Top Ten {Fairy Tale} Books I Recommend The Most

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every once in a while I participate in this one when I either
1) Like the theme, and/or 2) Have the time!
This week's topic:
Top Ten {Fairy Tale} Books I Recommend The Most

When I saw this topic, I knew I could alter it perfectly when discussing fairy tales. 
I'm thinking about doing this again next week as well!

In no particular order...
(And yes, there are 11 because... 
1) I can't count, and 
2) Once I realized that I couldn't count, I couldn't take anything out!)

YouTube Link

Don't want to watch the video? 
(Which is sad, because you'll hear details that I don't write out below!)
Check out the list below!

1) ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine
This was the first fractured fairy tale I ever encountered.  I fell in love with it.  I'm sort of afraid to re-read it now even though I really want to, because what if I no longer love it?  It's the only kid's book sitting on my Top 5 All-Time Favorite Books List, but what if it's all nostalgia?

Either way, I love it!  Cinderella doesn't sit around waiting for her prince to come and, in fact, knows him beforehand.  I think that's my favorite element right there!

2) BEAUTY by Robin McKinley
Another of my earliest brushes with fairy tales in novel form!  Robin McKinley is a master at this genre, and I own just about all of her books and want to re-read many of them (Though I'm still waiting to read PEGASUS for the first time because cliffhangers and long wait periods in between books don't agree with me.  But oh, it's pretty!)

For a long, long time, BEAUTY was my favorite retelling of Beauty and the Beast; it still holds a special place in my heart!

3) THE GOOSE GIRL by Shannon Hale
I own every book Shannon Hale has written, and I started with this one.  THE GOOSE GIRL is the only book in the Bayern series actually revolving around a fairy tale, but they're all compelling reads. Hale also has several great stand-alone fairy tale novels.  One thing I love about Hale is the way she manages to pick unique, lesser-known stories to retell.  She also co-writes fairy tale comic books with her husband, which brings in a whole new demographic of fairy tale fans!

4) SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce
It was hard choosing just one book by Jackson Pearce, who has quickly become a favorite of mine in the genre.  Ultimately, I chose to go with her first title because Scarlett is such a fierce character and I embraced her in a way I haven't with Pearce's other characters.  At the same time, I'd recommend all of her books.  Her descriptions are superb and she has a way of twisting tales into something completely new and unique.  I'm really looking forward to the release of COLD SPELL in November, which features one of my favorite fairy tales, The Snow Queen!
My Review

5) KILL ME SOFTLY by Sarah Cross
This is the fairy tale novel that took me by surprise and blew me away in a fashion I never thought possible.  That cover. That title.  I never looked twice at this book until it was named on someone's Best Of list last spring.  I would have missed out on one of the greatest fairy tale novels I've ever read.  Sarah's way with words is impeccable.  Read the hook at the top of my review and you'll see what I mean!  Sarah will be stopping by for an interview and special giveaway during this year's FTF, and I'll be reviewing her novella AFTER THE BALL and re-posting my review of KMS.  Look forward to it!
My Review

6) THE PRINCESS CURSE by Merrie Haskell
I picked this one up after seeing the beautiful cover by Jason Chan.  At first glance, you think the book is about a girl who is a servant during the time twelve princesses dance the night away.  She tries to solve the mystery and finds herself in a fairy tale of her own!  I can't even talk about how much I love this book.  Check out The Book Rat for an interview and giveaway with Merrie!
My Review

7) SCARLET by Marissa Meyer
I loved SCARLET in a way I couldn't completely give my heart to CINDER.  The book is elevated to a whole new level, and the world-building is incredible.  I'm not often consciously visual as I read, but there were scenes where I could smell the sweat in the air, feel the vibrations of pounding fists, hear the roar of the crowd, and see the whole picture.  It was gorgeously layered and really showed an evolution in Meyer's writing.  Keep an eye out during FTF for more fun with this book!
My Review

