Sunday, February 16, 2014

Grim (review)

4/5 stars

I don't read many anthologies. I've dabbled in reading them, picking up one here or there but I have a tendency to read a couple stories then move on.  It's not that I don't like short fiction, I've enjoyed many short stories during literature classes (I'm a big fan of Hemingway) but I've never had much luck picking up anthologies on my own.

Fortunately, Grim (Goodreads | Amazon) is an exception.  This collection of short stories based on fairytales is a really solidly good anthology.  As with all collections, a couple stories are weaker than the rest but for the most part it's good start to finish.  Basing the stories on fairytales was a genius move because fairytales are meant for the shorter format.   These fairytales range from original stories, to re-tellings to sci-fi re-imaginings.  It's nice to see how many different directions you can get from the jumping off point.

The book starts strongly with a Rachel Hawkins story.  Outside of the Hex Hall universe she maintains all the humor that made me love her writing.  Some of the other highlights of this book are the two Beauty and the Beast retellings.  The first is  Beast/Beast by Tessa Gratton, which is set in the past, is beautifully written, similar to the story we know and completely engrossing.  The second, Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan is hilarious.  I loved seeing how two different authors could take on the same story but create something completely different.

For this anthology, you get a variety of settings, the past, the present and the future, which reminds us that fairytales are meant to be a timeless.  It's a good mix, hitting the sweet spot where you have just enough of everything. If you're like me, a lover of fairytales, this anthology is a must read.  As a bonus, you get to sample stories from some of the most well-known young adult writers and get a taste of their style.  As a reader this book is a win-win and I plan to look for more anthologies like Grim in the future.

I received an advance reading e-book in exchange for an honest review. 

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