Tuesday Thoughts – Best and Worst Fairytale Retellings of 2016

Two weeks from now, we will be in the new year. Can you believe it? I feel entirely unprepared to be walking in 2017, since I’m still stuck in September 2016. Maybe the continued announcements from Goodreads to check out my 2016 review in books will give me the hint?

Since it has been widely established I love fairytale retellings and, well, anything basically to do with a princess concept. Of course, I would be excited and eager to read any fairytale retelling to come my way in 2016, and well…this year wasn’t super great for me and fairytale retelling. I kind of failed in major ways, but there were a still shining lights. Let’s go through some fairytales that were worthy of a happily ever after from me…and some that had a bit more of a Grimm ending for me.

2016 Releases:

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

This isn’t really a fairytale retelling in the normal sense, since it is an anthology or collection of short stories about our favorite TLC characters. I wasn’t as sold as I normally am on Meyer books since some of the stories were a bit boring, but the epilogue and The Littlest Android were fantastic. The Littlest Android was the coolest retelling of The Little Mermaid I’ve ever seen, and it’s deep and dark and beautifully Meyer. This book would definitely deserve the read just for that, but I wish this book was just a bit…more.

Credits to Feiwel and Friends

Verdict: Not quite a Happily Ever After I wanted but still rather good

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

This was the year for Peter Pan retellings, and trust me, my mind was boogled by just how many times a person could rewrite the story by J.M. Barrie which has kind of become a fairytale in its own right. This was the best of them, in my opinion, and I loved the originality and making the characters a bit darker than they originally were. However, it did run a bit like Once Upon a Time fanfiction at times, and if you saw the Peter Pan storyline there, you really aren’t going to see anything new in this book.

Verdict: Pixie dust could have helped this book out, but it most definitely brought the same kind of feels the original did.

Credits to Simon Pulse

Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell

Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite stories – even though it is problematic as all get up – and I was so excited for this cool Disney-approved version. While it was showing a new side to Sleeping Beauty, I had some major issues with this book…like some major, major ones. However, it was a cool retelling and concept. Click the above link if you want to check out my full review.

Verdict: Definitely not a Happily Ever After for me, but I did develop a new true love of bullet point fighting scenes. Thanks?


Never Ever by Sara Saedi/Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West/Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

These three books were all DNFs for me. Never Ever was a Peter Pan retelling that failed to believe that staying young was the answer. Kingdom of Ash and Briars failed to excite me and didn’t incorporate the Mulan and Sleeping Beauty elements as fast as it needed to for me. And Queen of Hearts was far too melodramatic – even for the Wonderland retelling it was trying to create. Click on the links above if you want to see more of my reviews on these three books.

Verdict: Grimm, Grimm endings for these retellings for me

Credits to Viking Books for Young Readers, Holiday House Inc., and HarperTeen.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Again, just like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland – practically a fairytale again – was abundant in 2016 YA literature. This is definitely the best retelling in 2016 that I read. The Wonderland was amazing, the elements of the original story was all there, and Meyer created new and interesting additions. The romance was amazing, and it showed exactly how the evil queen became what she was. Definitely would be the best one to recommend for you.

Verdict: Happily Ever After indeed for this Book Princess and hopefully you.


Overall, it wasn’t the greatest year for me and fairytale retellings, and the ones that I did enjoy the most were actually from prior years. 2016 has definitely been an interesting year in books for me, and I hope it has been for you too. 2017 doesn’t seem to have as many fairytale retellings as I’m hoping, but hopefully I’ll find some other ones to keep my interests. Do you have any to recommend??

So what do you think? What was your favorite retelling this year? Do you like fairytale retellings? What had a happily ever after for you or a Grimm ending?

5 thoughts on “Tuesday Thoughts – Best and Worst Fairytale Retellings of 2016

  1. I absolutely love fairy tale retellings and I don’t mind how cliché it is. Stars Above was a real disappointment, probably because I had such high expectations after reading the rest of the series, which was phenomenal. I did enjoy the little snippets but, like you, found them a bit boring. So I have my eyes set on Heartless, now.

    I have yet to read the others but they all sound interesting in their own way. Lovely post by the way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol so true. Do you have a favorite fairytale retelling (or top 3, lol)? I totally agree about Stars Above. As you said, the snippets were fun to read since you got to see more about the favorite characters, but I guess I was expecting more from the characters now-ish times. Heartless was definitely worth the read! I can’t wait to see your thoughts on it. It definitely isn’t The Lunar Chronicles, but Meyer can still do no wrong. XD thanks so much again!


  2. I liked Never Ever and I am excited to read Heartless. Stars Above was awesome bc it was part of TLC and Meyer can do no wrong! Oh, the Wonderland retelling was on sale so I bought it…I hope it’s not too bad.
    Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heartless was pretty amazing, and Meyer did such an amazing job on the world building. As you said, she can do no wrong and she did not disappoint. The Wonderland one wasn’t too bad – it just got too dramatic for this Book Princess. XD You might like it, since the world was pretty cool. 🙂


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