Tuesday, April 1, 2014
REVIEW Grim edited by Christine Johnson
edited by Christine Johnson
February 25, 2014
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:
Jeri Smith Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
So, I thought I'd kick of my reunification with my poor, neglected blog with this little gem of a book. Because I've always ALWAYS loved fairy tales, and this anthology fed right into that.
As with all anthologies, there were stories I liked and ones I didn't, but overall, I really liked this collection. The stories I liked best were from Kimberly Derting, Sarah Rees-Brennan, and Rachel Hawkins.
Kimberly Derting's Hansel and Gretal retelling was awesome. It was set in modern day, and it really worked for me. I loved the relationship between the siblings, and the unique twist on the "witch". It dragged the fairy tale into the real world, and turned it on its head. Loved.
Rachel Hawkins wrote a tale about the daughter of a fortune teller who stumbles smack dab into the middle of a mystery. Honestly, I wish this one wasn't a short story, but a prequel to a series. I'd love to see more of those characters.
And my absolute favourite story of the bunch was Sarah Rees-Brennan's Beauty and the Chad. And yes, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast where the beast happens to be a surfer dude named Chad. I laughed out loud at this one. Bless you, Sarah Rees-Brennan. I love how your mind works.
That being said, I did have a few issues with this anthology. Firstly, I definitely wouldn't recommend it for younger readers. There were two separate stories in which the main character was raped. There was one with incest, and one with molestation that I still can't figure out what kind of message it was sending in regards to keeping that quiet. Having read a huge amount of classic fairy tales, I'm not blind to the fact that these kinds of things are all over the place in those, but it still surprised me a little. I think the difference between the classics and this anthology, to me at least, is that the old-style fairy tales told about those things in kind of a detached "and then this happened, and then this happened," kind of way, whereas in these stories, these events were experienced through the character themselves.
Overall, though, I really did enjoy this anthology, and I'm looking forward to any future anthologies Harlequin Teen comes out with.
What did you guys think?