Book Reviews, RETELLING

Book Recommendations | Retellings

Hello bookworms! I created a poll on books amino not a while ago where people voted what they would like to see on my blog and recommendations was one of the most voted things.

Also I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and I decided to start with retellings, because I read them quite often and I love my retellings. I really like when other people do this because I usually discover new books so yeah.

So as I said before this post will be all about retellings. Even most of them are fantasy I want to do a separate post dedicated to that and this one just for retellings.

*I have read more of this genre so I’ll definitely do a part two but if you have any suggestions of recommendations let me know in the comments please!*

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The Forbidden Wish | Jessica Khoury

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Why I recommend it: This is a retelling of ‘Aladdin’ in which the genie is not a man but a woman and oh my god it was incredible. I really enjoyed the writing and how well complemented the story and the characters are so powerful and brave. It is sad it’s a standalone because I enjoyed the world building and those characters but there’s something special with being only one book, you know what I mean?

Synopsis:

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. 

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

Drown | Esther Dalseno

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Why I recommend it: Drown is a retelling of ‘The Little Mermaid’ with a dark twist on it. Honestly I don’t know why it isn’t much more appreciated because it was incredible and it’s so underrated! The curious thing about this book is that there are no names. You read it good. No names. The characters are reffered to as ‘The little mermaid’, ‘The Prince’, etc. which I found so interesting.

It has that fairytale vibe, but it’s rather melancholical. I totally recommend it!

Synopsis

Seven emotionless princesses.
Three ghostly sirens.
A beautiful, malicious witch haunted by memories.
A handsome, self-mutilating prince.

Belonging to a race that is mostly animal with little humanity, a world obsessed with beauty where morality holds no sway, a little mermaid escapes to the ocean’s surface. Discovering music, a magnificent palace of glass and limestone, and a troubled human prince, she is driven by love to consult the elusive sea-witch who secretly dominates the entire species of merfolk. Upon paying an enormous price for her humanity, the little mermaid begins a new life, uncovering secrets of sexuality and the Immortal Soul. As a deadly virus threatens to contaminate the bloodstreams of the whole merfolk race, the little mermaid must choose between the lives of her people, the man she loves, or herself.

Entwined | Heather Dixon

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Why I recommend it: This book took me by surprise! I honestly did not expect it to like it as much as I did. It’s a very true retelling of the ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’, but darker and more mysterious. I LOVE dark and eerie retellings so I even liked this more than the original tale.

Synopsis:

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Cruel Beauty | Rosamund Hodge

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Why I recommend it: I’ve read two of Rosamund Hodge’s books and this one is my favourite by far! This one’s a retelling of ‘The Beauty and the Beast’. It’s quite dark but since I was starting reading YA I found it quite easy to follow and enjoyable.

Synopsis:

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Splintered Series | A. G. Howard

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Why I recommend it: LOOK AT THAT COVER!! ISN’T IT GORGEOUS?? I’m a sucker for any Alice in Wonderland’s retelling and this one was one of the first books of the genre I read so it has a special place in my heart.

 This trilogy was not everyone’s cup of tea but I very much enjoyed it. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending but that was just personal preference I guess (my friends loved it!).

Synopsis:

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

A Court of Thorns and Roses | Sarah J. Maas

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Why I recommend it: What can I say? Literally I cannot shut up with this trilogy and how much I love those books! I honestly just recommend it because its sequel, ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’. But for the ones of you who’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what this series is about, the first book is a retelling of ‘The Beauty and The Beast’ and the sequel is an Hades and Persephone retelling. And ACOWAR is just as amazing! I love that world and characters!

Synopsis

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

The Lunar Chronicles | Marissa Meyer

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Why I recommend it: Each of these books is a retelling of a different fairytale (Cinder = Cinderella, Scarlet = Little Red Riding Hood, Cress = Rapunzel and Winter = Snow White). I looove this series even though I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, so if you’re on the fence because of that I totally recommend them! I still have to finish the two last books (don’t kill me).

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

Roseblood | A. G. Howard

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Why I recommend it: Even though this wasn’t my favourite book I still recommend it because it had some elements I enjoyed. So if you like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ or music in general you may like this!

Synopsis

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Stalking Jack the Ripper | Kerri Maniscalco

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Why I recommend it: This book was SO ADDICTING! I read it so fast because I was so invested in that romance.

Basically this is a retelling of Jack the Ripper and the story behing him. Even though it was quite predictible I think it was so good and the author did a lot of research. So if you want a more Criminal Minds type of book this one’s pretty cool.

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The Wrath and The Dawn | Renée Ahdieh

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Why I recommend it: Yes, I know I haven’t finished the duology but I’m only talking about the first book here! This one’s a retelling of ‘A Thousand and One Arabian Nights’ (I believe that’s the correct tittle) and it was incredible. The writing was amazing and the characters are so cute I can’t even begin. You should read it.

Synopsis

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

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12 thoughts on “Book Recommendations | Retellings”

  1. Ooh, I’ve never heard of Drown, but it sounds interesting! I totally agree with Sarah J. Maas and Marissa Meyer! ❤ And I’ve had Cruel Beauty on my TBR for SO LONG; it’s absurd. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I’ve read Drown, and the writing was so lyrical and beautiful! I agree, it definitely had that fairytale vibe to it. Plus the cover is stunning!

    I just recently found out the second ACOTAR book is a Hades & Persephone retellings, and I really want some of those, so I’ve decided to give ACOTAR a try, and luckily my library has the ebook, so I’m looking forward to that one! I too like retellings, so I’ll have to check out your Part 2 also!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know anything about it until someone posted a picture and I fell in love with that cover😂.
      Ohh I really hope you enjoy ACOMAF! It’s so much better than the first one❤

      Like

  3. Great recommendations! I adore retellings! The only ones I’ve read were The Forbidden Wish, The Wrath and the Dawn, and Stalking Jack the Ripper all which I really enjoyed!
    I have never heard of Drown before but I think I’m definitely going to have to add it to my TBR now since there are so few Little Mermaid retellings! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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