Read These to Live Happily Ever After

Posted August 4, 2015 by Carlisa in Features, Top Ten Tuesday / 7 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday

I love retellings. I love hearing a familiar story told with a twist or from a different perspective. It makes me so much more appreciative of the original story and I just love them. Seriously, I have a (almost) bi-weekly feature called Fairy Tale Fridays. I really love them.



Cinderella is the classic princess. With her fairy godmother and glass slippers and legendary midnight runs, she is loved by all. Despite seeing this story retold in so many movies, I haven’t come across many retellings in book form. But there are always some and I am always on the look-out for more, so let me know of others that I should read!

ella enchanted Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine is the author who made me fall in love with reading. Sure, I had read tons before. But Levine is the first author who I distinctly remember…even though I read all of her books in third grade over twelve years ago. Her fantasy and fairy tale novels lit something up in my life that is still shining brightly (I hope) today. And Ella Enchanted was one of my favorites. Though super different from the (hilarious) movie, this book is beautiful and I can’t wait to re-read it with my children someday.


cinderCinder by Marissa Meyer

You can’t list off fairy tale retellings without including the Lunar Chronicles anymore! They’re beautifully-done mash-ups of four different fairy tales…who I will touch on. Obviously.

But Meyer takes these books to new level by setting them in a future Asia, with enemy Lunars and (surprise!) an cyborg Cinderella! I’m super excited to re-read this before Winter comes out this November.

Honorary Movie Mentions:

A Cinderella Story (Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray…can you say sa-woon?), Ella Enchanted, Ever After, Disney’s Cinderella (2015)

Beauty and the Beast


As I fellow book-nerd, I love Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She stands true to her kindness, love, and compassion for the people around her, and I love that. This one has a few more book retellings and less movie retellings that I can think of.

Beastly by Alex Flinnbeastly

I read this one after the movie came out (shocker, I know) back in, what, 2012? Nope, I just checked. The movie came out in 2011. Wow, what the heck. You know, the one with Vanessa Hudgens. After her High School Musical days. What has she even been up to since then?

Anyways, I don’t remember this book or movie a ton, but it’s an interesting modern look at this classic story.


beautyBeauty by Robin McKinley

I read this one back in 2012, too. Man, my sixteen year old self was having a Beauty and the Beast kick. This one is more of a classic novelization of the story, and I just remember thinking it was really beautiful and well-done.

Also, her nickname is Beauty, but she’s thin and awkward. Which is an interesting take on the otherwise literally-a-beauty Belle.


cruel beautyCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Unlike the other two books here, I just read this one about a month or so ago and really enjoyed it. It takes Beauty and the Beast as we know it and mixes it with Greek mythology. And the result is breathtaking and intriguing.

Go read this one.

Like, now. What are you even doing?

*Note: SO EXCITED FOR THE LIVE ACTION WITH EMMA WATSON AND MATTHEW FROM DOWNTON ABBEY *high-pitched squealing* (question: Is it bad I only know him as Matthew from Downton Abbey and I don’t actually know his real name? Oh well).

Sleeping Beauty

sleeping beauty

Like her small role in Once Upon a Time, Sleeping Beauty has had a small impact on my fairy tale retelling book life. I haven’t seen that many book or movie retellings of this one, but that can easily change (*wags eyebrows suggestively at you, reader, with your extensive Sleeping Beauty retelling knowledge that you surely have*).

a wicked thingA Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

I was very excited to read this one earlier this year…but I was also pretty let down. You can read my review here. There was just a lot of unreached potential there.

But the sequel comes out next year and the cover is gorgeous and I might just pick it up to see if Aurora becomes any stronger as a character.

I want to read more about Sleeping Beauty! A bad reading experience shouldn’t be my only one. Bah, let me know of good retellings or…even write your own retelling! As Shia LaBeouf says, JUST DO IT. 

Honorary Movie Mention:

loved Maleficient. I know a lot of people didn’t like it but I liked to see this completely different story. And Angelina Jolie kicks butt.

Snow White

snow white

Snow White is another classic princess story, with birds and animals singing along with her and poisoned apples and happily ever afters.

fairestFairest by Gail Carson Levine

This was another one of Gail Carson Levine’s that I ate up as a child.

Her name is Aza and she thinks she’s ugly…certainly not the fairest of them all. But she has a beautiful singing voice that has attracted the likes of a certain handsome prince.

Yeah, you go Aza. You go.


winterWinter by Marissa Meyer

Unfortunately, I have not yet read this 800-page masterpiece as it comes out this November as the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. But here we finally get the story of Snow White added into this fairy tale mash-up.

And hopefully we see Levana, the evil queen who I hate deeply, finally get beaten.

Seriously, she needs to get out.

Honorary Movie Mentions:

Snow White and the Huntsman (where Kristen Stewart actually shows some emotions while acting…Also, Chris Hemsworth), Enchanted (LOVELOVELOVE), Mirror Mirror (totes adorbz movie) (I use those abbreviations ironically, I hope you know that), and Sydney White (before Amanda Bynes went crazy).



Oh my goodness, I love Rapunzel. Tangled is so cute and wonderful. For my high school sophomore speech class, we had to “campaign” to replace someone…and I campaigned to be the new Rapunzel, lol. I told them not to worry because I was growing my hair out, and then a stoner in my class asked me afterwards, “Are you really going to grow your hair that long?” Yes, sir, I am going to grow my hair out 70 feet (a fact I remember from my speech).

Also, sorry to break from the Once Upon a Time themed gifs, but it had to be done. I couldn’t find any of OUAT’s Rapunzel.

cressCress by Marissa Meyer

This is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series, and it’s the one where we meet Cress…aka Rapunzel. This is the first Rapunzel retelling that comes to mind and I think she’s awesome.

She’s small and shy…but spunky when she needs to be. I’m super excited to re-read this one before Winter to get to know Cress a little better!

That’s all I have for you, folks!  (And yes I know there are only nine here). Please let me know if there are any re-tellings I should try out!

happily ever after

  • AnneBennett

    This was such a fun post idea this week. I love retellings and you picked some good ones.

    My TTT Retellings

  • Rissi

    What a fabulous list, Carlisa. I really like how you put today’s topic together. There are so many awesome fairytales out there. This is definitely one of my favorite genres, and I must admit, I have yet to read Marissa’s re-tellings. Someday, very soon. 🙂

  • I loved your gif selection. Complete perfection. I also loved that you added in movies! I would love some more Sleeping Beauty retellings. A Wicked Thing is the only one I know of.

  • Great list! I’ll definitely have to check some of these out. I have been wanting to read Cruel Beauty for a while but have been deterred by a couple of friends as of late. Also, I wasn’t a big fan of Cinder so even though I’ve heard the other books are better I haven’t been able to convince myself to read the others.

  • Lauren

    Great list! I like you Once Upon A Time and Tangled gifs! 🙂

    Check out my TTT.

  • Great, great list! I love how you did the layout, it looks great! Please feel free to mine here

  • SMM Frost

    Love the gifs. you used! Also love your list. This is such a fun theme this week.

    My TTT: