Review: Grim edited by Christine Johnson


Source: Netgalley/Harlequin Teen– I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Edition: EARC, 480 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

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:

Ellen Hopkins
Amanda Hocking
Julie Kagawa
Claudia Gray
Rachel Hawkins
Kimberly Derting
Myra McEntire
Malinda Lo
Sarah Rees-Brennan
Jackson Pearce
Christine Johnson
Jeri Smith Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
Saundra Mitchell
Sonia Gensler
Tessa Gratton
Jon Skrovan

Grim is a great collection of fairy tale retellings, one of my favorite things to read. There is a lot of variety and each story pulls from a different fairy tale, except two which share Beauty and the Beast. There are a ton of stories packed into this one, so I’ll only touch on the ones that really stood out to me.

I loved Figment by  Jeri Smith-Ready, which I think is based on Puss-in-Boots. It was such a interesting and at times incredibly sweet story, while it still held some of the sadness inherit to fairytales. Thinner than Water by Saundra Mitchell which pulls from Donkeyskin really surprised me. Donkeyskin is a really heartbreaking fairytale that I try to avoid to be honest, so I wasn’t expecting to really like this one. It does have one of the more serious topics (incest – it is forced upon her) but the ending and the main characters determination made it all worth it. The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa was definitely one of the better retellings, as it actually built upon and veered away from the original story of The Three Little Pigs while still remaining recognizable. Better by Shaun David Hutchinson, based on The Pied Piper, was done with a fantastic sci-fi twist and took a wicked turn that I wasn’t expecting at all. 

I wasn’t all that fond of Before the Rose Bloomed by Ellen Hopkins (based on The Snow Queen) because her poetic style didn’t really fit the story. I did like that she mixed biblical stories with the fairy tale but it just wasn’t my thing. The Raven Princess by Jon Skovran is based on The Raven tale (not the poem), and for the most part it is nearly the same story with more details and a bit of twist…which was pretty disappointing. Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan, based on Beauty and the Beast and it’s honestly the weirdest retelling I’ve ever read. It’s pretty funny at times and sort of sweet but way bizarre.

Overall I’m really pleased with the story collection in Grim! There was a lot of variety and while they were retellings of fairy tales some were more contemporary or sci-fi than fantasy. I love reading anthologies like this because there is so much variety in one “topic” and you can always find new authors or rediscover authors you haven’t read in a while. So if you enjoy fairy tale retellings and you like short stories, then go for it! You’re bound to find some stories that you’ll like and who knows you might find a new favorite author!

4 stars

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2014) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Review: Grim edited by Christine Johnson

  1. I’m amazed at how you can write a short but a really good review. I don’t really know how to do that for anthologies. This looks like a good one. I love fairy tale feelings. I’m not sure I’ll know all the stories used in this one though. I read some titles on your review that I don’t recognize

  2. Pamela D says:

    I’ve been hearing some good press about this book. I do like fairy retellings, so I think I am going to have to check this book out. 🙂

  3. You know I have to read this right? I mean.. MUST READ. I haven’t read a puss in boots retelling before! that just sounds too fun! … and now my tbr is towering just a little bit more >.<

  4. Hope To Read says:

    I’ve got to get a hold of this. My 16y old daughter will LOVE ❤ it.

  5. Pabkins says:

    Some were more contemporary?! Argh I hate contemps….still going to read it though lol

  6. Christy says:

    I honestly had no interest in this because I’m not into anthologies, but damn, these sound freaking good. I love the darker one of it.

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