Me neither! As I mentioned in a previous post, I love fairytale re-tellings. They always contain a sweet romance where love conquerors all and evil doesn’t stand a chance against the pure in heart. I know, I know…it’s sappy and cheesy, but sometimes you need a little sap and cheese in your life! Another aspect I love about these books is that they are almost always clean. I work with the teen girls in my church, and at times I struggle to find titles for them that meet the standards our church has set. Most YA fairytale re-tellings (the two featured titles included) offer a sweet, clean romance that I can wholeheartedly recommend to my girls. While there are many fairytale re-tellings, today I’m going to focus on my two favorites that have come out so far this year.
Sunday often feels overlooked as the youngest in a very large family, so when she meets an enchanted frog in the woods who enjoys listening to her stories, she returns time and time again until their friendship turns deeper. One night, as per custom, she kisses him goodbye, but this time she is unaware that her changing feelings have turned him back into the man he was, Prince Rumbold. Prince Rumbold is determined to find Sunday and marry her, but there’s just one problem; Sunday’s family blames him for the death of her oldest brother, and the Prince knows Sunday would never betray her family. He decides to hold three balls in order to woo Sunday and her family, but magic and mischief threaten to separate them forever.
Delightful is the word that sums up this title. It was absolutely delightful. I loved Sunday and Prince Rumbold’s romantic storyline, but Kontis incorporates so much more. She interweaves fairytale after fairytale including Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Jack and the Beanstalk, Red Riding Hood, and so many more. I would recommend this title to any fairytale lover out there, and they are sure to be a happy reader!
Emmeline Thistle has always had a special relationship with cows. They saved her the night she was born after she was cast aside by her father because of her crippled foot, and they save her again when her entire village washes away in a flood. Owen Oak, the dairyman’s son, discovers her half drowned and takes her home to recover. It’s there that Emmeline learns why her people are so hated by the kingdom, and where she learns a secret about herself. Whenever she churns butter, she turns it into chocolate, the most precious substance in all the kingdom. Immediately, she is kidnapped and used by greedy, power-hungry people that wish to exploit her gift. Emmeline must stay true to herself no matter the cost if she is to free her people and gain her “happily ever after.”
I wasn’t sure about this title at first. I’m from Wisconsin and love cows as much as the next person, but magical cows? I wasn’t sold on that story line, but Selfors wove the story so naturally that I didn’t question it once I started reading. I loved Emmeline’s character and how she grew from a timid girl accepting that she would never be worth anything, to a strong heroine who stands up against the kingdom for her people. (Although it bugged me a little at the end when she still didn’t think she was good enough for Owen). Finally, Selfors narrates the book from both Emmeline’s and Owen’s point of view, and I greatly enjoyed reading their story from both sides.
And since I can’t help myself, here are a few more of my favorite fairytale re-tellings:
Dixon, Heather – Entwined (See my full review here)
George, Jessica Day – Princess of the Midnight Ball, Princess of Glass & Princess of the Silver Woods
Hale, Shannon – The Books of Bayern series (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets & Forest Born)
McKinley, Robin – Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & The Beast