BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings

Since we're celebrating A Week of Beauty and the Beast all week, of COURSE I want to tell you about my ten favorite retellings!

Dive into these great novels while you count down to the new movie!


Are you ready to see what I've come up with?

In no particular order...

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings

1) BEAUTY by Robin McKinley

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings

This was the first retelling of B&B I'd ever read. I LOVED it. My book is literally BATTERED. I loved it so much! Robin McKinley even came out with a second retelling of the tale, ROSE DAUGHTER. I loved that one, too. Because of BEAUTY, I own every single book Robin McKinley has ever written and buy her novels as soon as they come out!

This is a very traditional retelling of the classic tale!

***ADD TO GOODREADS***


2) HEART'S BLOOD by Juliet Marillier

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings


This was one of the first books I ever reviewed, and it knocked BEAUTY off as my favorite B&B retelling. I loved how "realistic" it felt. There's less emphasis on magic. The "Beast" had a palsy as a kid and it left him with a lopsided face and a non-functional right side of his body. I loved how grounded it was. This was actually my first Juliet Marillier novel, too, and a lot of people say DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST is their favorite book by her. While I love that one, too, this one is my favorite by her. IDK if it's the B&B theme or because it was "my first" or what, but it's my favorite!!!!

This is currently my favorite retelling of B&B.

***MY REVIEW***

***ADD TO GOODREADS***


3) A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings


I was really excited when ACOTAR was announced. I'd been enjoying the Throne of Glass series from Sarah J. Maas and was eager that she was starting a new series--and that the first book would retell one of my favorite fairy tales. I was lucky enough to receive an advance review copy, and when I finished reading the book, I literally picked it up and hugged it to my chest. I needed that connection a little longer. I couldn't let go, couldn't say good-bye. I was reluctant to give it to my then co-reviewer Kat the next day because it would no longer be closely. I've never been that emotional over a book before or needed to be so connected to it!

I read it again last year when the sequel (a retelling of my favorite Greek myth Persephone and Hades) came out, and didn't love it quite as much the second time, but figured out why after reading the sequel. I still enjoyed it a lot, though. I'm SO excited to see how the series ends in May and find out what the third retelling will be!

What I love so much about this retelling is that it's very true to the original French story even as it's wildly different. It's NOT a direct retelling. There IS no Beast. But there are so many elements from the story that are there if you know the original tale well, and it really enhances the original story being told.


This is now my second-favorite retelling of B&B. It's just so good!

***ADD TO GOODREADS***


4) HUNTED by Meagan Spooner

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings


This book releases TODAY!!!! I'm really excited for you all to read this so we can talk about it. I love that, like in ACOTAR, the "Beauty" character is a hunter and takes care of her family. I like that she finds the curse, not her father. And the curse itself? OH MY GOODNESS. It's not at all what I expected, but works so well. I loved the way the story ended and the way everything twisted together. I'm going to have such a hard time reviewing it this week without spoilers, but you're definitely going to want to pick this new release up!

***ADD TO GOODREADS***

5) WITHERING ROSE by Kaitlyn Davis

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings


The Once Upon a Curse series by Kaitlyn Davis is really different in that something happens to collide our world into the fairy tale world (Think of how Kansas collides into Oz in The Wizard of Oz). I love how she twists the tale of B&B and how UNIQUE it is to any other retelling I've seen. The rose with the falling petal? It's living INSIDE Omorose. Every time she uses her magic to heal or to grow, a little piece of her dies and the petals of her heart fall. It's such a cool image. And dangerous, too! I get shivers just thinking about it!

***MY REVIEW***

***ADD TO GOODREADS***


6) OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jay

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings


For one thing, Beast is the female and Beauty is the male. Yet both characters are a little bit of both Beauty and Beast, and neither is just one of the roles. There's a bit of a Romeo and Juliet-esque star-crossed lovers element to their story. Oh, plus, this book is pretty sci-fi and takes place in a completely unique realm. I really loved this one and was so excited that Stacey Jay came out with another fairy tale retelling entitled PRINCESS OF THORNS!

