Source: Netgalley/Harlequin Teen– I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Edition: EARC, 480 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon/ Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:
Jeri Smith Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
Grim is a great collection of fairy tale retellings, one of my favorite things to read. There is a lot of variety and each story pulls from a different fairy tale, except two which share Beauty and the Beast. There are a ton of stories packed into this one, so I’ll only touch on the ones that really stood out to me.
I loved Figment by Jeri Smith-Ready, which I think is based on Puss-in-Boots. It was such a interesting and at times incredibly sweet story, while it still held some of the sadness inherit to fairytales. Thinner than Water by Saundra Mitchell which pulls from Donkeyskin really surprised me. Donkeyskin is a really heartbreaking fairytale that I try to avoid to be honest, so I wasn’t expecting to really like this one. It does have one of the more serious topics (incest – it is forced upon her) but the ending and the main characters determination made it all worth it. The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa was definitely one of the better retellings, as it actually built upon and veered away from the original story of The Three Little Pigs while still remaining recognizable. Better by Shaun David Hutchinson, based on The Pied Piper, was done with a fantastic sci-fi twist and took a wicked turn that I wasn’t expecting at all.
I wasn’t all that fond of Before the Rose Bloomed by Ellen Hopkins (based on The Snow Queen) because her poetic style didn’t really fit the story. I did like that she mixed biblical stories with the fairy tale but it just wasn’t my thing. The Raven Princess by Jon Skovran is based on The Raven tale (not the poem), and for the most part it is nearly the same story with more details and a bit of twist…which was pretty disappointing. Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan, based on Beauty and the Beast and it’s honestly the weirdest retelling I’ve ever read. It’s pretty funny at times and sort of sweet but way bizarre.
Overall I’m really pleased with the story collection in Grim! There was a lot of variety and while they were retellings of fairy tales some were more contemporary or sci-fi than fantasy. I love reading anthologies like this because there is so much variety in one “topic” and you can always find new authors or rediscover authors you haven’t read in a while. So if you enjoy fairy tale retellings and you like short stories, then go for it! You’re bound to find some stories that you’ll like and who knows you might find a new favorite author!