Edited by Christine Johnson
By Ellen Hawkins, Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Jeri Smith-Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, Jon Skovron, Christine Johnson
Available now from Harlequin Teen
I've repeatedly mentioned that I love fairytales and love seeing them retold. How could I resist the lure of an anthology gathering some of the hottest names in YA plus a bunch of my personal favorites? There were also a few authors I haven't read, which is an advantage of anthologies - a short and sweet introduction to a new voice.
Despite the title (GRIM), not all of the stories in the collection are based on Grimm's fairytales. Some are French tales, others are Hans Christian Anderson, some are other traditional sources. Some of the sources are used more than once. They are almost all retellings, though it took me embarrassingly long to figure some of them out. For instance, opening story "The Key" by Rachel Hawkins is based on one of my favorite tales and I still didn't get it until after I finished the story. (I don't think "Untethered" by Sonia Gensler is a retelling, which makes its inclusion odd.)
I did like this anthology overall. There were a few stories that I thought were too brief, and Ellen Hawkin's prose debut left me underwhelmed. I found Sarah Rees Brennan's "Beauty and the Chad" a bit too silly at first, but it's really stuck with me. Another one of my favorite authors, Tessa Gratton, wrote a Beauty and the Beast story called "Beast/Beast," which had an intriguing take on the central relationship and its evolution. "Figment" by Jeri Smith-Ready was a standout, one I'm sure I'll re-read to put a smile on my face. Julie Kagawa's "The Brothers Piggett" was another simple, silly one, but I enjoyed its gruesome twists. Another favorite of mine was "Sharper Than a Serpent's Tongue" by editor Christine Johnson. It's a tale of two sisters, but they aren't the straightforward bad sister and good sister of classic fairytales.
If you're a fan of fairytales or any of these authors, then GRIM is a wonderful choice for you. I do wish the anthology had been all Grimm fairytales, with no repeats, but as it is, some of the repeats were my favorites. The book does stand out in diversity, both in authors and characters.