Retellings are stories based on already written books / fairy tales where some elements are changed (the context, the plot development); it’s easy to find retelling of fairy tales (the most common are worldwide known).
However this Frankenstein process sometimes fails: some retellings appears to be cheesy and plain, like the link to the original story is enough to satisfy the reader.
In the following my opinions about two poor executed retellings:
- Ash by Malinda Lo – based on Cinderella
- Beastly by Alex Flinn inspired by Beauty and the Beast
Ash by Malinda Lo
Ash, a Cinderella retelling, keeps some characteristics of the original fable while modifies some other.
The main character has an evil stepmother and two step sisters (maybe not both evil), the magic that helps her in going to the ball is a fairy one and it will request a payback and at the ball Ash goes to meet the king huntress and not the prince.
The novel had the premises to a new vision of a classic fable, inserting also the lgbt theme, unfortunately it was quite superficial and fragmentary.
The love between Ash and Keisa is only partially motivated by their brief encounters and the payback to Sidhean, apparently a hard bargain, resolves easily in a brief chapter.
The overall impression is of an enjoyable reading but nothing more than this.
Beastly by Alex Flinn
“Beastly” is an obedient retelling of the “Beauty and the Beast”; the well-known story is only slightly changed in the setting and contains a couple of new ideas (for example the support group forum).
Thinking about it the “Beauty and the beast” story is about the Stockholm syndrome and “Beastly” is no different since there is not, in my opinion, an explanation for this growing love – rich in mushy expressions and thoughts.
The characters are cliché: he is beautiful and wonderfully mean, she is not (or maybe she is – but to his eyes only, no wait, she is beautiful for everybody) so beautiful, poor and in wanting to emerge; nothing extraordinary in my opinion.
From this book a film as much as terrible took inspiration.
* Ash by Malinda Lo – ★★☆☆☆½
* Beastly by Alex Finn – ★★☆☆☆
*I read this book in English