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Fairy Tale Reads for Teens, Part 1

Cinderella with carriage and castle

June 26, 2020

Most everyone has a favorite fairy tale, whether it’s from a picture book or from a Disney film. Fairy tales are ripe for retelling and reimagining, whether envisioning Cinderella in a science fiction setting, or a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood where the wolves are really men. We get to hear the story of the evil stepmother (Spoiler: they aren’t all mean and evil,) and the drama and curse of the Beast. Sometimes, an author will combine two stories and create a new story as a result. And sometimes the frog stays a frog, even after a kiss.

Enjoy these young adult and middle-grade (MG) novels that use fairy tales as the basis for the story! It was so hard to pick our favorites, and there were so many great choices, that we had to split the list into two parts. Keep an eye out for part two, coming soon!


Book Cover: SPINDLE'S END

"SPINDLE'S END" by ROBIN MCKINLEY

Also available as an e-book

Pernicia, an evil fairy, has cursed Princess Briar-Rose. She will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an endless sleep. But young fairy Katriona kidnaps the princess in order to save her. Katriona and her aunt raise Briar-Rose and no one knows her story. Pernicia is looking for her, intent on revenge.

Book Cover: A KISS IN TIME

"A KISS IN TIME" by ALEX FLINN

Also available as an e-book

Bored by touring Europe, Jack accidently wakes up a sleeping princess who has been asleep for 300 years. Instead of rejoicing, the awakened court is confused to be in the twenty-first century. In order to escape the wrath of the king, Princess Talia flees to Florida with Jack, where a whole new world awaits her complete with cell phones and television. Talia charms everyone she meets and helps Jack sort out his teenage life.

Book Cover: PRINCESS OF THORNS

"PRINCESS OF THORNS " by STACEY JAY

Also available as an e-book

Ten years ago, Princess Aurora’s mother sacrificed her life to give Aurora magical powers. Magic is never free. The loss of romantic love is the price Aurora will pay for her magic. Meanwhile, Prince Niklaas is living on borrowed time. He needs to convince a princess to marry him before he turns eighteen or he will share the fate of his older brothers. Prince and princess meet and now must race to prevent a prophecy foretelling the end of human life.

Book Cover: THE HEALER’S APPRENTICE

"THE HEALER’S APPRENTICE " by MELANIE DICKERSON

Also available as an e-book

Rose has become a healer’s apprentice, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter.  Although she feels a bit queasy at the sight of blood, she’s determined to prove she’s capable. If she fails, she will return home and be forced to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen. He’s a bloated and disgusting merchant that makes Rose feel sick. Then Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured and Rose is required to tend to him. As he begins to heal, Rose feels emotions that she’s never felt before and wonders if Lord Hamlin feels the same way. But love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is destined to marry a mysterious young woman. Even as Rose’s life becomes a confused mess, she will take the first steps on the journey toward discovering her own destiny. First in the “Fairy Tale Romance” series.

Book Cover: KILL ME SOFTLY

"KILL ME SOFTLY " by SARAH CROSS

Also available as an e-book and audiobook

Mirabelle’s past is shrouded in secrecy, including her parent’s tragic deaths to the half truths about why she can’t return home to Beau Rivage. There nothing is what it seems: A pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, a playboy who’s a beast to everyone and guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Beau Rivage’s population is playing out ancient stories again and again.

Book Cover: A LONG, LONG SLEEP

"A LONG, LONG SLEEP " by ANNA SHEEHAN

Also available as an e-book

Rosalinda has been asleep for sixty-two years, locked in a chemically induced sleep inside a stasis tube buried in a long forgotten subbasement. She has slept straight through the Dark Times that changed the world. Now her parents and first love are long dead and Rose is hailed as the lost heir to an interplanetary empire. Now she’s alone in a future where she is considered either a freak or a threat. Desperate to fit in to this new world, Rosalinda is drawn to the boy who woke her with a kiss, hoping that he can help her fit in. But a dangerous treat jeopardizes her new existence and now Rose must face her ghosts or be left with no future at all.

