I finished Beastly by Alex Flinn last night. I enjoyed this book immensely. It’s a young adult urban fantasy novel that puts a modern spin on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I couldn’t put it down! It’ll be out in hardcover in October. I’m hoping to have a review of it up in coming weeks but since this book was the inspiration for this post, I just had to mention it now. Definitely be on the look-out for this one.
Reading Beastly has made me want to seek out other Beauty and the Beast stories—a fairy tale I was never particularly interested in before (unless you count the animated Disney movie which I use to love—and still do!). It’s amazing how something can be completely uninteresting to you one minute, and then you read a wonderful tale by a wonderful writer and suddenly you’re hooked. That’s the way it was with fairy tales for me. I was never much into fairies before, having always thought of them as the Disney prototype—small, cute, kind—but not very interesting. I much preferred vampires and other dark paranormal creatures. After being introduced to Holly Black’s Tithe, however, I’ve become captivated by them. Over the past year, I've sought out more and more stories along this vein and I’ve become more and more interested in folklore, fairy tales, and fairy tale re-retellings. I even bought a collection of stories from the Brothers Grimm a while back, though I've yet to make sizable dent in it. Fairy tales, as a whole, have a long history, and it seems there has been a swell of fairies in pop culture recently—not only in books, but even in movies. Neil Gaiman’s Stardust will hit the big screen next month, and also Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi’s Spiderwick Chronicles will be brought to theaters soon. I just think there’s a certain magic to fairy tales especially ones that combine my favorite elements—romance, adventure, suspense, enchantment, interesting characters and a good ending. Who could ask for more in a book? I'm very glad to have discovered the magic of fairy tales, no matter how late I am to the party.
Luckily I’ve already got Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley in my to-be-read pile. It’s also a young adult book which, as those of you familiar with my reading tastes will know, is one of my favorite genres right now.
Do you like fairy tales? What's your favorite classic fairy tale? What are your favorite re-retellings? Have you ever found yourself interested in a particular fairy tale only after having read a good re-telling of it? What do you think is the reason behind fairies' increase in popularity?
For more on fairy tales, check out Kailana's Fairy Tales Re-Visited Part One, Part Two and Part Three.