{ICYMI} Top Ten Fairy Tale Characters Whose Lives You WOULDN'T Want

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This post was first featured on A Backwards Story on April 22, 2014 during the fourth Fairy Tale Fortnight. 

This year for the event's 5th Anniversary, older posts will be pulled out from the archives and given a brand-new coat of paint as "In Case You Missed It" features!

There have been quite a few posts this year that point fingers at some of the "less nice" aspects of fairy tales. Last year for Top Ten Tuesdays, I put together a fun list of fairy tale-inspired novels whose characters have really rough lives. I wouldn't want to step into their shoes, even if they were glass..or gold...or read and ready to dance in...!

Top Ten Characters Whose Lives You WOULDN'T Want 

Okay, the REAL question was, "Top Ten Characters Who X (you fill in the blank -- examples: piss me off, are the popular kids, are bookish, would be my bff, that stole my heart, etc. etc.)"

So of COURSE I'm making this fairy tale themed!!! 

I decided to make this about fairy tale characters from books living through horrible things that no one should have to go through!

In no particular order...

1) OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jay

One of  the coolest things about this book is that it redefines what is beastly and what is beautiful. The novel takes place on a different planet, where the rules of nature have changed. Princess Isra is blind and knows only what she's told, that she's ugly, wrong, not worthy.. She's been raised knowing that she'll ultimately be sacrificed to save her people. Who wants that on their shoulders?

Check out my review and interview with author Stacey Jay!

2) SHADOWS ON THE MOON by ZoĆ« Marriott

Suzume goes through so much heartbreak and woe on her journey. The book opens with her witnessing her family's slaughter. Over time, her heart burns with revenge and she wants nothing more than to destroy the prince who ordered their deaths. A traditional version of Cinderella, this is not!

Check out my review!


Because no one should EVER have to live through the Bluebeard tale. It's terrifying in and of itself and doesn't need special circumstances to make it so!

Check out my review and interview with author Jane Nickerson, as well as her guest post with Misty!

4) DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST by Juliet Marillier

Sorcha loves her brothers intensely, and literally goes through hell in order to save them when they're turned into swans by their stepmother. She's not allowed to talk at all during her attempt to free them, or everything comes crashing down. Not even when she finds herself in horrifying situations....

For some reason, I never reviewed this, so no review for you. ;_; Sorry!!

5) SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce

Scarlette is another girl with a heart bent on revenge. She lived through a devastating Fenris attack as a child, her missing eye proof of the horror she experienced. Now, she hunts Fenris (a type of werewolf) each night, determined to protect both herself, her younger sister Rosie, and all the innocent, unknowing girls in the world. That's a lot of weight to have on your shoulders! Scarlette is as fierce and driven as Buffy...and I wouldn't want to be her, either!

Check out my review!

6) KILL ME SOFTLY by Sarah Cross

In some ways, I actually do want to live in Beau Rivage, because the town is so awesome and amazing. But I also...don't. Nobody has any control over their destinies. They're born with birthmarks that tattoo their roles in beloved fairy tales onto their bodies, and they're forced to reenact those parts in their own lives. Stepsisters walk around with missing toes, stepmothers flee from birds who want to peck out their eyes, etc. Nothing is as it seems, as we see firsthand in KILL ME SOFTLY! 
(And though I would never want to live there and be forced to live a life I want no part in, I've been really eager to return to Beau Rivage ever since reading this. I jumped for joy last month when I heard that Sarah Cross has a new book coming out in 2015 called TEAR YOU APART!!!!)

Check out my review and a guest post with author Sarah Cross!

7) A LONG, LONG SLEEP by Anna Sheehan

What would it be like to sleep for a hundred years and wake up so far in the future that nothing is even remotely familiar? Technology has changed everything. When Rose is pulled out of stasis, she's still a teenager...but she has the aches and pains that come with age. Nothing is quite right, and she isn't completely healthy. Plus, her parents and the love of her life are all long dead. Her parents were completely nuts and put her under stasis several times as she was growing up, so she watched her love Xavier as he was both younger and older than her, even then. She never lived a normal life and was kept away from so much. And now, even her parents can't save Rose from the terrifying future...

Check out my review!

8) CINDER by Marissa Meyer

Over the course of The Lunar Chronicles series, we see Linh Cinder go through so many horrible things. When she was a child, an accident left her with a mechanical arm and foot. The new body parts make her a cyborg, even though she's still a human, too. Her stepmother treats her like she's worse than dirt and even the government doesn't have much love for "her kind." Her circumstances get worse as the book progresses, and for the rest of the series, she's on the run as a hunted fugitive. Nothing fanciful about that, huh?

Check out my review!

9) DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige

Okay, so this isn't a fairy tale retelling. I'm cheating, I know. But it IS a retelling of classic lore, and since a lot of people don't understand what a fairy tale actually is, they think things like THE WIZARD OF OZ and ALICE IN WONDERLAND are fairy tales. Heck, even PETER PAN counts! So they all get absorbed into the genre as lovely stepchildren. Okay? Okay. ^.~

I wouldn't want to be Amy Gumm, and you wouldn't, either. She grew up in our world--in Kansas, no less--knowing and loving The Wizard of Oz. Glinda was always her favorite. When she gets whisked away to Oz, at first, she's eager to see her favorites. When she sees Glinda for the first time, she almost rushes straight into her own death. Oz is tarnished, Oz is dying, Oz isn't the same lovely place. All because of the beloved heroine Dorothy. Amy has been assigned to kill the beloved icon of our time...and who wants that weight on her shoulders? Not I, that's for sure!

Check out my review!

10) DELPHINE by Richard Sala

We never get to see the Prince's journey as he goes after his princess (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.). In DELPHINE, we do, and this Prince goes through a lot to find his Snow White after she disappears into thin air. He sees monstrosities and is unaware of the monstrosity headed his way if he continues on his crazy search for the girl...

Check out my review!

Which fairy tale characters have lives YOU wouldn't want to live???