Book Cover: A WICKED THING

"A WICKED THING " by RHIANNON THOMAS

Also available as an e-book

One-hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up after being kissed by a handsome prince and a broken kingdom. All the stories promise a “happily ever after,” but Aurora knows better that the truth is never like the fairy tale. Her family is long gone. Her prince is actually a kind stranger and her whole life has been planned by others while she slept. Aurora fears that the curse has left its mark on her, a dark and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once cursed her. Now her wedding day is drawing near, and Aurora must make the decision on how to save her kingdom; marry the prince or run away.

Book Cover: SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW

"SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW " by JESSICA DAY GEORGE

Also available as an e-book

Blessed or cursed? The Lass has the ability to understand animals. When a polar bear seeks her out and promises her family riches if only the Lass will come with him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is more that he seems. Only a journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the bear’s true identity and help the Lass come up with a way to free her bear prince is forced to marry a troll princess.

Book Cover: EAST

"EAST" by EDITH PATTOU

Rose has always longed for adventure. When an enormous white bear appears and makes her a mysterious offer. She accepts, in exchange for the health and prosperity of her family. She must live with the white bear in his distant castle. Rose soon realizes things aren’t as they seem and she makes a devastating mistake. Now she must chose: return to her family or go on a dangerous quest to fix her mistake.

Book Cover: ICE

"ICE" by SARAH BETH DURST

When Cassie was little, she believed her mother was taken away by trolls because of a deal she made with the Polar Bear King. Now she believes that these stories were just stories. Until her eighteenth birthday, when the Polar Bear King arrives to take Cassie as his bride. Cassie realizes that she has the power to save her mother. Cassie makes her own deal with the Bear King and finds herself traveling across the Arctic to lands east of the sun and west of the moon. This journey will each her the true meaning of love, family and what it means to become an adult.

Book Cover: BEAUTY

"BEAUTY" by ROBIN MCKINLEY

Also available as an e-book

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward and no beauty. Her two sisters are the beautiful ones, but what she lacks in beauty, she more than makes up for in courage. When her father returns home with a story of an enchanted forest and the promise he had to make the Beast who lives there. Now Beauty is to marry the beast, so she travels to his castle, a prisoner of her own free will. For what beast cannot be tamed?

Book Cover: STUNG

"STUNG" by BETHANY WIGGINS

Also available as an e-book

Fiona doesn’t remember sleeping. But when she opens her eyes she discovers her entire world has been changed. Her house is abandoned; her neighborhood is barren. Even stranger is the tattoo on her wrist; a tattoo she doesn’t remember getting, but must keep hidden at any cost. The world is out of control with a worldwide pandemic, the honeybees have disappeared and the government’s bio-engineered vaccine makes people into beasts, branded to warn the unvaccinated. People work to rebuild society inside a fortress, but Fiona is on the wrong side of the wall.

Book Cover: CRUEL BEAUTY

"CRUEL BEAUTY" by ROSAMUND HODGE

Also available as an e-book and audiobook

Betrothed to the evil ruler of the kingdom, Nyx knew that her fate was to marry him, kill him and free her people. On her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on a mountaintop, Nyx discovers nothing is as she expected, especially her charming and wonderful new husband. Nyx needs to save her homeland, but she can’t resist her enemy, who has stolen her heart. First in the “Fairy Tale Series.”

Book Cover: BEASTLY

"BEASTLY" by ALEX FLINN

Also available as an e-book

The Beast gets a chance to tell his story. He is a beast. He’s some horrible new creature that walks like a human. This beast has fangs, claws and fur. The spin? This beast lives in New York. It’s not a disease or a deformity; it’s the result of curse placed on him and he’ll stay this way unless he can break the spell.