8) ENCHANTED by Alethea Kontis
I wanted ENCHANTED as soon as I saw the pretty cover and heard it was a fairy tale revolving around The Princess and the Frog.  Imagine my surprise at discovering it was so much more.  I fell in love the second time I read the book (I wasn't in the right frame of mind the first time to properly embrace it), and look forward to more books in the world from Kontis.  There are so many twists and turns, with so many surprise visits from other tales!  Keep an eye on FTF as Alethea stops by for a fun interview and whispers secrets about her upcoming novel HERO!
My Review

9) THE WOODCUTTER by Kate Danley
This is a new addition to my list.  I'll be reviewing this for FTFand also interviewing Kate!  I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting when I first encountered THE WOODCUTTER, but it had won awards and I was curious.  The writing is fluid and easy to fall in love with.  The book is original, and a mystery to boot, but fairy tale objects and characters appear in new and innovative ways.  After THE WOODCUTTER, I would absolutely read more from this author!

10) SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott
This rendition of Cinderella is dark and not for everyone.  I love it, though.  It's layered and rich, and really solidifies Zoë as a powerful author.  It's also full of Asian elements, and having lived in Japan for two years, I appreciate this all the more.  SOTM is highly imaginative and if you've never read anything by the author before, I'd start here.  Check The Book Rat during FTF for an interview with the always lovely Zoë!
My Review

11) HEART'S BLOOD by Juliet Marillier
This is my all-time favorite rendition of Beauty and the Beast.  I will warn you that if you go to buy it at the bookstore, it's located in the adult Fantasy section, not YA like so many of the books on this list--and for good cause.  Just sayin'.  I think what appeals to me the most is the fact that there is no magical curse.  The "beast" suffered from a palsy as a child and is left without the use of part of his body.  It's very realistic in a way B&B usually isn't and feels grounded.  This was the first book I ever read from the author, and  I've since read all of her other titles as well.  What a storyteller!
My Review

And...if you checked out my video and saw my overflowing fairy tale shelves, you'll know why it was so hard to stop at, 11!

What are your favorite fairy tale novels?  
I want to make sure I've read them all!


  1. I love most of the books on this list already. : ) Ella Enchanted is my favorite, although I much preferred the book to the movie. It's not the same without Char's letters!

    1. Right? Right?! I've been saying that for years!!!

  2. I agree that Scarlett was so much more than Cinder (and I totally loved Cinder) and it has me so excited for the rest of the series! Kill Me Softly is one I still need to read, thanks for reminding me of it. Off to add it to my list!

  3. I really enjoy reading Beauty and The Beast re-tellings. I'll have to check out "Beauty". :)

  4. Oh I haven't heard of some of these! I'll have to check it out. And I totally LOVE Scarlett :)

  5. These are some of my very favorite books! So good. I can easily understand how you had a hard time limiting it to just ten. A few of these I haven't read yet, but I'm hoping to change that soon - starting with Scarlett!

  6. I'm definitely putting Scarlet on my list. What a great review! You really made me wanna read it right now!

  7. The Princess Curse sounds so good. I've been wanting to pick it up ever since Misty first mentioned it. One day...

  8. I LOVE Gail Carson Levine. I also like Snow by Tracy Lynn, The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker, Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen (as well as Curse of the Thirteenth Fey by her), and The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman.

  9. I read Ella Enchanted so many times throughout elementary school and even once or twice in middle school. I still have it on my shelves- it's such a fantastic book! Shamefully, I haven't read the other books you've listed, but I'm dying to read Cinder, Sisters Red, and Kill Me Softly.

    My TTT

  10. I haven't read anything you suggested but Sisters Red on your list! I do have The Frog Princess retelling. And I want Merrie Haskell's Princess Curse (waiting for a good price). Heart's Blood looks really good, so does The Woodcutter and Kill Me Softly. Great choices! I just ordered Beauty for 4$ on Amazon.


  11. I think my top 3 favourite fairy tale retellings are easily Ella Enchanted, Beauty, and The Goose Girl! (Although I wasn't familiar with the actual fairy tale of The Goose Girl before I read Shannon Hale's version, so for me it's more just that I love the book itself.) I actually still need to read Scarlet... *hides* The general consensus seems to be that it's better than Cinder, which is good to hear because I did have some issues with the first book. And Shadows on the Moon is also sitting on my shelf, patiently waiting for many books to read, LOL...


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