We bookworms love our retellings.
Over recent years, retellings have pretty much taken the publishing world by storm, and with that comes a whole new genre of books that I feel like hasn’t been explored to its full capability. So, I decided that I wanted to talk about some retellings of stories that I would love and enjoy (and, hopefully, you’ll beg the publishing industry for them as well).
1. Robin Hood
Because imagine a book where the main character was snarky and went around with a group of anti-heroes taking from the rich and giving to the poor in a sci-fi or a contemporary setting. Try to tell me that doesn’t sound totally awesome, BECAUSE IT DOES.
2. The Nutcracker
I will say, my obsession is birthed half from the Barbie adaptation and half from seeing the ballet live way back a long time ago (and it was absolutely stunning, if you want to know), but I’d love to see a modern retelling of The Nutcracker! It doesn’t even have to be centered around Christmas, but it’d just be amazing to see the gorgeous world adapted onto the page, especially with an author who has gorgeous prose.
3. Pandora’s Box
Not only does this Greek mythology really interest me, but it also pretty much ends on a sort of cliffhanger, if I remember (Pandora opens the box with all the bad traits inside…and that’s it, basically). I know there’s a middle grade series out there that I really enjoyed when I was younger that retold this story, but I’ve yet to see a YA retelling of this story. It’s so interesting, and I think it’d easily make an amazing series or stand-alone.
This would make a brilliant series or book! I remember that Hercules had to go through a slew of challenges to appease Hera, and it’d be so awesome to see a modern or sci-fi adaptation of the whole thing. And this may or may not have come up because I watched the Hercules movie a couple months back (it was objectively terrible, but subjectively entertaining).
When I first heard this story, I absolutely fell in love with it. I don’t know why, but I’ve always found it so interesting that Prometheus was a sort of rebel and introduced fire to mortals anyone at the risk of being chained to a rock and having his insides attacked by a bird for the rest of his life, so why not have a more modernized version that talks about the events and gets into Prometheus’ head?
Even though I haven’t read the Percy Jackson series in a long time, that brief moment in The Titan’s Curse when Percy had to hold the world on his shoulders in place of Atlas was SO INTENSE. I think it’d be so interesting to have a retelling of the who, what, when, where, why, and how of this entire story! And because the premise of someone having to hold up the world with their shoulders is so interesting.
Basically, I freaking love Spartacus’ story, and if there was a YA modern adaptation of his story or the movie 300 or even the TV show, I would be behind it 100 percent. Please someone write this.
8. The Trojan War
The idea of an adaptation where a group of people hide in a giant wooden horse and pretend to be a peace offering is totally entertaining to me, and I’m all for it.
I actually had to read this book for school and absolutely hated it, but I can’t deny that the concept and the whole discussion about what makes something human is totally fascinating and would make an amazing YA adaptation that delves deep into a topic that’d make people think! The Unwind Dystology (one of my favorite series of all time) explores this concept magnificently, but I’d love more dystopian and sci-fi that talks about it!
Okay, this is definitely inspired because Tangled is one of my favorite Disney Princess movies ever (and probably one of the most underrated besides The Princess and the Frog and Brave, but THAT’S NOT THE POINT HERE), and I absolutely loved Marissa Meyer’s Cress, so I’d love a modern retelling of Rapunzel, especially since the original fairytale is pretty dark, if I remember.
11. King Midas
This is another sort of story that really has a tragic, cliffhanger ending, much like Pandora’s Box, so it’d be nice to see a sort of continuation of it or maybe even a metaphorical retelling or adaptation of it. I really think it’d be an interesting story to retell.
Again, another Greek mythology that has a tragic ending with it, and that’s basically it. I do find the story intriguing and interesting, though, especially with the fact that a modern retelling could have a main character that’s really good at inventing things, which isn’t usually seen a lot in YA! And it involves being in prison, and it’d be nice to see how one got there, along with their father.
13. Romeo and Juliet
This is actually another classic I read back in middle school that I really didn’t enjoy (be prepared; there are a lot of them coming up), but the story of a star-crossed forbidden romance would make an awesome modern retelling, especially if it delved into politics and family relationships, or even had an alternate ending.
14. The 12 Dancing Princesses
I actually know about zero of the story behind this one, and the only reason I’m intrigued by it is, again, because of a Barbie movie I watched when I was younger about them, but it was a gorgeous-looking movie, and one of my favorites, so a YA adaptation, please?
15. The Little Mermaid
And I don’t mean the Disney adaptation of The Little Mermaid, I mean the Hans Christian Anderson’s version of The Little Mermaid where awful things happen and it ends terribly. Because I want more dark fairytales, damn it! And, also, because I have yet to find a book about mermaids that actually interests me.
16. Julius Caesar
Again, another book I hated when I read it for school, but I love the plot and think it would make an amazing retelling. I mean, it’s literally an entire story leading up to a betrayal and it deals with politics and takes place in Rome. That’s basically all I’d need to hear, and I’d want to read it immediately.
I’ve actually never read 1984 ever (it’s been on my TBR for a long time, though), but the premise sounds so amazing that it’d be really cool to have a retelling of it, especially since YA dystopian has died off, and I really miss it (but then again, I only read about five or so of the many dystopian novels that came out, so there’s that). And, again, I want more YA that gets me thinking.
18. Fahrenheit 451
Again, another old dystopian novel with an interesting concept that has been on my TBR since the dawn of time. But don’t tell me you don’t want some sort of YA dystopian retelling that talks about free speech, because that would be absolutely amazing.
19. Lord of the Flies
This book bored me to death when I read it in school, but again with the amazing premise! The Troop by Nick Cutter deals with a horror variation of this (and it was absolutely brilliant; I’d highly recommend it), but the idea of a group of boys having to survive without adults on an island would be interesting to watch unfold (without the ridiculous amounts of filler like in the original).
20. The Odyssey
Another super boring book I read in freshman year of high school, and my opinion of Odysseus could be explained as “If him living was the only way I could still keep reading and he was on the threshold of death, I’d still let him die,” but I’d love to see a modern version of a male or female protagonist going on an awesome journey with a group of people for an extremely long amount of time. And in novel format instead of poetry format, because that made the original book about ten times more painful.
Do you agree with any of my retellings? What types of retellings would you like to see? Any book recs for the retellings I mentioned?