Welcome back to the seventh month of Calendar Girls! It’s a monthly blog event co-hosted by Flavia and Melaine and designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers. Calendar Girls was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl, For more information, about the Calendar Girls community click here!
Until I started blogging in January, I didn’t know how big of a thing fairytale retellings were. I mean, I knew there were a few out there, but I didn’t know how many, or how great these books were. I have just started my journey into the retellings, and I found excellent books. But this isn’t about all of them, this post is about picking the best of them and showcasing it. So, away we go!
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but not the version that Disney did.
I listen to the Myths and Legends podcast, which takes stories you think you know and tells you the original stories. I started listening to it because it covered a lot of Arthurian legends however it also covers folklore and myths from other cultures besides the European-centric stories I’m used to. There are stories from Russia, the Greek God Myths, Viking myths, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, he’s done a couple different Native American stories. It’s a great podcast, it’s been around for a while, and I should probably write a separate post on it at some point because I love it so much, but I digress.
In January, Myths and Legends did a show about Beauty and the Beast. It discussed Russia version of the French story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. For the most part, it’s the same story, but there are little differences. It was this episode of the Podcast that gave me a little extra excitement for this book.
Hunted takes parts of the original Villeneuve story and the Russian story while also tying in some modern elements. Beauty has independence and boldness about her. She searches for her missing father and takes charge of her situation. Her love for Prince Ivan comes from a different place than, I feel, it does in other versions of the story. She doesn’t fall in love with who the Beast was or the Prince he might be, and honestly, the whole romance aspect of the story isn’t important. I wrote a review of it a couple months ago if you would like to read my full thoughts about it.
Hunted, at the moment, is the best book I’ve read so far this year. It was just well written and different. I was skeptical about retellings as a genre because how could a modern writer improve upon stories that have such a cultural impact already, but so far, the answer to that is “they can improve them a lot.” The rest of the Calendar Girls posts today will be showcasing the broad reach of retellings and the different stories that writers have taken on.
Do you have a favorite Retelling? Or a Favorite fairytale you would love to see a modern spin on?
The Calendar Girls have a bunch of other really cool things happening besides the group of posts you will see going out today (and the first Monday of every month). If you want to know more about the read-a-long for this month Which is Roseblood by A. G. Howard and the monthly Twitter chat or anything else Calendar Girls related, check out the June wrap up post here.
Until next time Internet,