BWW Review: Spend Valentine's Day Curled Up with Great Reinterpretations Of Classic Literary Couples!
Happy Valentine's Day!
To celebrate the most romantic day of the year, why not fall in love with a new favorite book?
While I'm not a huge reader of romance novels, I definitely read a lot of books that have romance in them. One of my favorite things to read is a good retelling. Fairy tale, mythology, classic novels, you name it. I just love a good update to a great story.
There are so many classic love stories that have withstood the test of time, and are so beloved that authors frequently update and retell them. I'm constantly finding great new retellings to add to my TBR.
This Valentine's Day, why not curl up with a great retelling that lets you relive the magic of these iconic characters?
1. MISS ELIZABETH BENNET & MR. FITZWILLIAM DARCY
--From PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen
Jane Austen's most popular novel has been retold countless times. There's just something about that hate-to-love story that is so much fun to read, which is probably why authors--and readers--just can't get enough this warring duo!
- Last year, AMERICAN WIFE author Curtis Sittenfeld came out with a modern-day interpretation entitled ELIGIBLE that was buzzed about all over social media. What would happen if Liz was fast approaching 40 and her mother, desperate to have her settle down before it's too late, sets her up with the new doctor in town?
- Have you seen the movie Bridget Jones's Diary? Did you know it was based on a book by British author Helen Fielding? AND that it was inspired by P&P? (What, you mean the name Mark Darcy doesn't give it all away?) The first movie is pretty true to the book and will you have rolling over laughing. If you want a more humorous retelling, definitely take a peek at the book that inspired the hit movie!
- Want a P&P retelling for the teen in your life? Look no further than the sweet, fluffy PROM AND PREJUDICE by Elizabeth Eulberg! She's written a lot of great contemporary YA novels that read fast, have engaging characters, and are utterly adorable. Plus, P&P set during prom? How cute is that??
2. PERSEPHONE AND HADES
--From various tales in Greek Mythology
One of my all-time favorite Greek myths is the tale of Persephone and Hades. I will pick up just about any re-interpretation of this tale, and have seen some really great retellings--especially in YA literature!
- I HAVE to start with my favorite novel of 2016, A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas. Not only was this book inspired by my favorite myth, the first book in the series, A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, was inspired by one of my favorite fairy tales, Beauty and the Beast--and it was my favorite book of 2015! While Maas is technically classified as a teen author, her books are rated Mature and have a huge adult following. These could easily live in the adult fantasy section instead of teen, and if you want original stories mixed with flavors of beloved retellings, this is one series you won't want to miss!
- THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi was another fantastic retelling of this classic myth to release in 2016. (And, ironically, it was blurbed by Sarah J. Maas!) I loved the Indian mythology added to this tale and the way the world came to life. This book was also a little Beauty and the Beast-ish because it deals with curses, and the star-crossed romance of Maya and Amar was full of great chemistry. I liked that this was different from the traditional retellings of this tale!
- My other favorite retelling of this tale is SOLSTICE by PJ Hoover. I read this one when dystopian novels were the trendiest genre around. I love the way global warming is mixed into the fantasy of this myth. When you think about it, so much of Persephone's tale revolves around death and rebirth, winter and spring, the pull between husband and mother. This is the closest retelling of the three, but done in such a unique way that feels both magical and real at the same time!
3. ROMEO AND JULIET
--From ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare
How can a list be complete without arguably the most famous tragic couple in literature? Who doesn't know the tale of Romeo and Juliet, a school staple that everyone has read at some point in their lives?
- I'm currently reading RONIT AND JAMIL by Pamela L. Laskin, and it's so brand-new that it doesn't officially hit bookstores until next week! What's really cool about this retelling is that 1) It's in verse, so it's poetry instead of prose and reads much faster, and 2) It takes place amongst feuding families in the war-torn countries of Israel and Palestine. This is full of the current political situation in both countries, complete with the fence/wall Israel built a couple of years ago that has been a huge source of contention between the two countries. This is a retelling like you've never seen before!
- Want another completely different retelling of the Bard's most famous star-crossed lovers? WHEN YOU WERE MINE by Rebecca Serle is a modern-day interpretation from the POV of Juliet's cousin, Rosaline. You know, the girl Romeo was obsessed with and pining over until he laid eyes on Juliet and forgot all about his former paramour? And Juliet is a little bit crazy. And Rosaline is a little bit devastated over losing her boyfriend to her cousin. Talk about a different view of this tale!
- THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS by Anna-Marie McLemore got a lot of great attention when it debuted. Full of magical realism in a style reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez, this novel tells the tale of feuding rivals the Palomas and the Corbeaus. Both families come from long lines of performers, and every year, they fight for the choicest land to set up their shows. When Lace Paloma enters the family business as a performing mermaid and falls for Cluck, a Crow who's been cast aside, she has to decide if love is worth the price of her family's wrath, and if the rivaly can ever be healed...
4. BEAUTY AND BEAST