Book Review:Grim a Young Adult Short Story Anthology

Grim is a collection of 17 short stories based off fairy tales collected by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. Some of the tales are better known such as Beauty and the Beast and The Snow Queen, and some are lesser known, such as The Shroud and The Robber Bridegroom. The authors in the anthology are: 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, and Jon Skrovon.

I do not want to go to much into each of the stories, because reading a full summary of a short story might give away to much and destroy some of the fun. So, I will highlight some of my favorites. The Key by Rachel Hawkins is about a girl with a special gift, and has an open ending. The Raven Princess by Jon Skovron offers a fun twist to a lesser known story. Thinner Than Water by Saundra Mitchell is a retelling of Donkeyskin, with a vengeful flavor. The tale is tough to read, but so worth it. Beast/Beast by Tessa Gratton, a retelling of a tale you can figure out by the title, featured characters that break the preconceptions you might have of them.

The stories were generally very well done, and left me with only a couple moments of wishing I skipped a story. However, for the most part I enjoyed the reading. I take great pleasure in reading new twists on classic tales, and even more pleasure in having a lesser know story or even one I do not recognize introduced. This is a definite young adult and adult selection, and one worth exploring.

I would recommend Grim to young adults, new adults and adults. The stories are a bit grim, as the title suggests, and sometimes a little gritty. In this regard I think the short story format is perfect. If you like new and unusual takes of folklore and learning new stories from the past then you will enjoy this collection.

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