Nine Classic Retellings You Should Read

Posted September 15, 2015 by Carlisa in Features, Top Ten Tuesday / 14 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday

Hello all you wonderful people out there. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is…nothing. Because it’s a Freebie week. Which means it’s a week where I stress out because I can barely make decisions on what to order in restaurants, let alone what to write for a TTT post. They’re are just so many possibilities that it’s overwhelming, you know?

But then inspiration struck. A few weeks ago–or maybe months, I can’t remember–the TTT prompt was Best Fairytale Retellings. And I loved it and I used fun gifs and my heart soared with the beauty of fairytales and their wonderful retellings. You can read that post here. So when I was pondering–yes, pondering–over what to write this week, I thought back to this fairytale retelling post. And then I remembered that I have a Classic Retelling shelf on my Goodreads page…and then I realized I have more than ten books listed on that shelf. And then I realized I can make this my TTT! A weight was lifted off of my shoulders and I immediately opened a new post page and started typing. And here we are.

Classics are wonderful things. They’re beautifully written and timeless and have important messages and characters. There’s always a reason why a classic is so very classic. But some classics don’t always work for some people. Like, for instance, I have a hard time getting through a lot of American literature. Victorian literature though is the bomb, in my opinion. Some things just don’t work for some people and some things are harder for some to read than others. And then those books are often left unread and unappreciated. That’s why I love that Classic Retellings are a thing. They present the story to a reader in a different way, letting them appreciate the classic beauty in a way that they’ll love. So let’s get to it:

the wrath & the dawn a little in love secret diary of lizzie bennet austenland looking glass wars

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This book was so incredibly beautiful. It’s probably been my favorite read this year and among my all-time favorite books. It’s a retelling of the classic One Thousand and One Nights. You can read my full review here…or you can just read the entire book because you should definitely do that *throws book at you*.

A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

If you know me at all, you’d know that I love Les Mis (and Eddie Redmayne *cough*). Like I love the story, the book (and, yes, I did read all 1200+ pages), the movie, the music, the messages. Everything. So when I got the opportunity to read the ARC of A Little in Love, a retelling of Les Mis in Éponine’s perspective, I grabbed at it. Read my full review here! Also, I can’t be alone with the Eddie Redmayne thing. Right? I mean, look at him. He’s awesome.

eddie redmayne

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick and Bernie Su

I LOVE THIS. It started out as a Youtube series that I became addicted to last Fall semester’s finals week. Let me tell you, that was an issue. Studying was out the window because I quickly became addicted to these videos. They’re hilarious and awesome and any Austen enthusiast needs to watch them immediately. And then it became a book which is basically the behind-the-scenes of the Youtube series so it’s equally awesome. I wrote about the Youtube series here and my review of the book is here.

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Since we were talking about Jane Austen already, let’s talk about this book. It’s not technically a re-telling…but it’s hilarious. It’s about a woman who is obsessed with Austen’s books and then travels to an “Austen experience” resort in England. It’s just cheesy and awesome. Seriously. And the movie is super hilarious, so if you don’t want to read it, at least watch the movie.

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

This is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland…It’s the story that Alice tells…because the original author got the story all wrong. So basically it’s awesome.

warm bodies the weight of feathers neverland midnight at austenland


Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

You may have heard of this movie that came out a few years ago. A zombie comedy. I saw the movie before I even knew that it was a book but I thought that the movie was super funny and awesome. And then I read the book and, honestly, I don’t remember much because it was before my blogging days and most of those books are gone from my memory. And I think watching the movie first makes me remember the movie more…anyways, it’s a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet. I know, I know….just think how much more awesome Shakespeare would have been if he had included zombies in his tales.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

I’m actually currently reading this baby, but it’s also a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet. And it’s published today, so waddup, shoutout to this book. HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO THIS BOOK. It’s been awesome so far! Look out for my review hopefully tomorrow.

Neverland by Shari Arnold

I read this one earlier this year and I really enjoyed it! It’s a retelling of the classic tale Great Expectations. Just kidding, it’s of Peter Pan…obviously. I was making a joke. Because the title is so obvious. Okay, moving on because my jokes aren’t funny. But anyways my review is here and this book is good if you like things Peter Pan.

Midnight at Austenland by Shannon Hale

So I probably should have mentioned this one earlier, but it’s the sequel to Austenland. And it’s just as hilarious and just as awesome and more based on Northanger Abbey. 

Okay, so that’s all. That’s only nine, I know. But I realized the rest of them on my Goodreads shelf are ones I haven’t read yet so I don’t want to include those ones. BUT these ones are awesome, so you should check them out. And if you know of any other classic retellings, let me know because I want to read them! Seriously, I will read them and love them and cherish them.


  • I LOVE your choice of topic this week! Oh and you totally got me with Neverland, I was like “Whaaaat? I thought it was Peter Pan?” I need more coffee! x

    • Thank you! I really love retellings so classic retellings are right up my alley.

      Hahahaha, glad to hear my joke got somebody!

  • Betty Books

    I love your list! I didn’t realise that Warm Bodies was a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Austenland has definitely made it to my TBR wish list. 🙂 x

    Beth @ The Beauty and The Bookish

    • It’s pretty subtle if you don’t notice the hints in Warm Bodies. Like the main zombie’s name is just R, instead of Romeo…and, yeah. It’s pretty subtle, but I think it’s an awesome idea.

  • I love fairytale retellings! I basically read your description of The Looking Glass Wars, opened a new tab, went to Goodreads, and added it to my “to-read”. I’ve only read one Alice in Wonderland retelling and that’s Splintered. (It was just ok for me) So, I would really like to find something that I love.

    • I LOVE that. That’s how I feel with a lot of the books you review. I haven’t read Splintered but I think it’s on my TBR.

      Hopefully you like it! I’ve heard of that other one, called Alice in Zombieland or something like that? I’ve heard good things about that one so maybe I’ll check it out.

  • Ooo I love this topic! I was actually entertaining something similar but couldn’t think of enough examples, you did excellent! I really want to check out The Weight of Feathers 😀 It sounds so beautiful!

    • YES, I just finished it and it’s wonderful. You should read it. It’s a quick one, too! And I’m sure you could make some BEAUTIFUL graphics.

      Who am I kidding? You could make beautiful graphics with ANYTHING.

  • This topic is awesome. I’ve seen the Austenland movie more times than is probably healthy—it just makes me really happy. I’d never heard of Neverland before…I’ll have to check that out.

    My list

    • I LOVE that movie. I want to buy it so I can watch it an unhealthy amount of times, too.

  • MeezCarrie

    I loved Austenland but have not read Midnight – sounds like I need to!! My TTT

    • If you liked Austenland, then you’ll enjoy Midnight just as much! Let me know if you read it!

  • Rissi

    I’ve not entirely read all of the “Lizzie Bennet” book (had to put it aside for review books), but I am loving it. As expected. The YouTube series is epic. Looking forward to finished this one as well as reading Lydia’s story this fall. I had no idea Les Mis had a re-telling. How interesting. 🙂 Great idea and post, Carlisa.

    • The YouTube series is SO good. Every time I think about it, I want to re-watch it.

      And they sent me the ARC of the Lydia one, but it got sent to my home address and I’m at school 😮 So my parents sent it to me and I’ve been anxiously waiting at the mailbox, but it hasn’t come yet. Ahhhhhh.