Everybody likes a good retelling don’t they because I know I do! It’s really fun and interesting to see different, unique spins on stories we already know! However, there seem to be some stories out there that just don’t get enough love in my opinion. This list just puts together a few I’d really like to see done or see more of and they aren’t “fairy tale” specific either!
My list is specifically referring to the YA genre for the most part.
Of course if I have happened to read an example of one of these I will link up a review or mention a retelling I know of even if I haven’t read it yet. I will also link up the books I have not read to their Goodreads pages! I will bold the ones that are personal reviews.
Also if you know of any retellings for these please let me know in the comments!
Such a popular classic story, wouldn’t you agree? However, as much I feel we see Robin Hood represented in other things such as movies or TV shows we really don’t get to see any different spins on the tale in books. I do know of one YA retelling called “Scarlet” by A. C. Gaughen.
I’d really like to see the same kind of idea as in “Scarlet” where outside characters interact with Robin Hood, or maybe a gender-bent Robin Hood, or maybe even a sci-fi retelling!
Aladdin and His Wondrous Lamp
Of course the story of Aladdin has been done a couple of times already but I still feel like I haven’t read enough Aladdin retellings! With all of the One Thousand and One Nights retellings that have been coming out recently I just feel it’d be even more appropriate for more Aladdin as well. There is a retelling called “A Whole New World” by Liz Braswell based off of the Disney version but it hasn’t really received great reviews. There’s also “The Forbidden Wish” by Jessica Khoury that is a simply amazing retelling where Aladdin falls in love with the gender bent genie, I highly recommend it!
I’d like to see more retellings in the style of Khoury’s with gender bent characters or a badass “Princess Jasmine” (I know that’s only her name in the Disney version but you get what I mean!) or even a gender bent Aladdin would be neat too! Really though I’m just down for any kind of retelling.
How epic and awesome would a Beowulf retelling be?! Ya know because the poem is already “epic” …………see what I did there?
Anyways, I actually heard there was going to be a sort of gender bent retelling coming out next year called “The Boneless Mercies” by April Genevieve Tucholke. Hopefully it turns out fantastic because I’m usually not the biggest fan of Tucholke’s writing.
However, I’d be really really interesting to see any kind of retelling of Beowulf like the gender bend Tucholke is doing or maybe a retelling from Grendel or Grendel’s mother’s POV?
The Arthurian Legends
Really just any of them from King Arthur and Excalibur, the Knights of the Round Touble, Merlin, or Morgan le Fay. Just any retelling on any aspect of the Arthurian Legends I need some authors to do this! I’m thinking it would make for some pretty great YA fantasy if it was done properly!
The Little Mermaid
Of course I feel it’s pretty safe to say we all know the story of The Little Mermaid but aside from the Disney adaptation are there really that many other retellings of it? The recent release “The Seafarer’s Kiss” by Julia Ember is the only retelling I know of and it combines a bit of Norse mythology with a F/F romance as well.
I’d love to see a retelling of this story since I feel there’s many creative ways to do it, the main character doesn’t even necessarily need to be a mermaid (even though mermaids are pretty great).
Hansel & Gretel
I really don’t know of any retellings of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale and why that is I have no idea! The only representation I can think of is the movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters which I like the concept of. I’d really like to see a dark, horror retelling of this tale or something similar to that movie where the two characters are witch hunters.
I know that there are technically several retellings of this legend but in my mind just because your main character is disguising herself as a man doesn’t make it a Hua Mulan retelling. So while books such as “The Flame in the Mist” by Renee Ahdieh, “Kingdom of Ash and Briars” by Hannah West (which was actually amazing), and “Defy” by Sara B. Larson have all been labeled as such I want the REAL deal! I’m thinking either fantasy or more historical fiction-y would work well!
The Iliad & The Odyssey
I know that Madeline Miller has done a retelling of “The Iliad” featuring a M/M romance with “The Song of Achilles” and is going to be publishing a sort of “Odyssey” retelling called “Circe” from the witch Circe’s POV as well which is fantastic! ( I also know those aren’t really YA either) However, why aren’t there more of these? There are so many different characters and creatures to work with from both epic poems I feel there should be more especially in YA!
It’d also be really great to have more M/M or F/F/ romances in them or maybe even some gender swapped characters as well.
Hades & Persephone or “The Abduction Myth”
As many retellings or uses we see of Greek mythology in modern literature we really don’t see all that much of the goddess Persephone or of her abduction by Hades. I feel like the overall allusion of this myth may be used quite a bit but there really aren’t any specific retellings.
I feel once again a gender-bend or M/M or F/F could make for a very interesting retelling of this myth. Or even just a twist where Hades might not be that bad of a guy and he and Persephone actually fall in love kind of like a “Beauty and the Beast” thing. Just throwing this out there since it’s one of my favorite myths, I know it sounds weird but I love how her story is an origin myth for the seasons.
Honorable mentions (since I don’t know a whole TON about these stories but would still like to see some retellings of them!)
- The Snow Queen
- Sinbad the Sailor
Do you want to see any of these retellings as well?
Do you have any recommendations for books that are retellings on this list?
What are some retellings you’d like to see more of?
Let me know in the comments!