Belle... Beauty and the Beast Retellings

I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. I think it's one of the most beautiful fairy tales (and do I even need to mention that library? Because that's obviously the real reason Belle stayed in that castle, let's be honest here). But it's also the hardest for me to find retellings of -- I've found so many Cinderellas and Snow Whites, it's ridiculous, but Beauty and the Beasts evade me!

Luckily, the YA universe has been on the same page as me and has come through with a few versions in recent months that have upped the numbers a little bit, but still there just aren't near enough. So writers, if you can hear me, write write write! But I guess this is where that old saying comes into play where you're supposed to write the book that you want to read....

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Published Year: 1978
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Subtitle: Good

"When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise - to send one daughter to the Beast's castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries." 

The one where the father isn't actually a terrible person, but you still never really like the sisters. The library is pretty secondary, and the love story is slow and sweet. No fiery Belle from the Disney movie is seen here!

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier

Published Year: 2009
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Subtitle: Great

"Whistling Tor is a place of secrets and mystery. Surrounded by a wooded hill, and unknown presences, the crumbling fortress is owned by a chieftain whose name is spoken throughout the district in tones of revulsion and bitterness. A curse lies over Anluan's family and his people; those woods hold a perilous force whose every whisper threatens doom. For young scribe Caitrin it is a safe haven. This place where nobody else is prepared to go seems exactly what she needs, for Caitrin is fleeing her own demons. As Caitrin comes to know Anluan and his home in more depth she realizes that it is only through her love and determination that the curse can be broken and Anluan and his people set free."

An interesting twist on the classic tale that I enjoyed reading! Whistling Tor was a creepy and dark setting that felt as if it was coming out of the book into my world while I was reading. The romance between Caitrin and Anluan was a lot like like the Disney film in that it leaves a lot to the imagination, but if that's your speed, then this is the book for you!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Published Year: 2015
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Subtitle: Great

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way.

A more court/dagger spin on the classic tale, where Belle must complete three impossible tasks for the sake of the Beast and her family. A heart-wrenching and anxiety-inducing tale that had me on the edge of my seat! SJM added some characters to the original tale that will have some purists seething for sure, but you can read my full review here!


Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Published Year: 2014
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Subtitle: Good

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.

Beauty and the Beast interwoven with Greek mythology? Yes please! Nyx has the impossible task of trying to save her people while betrothed, and then married to the evil ruler, when her heart does the unthinkable and falls in love with him. Then she tries to save him from himself. Can she do it? This one is probably least like the original fairy tale, but it loosely follows the guidelines, so it makes the list.

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Published Year: 2007
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling:
Subtitle: Good

"I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly."

Told from the perspective of the beast, AF tackles the changes the Beast undergoes in this retelling! I'd say it's a pretty big undertaking, but I mean go big or go home. I enjoyed this one, but I didn't love it by any means (it was better than the movie version although Alex Pettyfer was an excellent princely version of the beast).