I love fairy tales, even dark ones, so I was pretty excited to see a YA author collection of Grimm's tales retold. The contributing authors are Ellen Hopkins, Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, and Jon Skrovron. Whew, what a list!
Some of the stories, as can be expected in any anthology, were more memorable than others. I thought I would share a little about a few of my favorites and let you investigate the rest if you're interested.
The first story that caught my attention and made me smile was "Figment" by Jeri Smith-Ready. It revolves around a small stuffed cat that brings luck to whomever owns it and believes in it. It's written from the cat Figment's point of view. It gave me feels. Figment is passed onto a boy after his father dies. His father, incidentally, was a washed up rock star who never even knew his son. At first the son feels slighted, but he gradually grows to love Figment. I won't spoil it from there, but it was definitely a favorite!
"A Real Boy" by Claudia Gray was another story that I adored. A scientist in the future creates a robot with AI so good that he could almost pass for human, which is also, incidentally, forbidden. She places her apprentice in charge of him, and her apprentice is startled to find that she likes him. LIKES him, likes him. The robot (I've forgotten his name, sorry!) is also bound by certain rules that are reminiscent of Asimov's. Their affection is unusual, but the robot's seeming innocence is so endearing! You'll have to read to hear the rest!
The last one that really spoke to me was "Beauty and the Chad" by Sarah Rees Brennan. It's a play on "Beauty and the Beast," of course, but it was a very original tongue-in-cheek interpretation that cracked me up in places. The "beast" resents being called that and tells Beauty that it's rude and to call him Chad instead. Chad is also just the current of many beasts who have lived in this castle with this curse, and he was a frat boy in college before he was cursed. His style and mannerisms contrast so well with the fairy tale manners of the rest of the characters that I couldn't help but smile. This was my favorite story of the bunch, and truthfully, I'd have been more than happy to read an entire book told this way. It was great!
Though I'd give the three stories above a 10 out of 10, overall, I'd give the book a 7 out of 10. Some stories left me cringing, and some were just not interesting enough for me to remember well. As a whole, though, it's a really fun read, especially if you're familiar with the original tales. If you're not, you may find yourself hunting down what each story was based upon as you read. I recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!