If I love a story, you can guarantee that I will watch and read and listen to every single adaptation and concept that exists, and most of the time I will enjoy all of them. Fairy tale retellings, or just story and classic retellings in general, are a really fun concept to me and I think that they allow other authors and writers do go in directions that the original creator never went.
Even though I always thought I loved these retellings, after looking at my bookshelves I actually don’t own, nor have I read, too many. I listed below the ones that I have read, all in which I have enjoyed.
Queen of Hearts – Alice in Wonderland
Coraline – Alice in Wonderland
Heartless – Alice in Wonderland
Throne of Glass – Cinderella
Cinder – Cinderella
Scarlet – Red Riding Hood
Cress – Rapunzel
Winter – Snow White
Beastly – Beauty and the Beast
A Court of Thorns and Roses – Beauty and the Beast
If I had to choose just one, Cinderella would probably be my favourite fairy tale (I’m so unique… I know). I’ve seen the Disney cartoon, all of the different Cinderella Story movies, Into The Woods and probably so many more, but the most recent Disney live action film is BY FAR my favourite. I’ve seen so many different movie retellings of Cinderella and the concept of the story, but book wise Cinder by Marissa Meyer is probably the only one (I mean are we really going to compare Cinderella to ToG?).
After looking at this short list of retellings that I’ve read, I wanted to expand my reading of this category. When I saw Frogkisser floating around the online book community and seeing that it was released soon, I immediately sent an email over to Bloomsbury to request a copy for review. Plus, Garth Nix is an Aussie author, so YAY FOR OZYA! Firstly, thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy to review, and secondly, can we talk about how beautiful the cover is?! Plus the side of the pages are yellow!
The last thing she needs is a prince. The first thing she needs is some magic.
Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.
Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land—and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.
As I could tell straight away from the synopsis is that Frogkisser is a retelling of popular fairy tale, The Princess and the Frog, but as I went through the book there were many other takes on different tales including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen The Princess and the Frog (I really need to get onto that) but I’ve always liked the concept of the story and the “kiss the frog to turn him into a prince” thing is very popular in a lot of fairy tales. So I was really excited to get into this book and see what it had to offer.
On top of the takes on the different fairy tales, there was a whole lot of other magical and amusing things going on. There were sorcerers, good robbers, magic carpets, talking dogs, evil step-stepfathers, princes turned into frogs, you name it! It made the book a lot more entertaining and amusing, and even though it’s probably directed toward a younger audience, it definitely kept me more intrigued in the story.
However, apart from the fun fairy tale aspect, this story fell kind of flat for me. I want anyone reading this review to keep in mind that this is just my opinion, and my reading interests might be a lot different to yours. It wasn’t that I hated the book, it’s just that I didn’t like it and the story line itself didn’t interest me. I tried to keep an open mind for the first half of the book because it is a fairy tale and it’s meant to be quirky and unique and not “normal”, but I had to end up skimming the second half because I wanted to get on reading other books that I would enjoy.
On the plus side, Garth Nix’s writing style was definitely unique and the creativity of the fairy tale was a lot of fun, and had I enjoyed the actual story line then I probably would have loved the book.
If this sounds like your kind of book, then definitely pick it up because I would love to hear other peoples thoughts on it. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me and it didn’t tickle my fancy as much as I thought it would. So please, comment below some fairy tale retellings (especially Cinderella) that you recommend me to pick up!