***MY REVIEW***

***ADD TO GOODREADS***


7) THE CURSE GIRL by Kate Avery Ellison

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings


Want a book full of atmosphere and creepy qualities that will send chills down your spine as you read?

I'm reminded of the way Jane Nickerson uses atmosphere so effectively in STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD, which I've reviewed previously for FTF. If you're a fan of Nickerson, you'll appreciate Ellison as well. There's a lovely creepy chill to everything, and it sucked me into the story right away.

Another good comparison comes if you've seen the 1946 Jean Cocteau version of La Belle et la Bête (Which can often be found airing on TCM or purchased from the Criterion Collection...with English subtitles, of course!). The rooms are haunting and different from anything visual you can imagine, being an enchanted house. The rooms are just as dark and eerie in THE CURSE GIRL. There's even a room called the Hall of Regret and another called the Labyrinth. Things are constantly shifting and changing, with a mind of their own.


It's really hard to explain the atmosphere and mood well, but you'll understand once you start reading!

***MY REVIEW***

***ADD TO GOODREADS***

8) THE PRINCESS CURSE by Merrie Haskell

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings


This is touted as being a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and it definitely starts off that way. But then the story twists and the main character--who had been a specter, and not one of the sisters--is tossed into her own fairy tale, which is a mash-up of Beauty and the Beast and Persephone and Hades. I wasn't expecting this twist when I picked the book up, and it really endeared the story to me! The mash-up doesn't seem like it could work, but it does--really well, too!


I would love to see more books set in this world, and have bought up every book Merrie Haskell has published because I love her writing style so much!

***My Review***

***ADD TO GOODREADS***

9) CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings


I don't know where my review of CRUEL BEAUTY disappeared to, but I really loved this retelling. And I struggled with it at first, too. I started reading it and went, "Ugh, a paranormal retelling? DON'T WANT." So I put it down. Then I picked up the e-novella GILDED ASHES and began to understand the world. I decided to try CRUEL BEAUTY again, and this time I devoured it. It's dark and has little twists reminiscent of tales such as Bluebeard and Rumplestiltskin that add flavor and depth to the tale. It's so much darker than I'd anticipated and normally not my type of read AT ALL, but I wound up really loving this version of B&B!

***ADD TO GOODREADS***

10) BAREFOOT ON THE WIND by Zoë Marriott

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings

When I found out that Zoë Marriott was FINALLY writing a companion novel to SHADOWS ON THE MOON, her dark Japanese retelling of Cinderella, AND that it would be based on Beauty and the Beast, I was SO EXCITED. I couldn't wait!!! I love both of these stand-alone fairy tales set in the same wonderful, magical world, and continue to love all of Marriott's fantasy novels, even though she isn't as exposed to overseas audiences, being a UK author with a small US distributor. But if you ever see her books on the shelves, be sure to pick them up because they're gorgeous!

***ADD TO GOODREADS***

11) UPROOTED by Naomi Novik

BWW Review: Top 10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Retellings
I guess this one is kind of a cheat....so it's a bonus #11! But I couldn't NOT add it, so.....


UPROOTED is not ***actually*** a B&B retelling. BUT when I read it, I felt it had a lot of elements in common with the tale I loved so much, and I could see it falling under the umbrella of this tale for fans looking for new stories to embrace. It's such a great instant classic, immediately reminiscent of HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Whynne Jones and The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce.


It may not BE a fairy tale, but it often feels like one. It centers aroudn Agnieszka, who is chosen by the Dragon and locked away for ten years in his tower. The Dragon normally chooses beautiful girls, but this year, he chooses plain Agnieszka, who is brimming with untapped magic...

***MY REVIEW***

***ADD TO GOODREADS***

What Do You Think? Tell Us In The Comments!

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More From This Author

Bonnie Lynn Wagner Bonnie Lynn Wagner has been a reader for as long as she can remember. Friends frequently come to her for book recommendations, and eventually, she decided to start reviewing books in order to share her love of them with everyone! While her favorite genre is fantasy, she reads and reviews many others, from contemporary novels to juvenile picture books.

When she isn't reviewing books, you can find her on Twitter @abackwardsstory talking about musicals, nail polish, and Disney, among other things!

She continues to review at http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com if you'd like even more book recommendations!