a fairy would come to steal her away. And then she meets a fairy, and it wasn’t exactly what she expected. She also meets and falls for the king’s Huntress, her relationship with whom makes Ash reevaluate some aspects of her life…
One of my favorite collections of fairy tale retellings is The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block. Block takes nine fairy tales and completely turns them inside out, updates them, and creates characters who are heroines of their own stories, which you know, is awesome.
If you’re interested in lesser known fairy tales, you’ll like Cloaked by Alex Flinn. Flinn, I think, is better know for Beastly which was her reimagining of Beauty & the Beast. Different from the movie, and whichever Olsen twin is in that movie is incredibly creepy looking. Anyway, Cloaked follows Johnny, who wants to be a shoe designer, as he falls in love, falls in with swans and talking foxes, and ends up going on what is bound to be the rescue mission of a lifetime. In the end matter of the book, Flinn talks about the fairy tales she remixed to create the story, as more than one has been interwoven to create this tale.
The last book on our Feature Shelf this week is Duckling Ugly by Neal Shusterman This is part of his Dark Fusion series that takes two stories from fairy tales, legends, or mythology and fuses them together in interesting and exciting ways. Duckling Ugly fuses the story of The Ugly Duckling with a story that I’m not going to reveal, as it would give away part of the plot. Let’s just say that Cara is ugly. She’s so ugly that not only is she tormented at school, even mirrors won’t show her reflection. So she runs away, happens upon a community that accepts her, and helps her become the swan that she could be. But Cara is still angry. Have you ever seen an angry swan?
So that was five books you might enjoy if you like fairy tale retellings: Cinder, Ash, The Rose and the Beast, Cloaked and Duckling Ugly.
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I’m going to leave you there now, dear readers. Thanks for listening to the first podcast edition of Feature Shelf. As always, I am the supplier wishing you happy reading. Don’t forget to be awesome.