Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Grim ~ Christine Johnson, editor (earc) review [@HarlequinTEEN]

Harlequin Teen
February 25, 2014
480 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins
Amanda Hocking
Julie Kagawa
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
Jon Skrovan

Although the Grim title would suggest Grimm Brothers retellings, only some of the stories are. With most of the tales, I recognized the source, but a few I didn't recognize what they were retelling.  It would have been nice to have what the inspiration was for each story located somewhere. It was nice starting them and now knowing, always, what story I was getting into, but some list would have been appreciated.

One of the best things about anthologies is the introduction to new or unfamiliar authors.  While I was already familiar with some of the authors (Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Kimberly Derting, Jackson Pearce, Jeri Smith Ready, Saundra Mitchell, Tessa Gratton) there were a few I haven't read before, namely, Shaun David Hutchinson, Sonia Gensler and Amanda Hocking. I love finding new authors in anthologies. It gives a short introduction to the author, their writing style

Hutchinson's story "Better," Mitchell's "Thinner than Water," Derting's "Light it Up," Gray's "A Real Boy," and Johnson's "Sharper than a Serpent's Tongue," were likely my favorite tales. A few of the others seemed to end too soon and/or follow to predictable of a course. As a whole, however, Grim was a very enjoyable read. Through it, I found both new authors to read and new fairy tales I was not previously aware of.

Kagawa's retelling of Three Little Pigs and Brennan's Beauty and the Beast re-do were likely the most humorous in the collection. Each was very memorable and with a new twist.

Grim's is a fantastic read if you love fairy tales or like reading classic tales told in a fresh, new way. Some of the stories follow their original version more closely than others, but each is an enjoyable read. I liked the 'edgier' bits that were part of a few of the stories. The real fairy tales themselves were not happily-ever-after Disney tales and I loved having more modern aspects that both fit and kept the tales from having only cookie cutter characters and relationships, added. (In "Thinner than Water," "Beauty and the Chad," and "The Twelfth Girl," especially.)

Rating: 7.5/10

digital arc received for review from publisher via NetGalley

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