Raise your hand if you love yourself a good story retelling! We all have our hands up and it’s no secret—we love retellings. For some reason, even if we’ve seen the stories of Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice remixed a hundred times, there’s something new and interesting in each iteration that hits shelves. We just have to know what the twist is this time. And whether it’s setting the story in a different time period or showing the origin story of a villain instead—who maybe isn’t so evil after all (Wicked, anyone?)—we are always so down to see what creative new surprises await us in the hands of a new creator. Honestly, how do authors manage such creative twists?!
But this isn’t about us. We recently put a call out to you guys for even more reasons to love retellings:
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What do you love best about retellings? 📚 If you haven't read @meaganspooner yet, YOU MUST, and if you've already read #Hunted then you know why! #Sherwood is officially out today and it's a brilliant gender-flipped feminist retelling of Robin Hood. It's inspiring, fierce, and remixed in the best way possible that makes it feel fresh and fun.
Scroll down to see some of the reasons why your fellow book nerds love retellings, and make sure to comment your own ideas below!
10 Reasons Why We Love Retellings
1. “I love the little nods to the original story especially if they diverge a lot! 😍 Retellings are my fav!🌟🙌” —@artemisiabooks
You never know what to expect when it comes to a retelling—they could be narratively similar or a totally wild and different ride! If the latter’s the case, it provides such a fun opportunity for fans of the original tale to notice Easter eggs and small appearances or cameos of characters and themes from the original. It’s a fun little bonus to an already epic tale!
2. “I love it when they turn the original story on their head.” —@book_yogi
A lot of retellings’ source material come from very particular eras in our history, and so may follow similar storylines or character structures. Retellings, especially modernized ones, give authors a chance to throw that out the window! Keep the themes, leave expectations at the door.
3. “I love the familiarity of retellings, and the fact that they always seem to have a twist!!! I seriously need to check out CJ Redwine’s Ravenspire Series!!!! 🏰 💕⚔️” —@artgirlbooklover
Shout out to the Ravenspire series, because CJ Redwine does this so well. With enemies-to-lovers storylines, giving princesses the agency they deserve, moral ambiguity in every shade… and twists that take the tales in directions that somehow seem completely unique and yet somehow still faithful to the heart of the original! Ugh, we could go on forever.
4. “I love the kind of retellings that when you read it don’t know that it’s a retelling and then someone tells you it is you just look back and say “omg how did I not notice, it does have some similarities but it’s still so original” —@bookishhamster
Yes. Just yes. Heart of Iron is one in particular that comes to mind, but please, publishers, give us more of this brilliance!
5. “I love retellings that take the angle of the villain! They add so much more depth to an already loved stet” —@bmbookcase
Villains can unfortunately fall victim to two-dimensional disease in the stories of old, and that’s partly why we’re always so excited to see a spin that puts them front and center. Make us love them and then crush our hearts with their dark descent! We know they’d be proud…
6. “i love retellings especially when they go from the classic story of a charming prince saves the princess to the princess actually saves herself ❤️” —@tasyareads
The tales of old just didn’t give the princess a chance to save herself—and that’s not okay. Thankfully we have a new crop of badass YA heroines in the retellings hitting shelves that give us life with all these ladies are capable of. Sure, Prince Charming’s nice, but let’s not pretend we need him to save us this time.
7. “New interesting spins on the story. The whole, “but what if it happened like this?” Aspect of them is what intrigues me.” —@tiffybibliocinephile
Retellings don’t have to be exact retellings of the tale. Part of the genre involves taking the story in a new direction—questioning a staple that’s already been established. Letting characters have a chance to shine who may not have before, or growing the world, or introducing plot lines that underscore the themes in incredible new ways! Sorry Robin, but what would we do if we didn’t have Marian stepping up to take your mantle?!
8. “I’m into these retellings. Especially with the gender flip. It makes the story even more interesting!” —@between_._the_._pages
Because we all know the best knights in shining armor are those aforementioned badass ladies.
9. “I love seeing how different people view the saw story differently.” —@music4thesoultoo
One in particular that comes to mind is Ibi Zoboi’s Pride—it takes the story of Pride and Prejudice and sets it in Brooklyn, amongst gentrification and other socio-economic issues that are relevant to those communities today. They didn’t have a chance to be represented in the literature that was designated canon, and so retellings offer the opportunity to show them on screen, and how these timeless themes truly do translate!
10. “I love retellings. Its like we have not aged and could still experience our childhood” —@bookoffholic_bookwart
The world is such chaos right now, that you can’t blame us for feeling nostalgic. Returning to a simpler time with fresh stories that not only up the stakes, but bring us heart we recognize in fierce new packages? It might not be a whole new world, but it is the best of this one.
What do YOU love best about retellings? Tell us in the comments below!