Book Cover: BEAST

"BEAST" by BRIE SPANGLER

Also available as an e-book

Dylan isn’t your typical high school sophomore. Tall, muscle bound and hairier than most, school has not been kind to him. Then his school bans all hats, his preferred way of hiding. He goes up on his roof, falls and wakes up in the hospital with a broken leg, and a mandate to attend a group therapy for self-harmers. He vows to say nothing, until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart and gorgeous. She’s also the first person to call him out on his self-pity.  Jamie and Dylan become more than just friends, but there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group on a day he wasn’t listening. Jamie is a great photographer, a devoted friend who also happens to be transgendered. Will Dylan see it that way?

Book Cover: A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY

"A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY" by BRIGID KEMMERER

Also available as an e-book

Once it seemed easy. Prince Rhen is cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over. He knew his curse would be broken if a girl would fall for him. That was before he knew that he would be turned into a dreadful beast, looking to destroy anything. Harper has struggled all her life. Her father is dead and her mother is dying. Her family is barely holding together. Her brother underestimates her because of her handicap. But she’s learned to be tough and to survive. When she tries to help someone on the streets of Washington D. C. she’s sucked into Rhen’s cursed world. First book in the “Cursebreaker Series.”

Book Cover: WINTERSONG

"WINTERSONG" by S. JAE-JONES

Also available as an e-book

On the last night of the year, winter begins and the Goblin King rides abroad to find his bride. All her life Liesl has heard tales of the dangerous and wonderful Goblin King. These stories have fascinated her and inspired her music. Now that she’s eighteen and helping run her family’s inn. She feels her musical dreams and fantasies are slipping away. Then her sister is taken by the Goblin King and Liesl has no choice but to journey to his court to save her. The Underground is a strange and captivating world, and Liesl is soon faced with an impossible decision.

Book Cover: THORN

"THORN" by ANNA BURKE

On a cold winter day, Rowan’s father returns from a hunting trip bearing a single white rose. Following the rose is the Huntress. Tall and beautiful, the Huntress brings Rowan to her mountain, populated solely by creatures of the hunt. Rowan once scorned villagers for their superstitions but now she finds herself at the heart of a curse. Torn between her family and the Huntress, Rowan must find a way to break the curse before it destroys everything she loves.

Book Cover: MECHANICA

"MECHANICA" by BETSY CORNWELL

Also available as an e-book

Nicolette’s stepsisters call her Mechanica to make her feel bad, but the nickname fits; she learned to invent from her mother. Her mom is gone now, and her stepsisters made her life into a dreary existence serving them. She discovers a secret workshop in the cellar on her sixteenth birthday and befriends a tiny magical metal horse named Jules. Nicolette starts to imagine a life very different than the one she has. And her timing must be perfect…there’s a technological expo and a royal ball coming up. Nicolette decides to make her own life happily ever after by wowing a prince!

Book Cover: BEWITCHING

"BEWITCHING" by ALEX FLINN

Also available as an e-book

A sequel to Alex Flinn’s ”Beastly,” the witch that cursed the Beast, can tell her story at last. She’s immortal and never knows when to stop meddling with her magic and walk away. She wants to help, but things happen in ways that she can’t predict. Now Emma needs her help and she wants to help, but she never knows what will happen once she starts…

Book Cover: JUST ELLA

"JUST ELLA" by MARGARET PETERSON HADDIX

MIDDLE-GRADE 

Also available as an e-book

You know the story—Evil stepmother, a handsome prince and a ball. Ella manages to succeed in winning the prince and planning her wedding. It’s all wrapped up in one happily ever after, right? Wrong. Life for Ella has become one endless lesson full of do’s and don’ts and worst of all, her prince charming turns out to be Prince Yawn-boring and dull. Why can’t she talk to him the way she can talk with Jed, her tutor? Ella is starting to realize that she doesn’t want the life she fought so hard to win. But breaking her engagement is just as hard as escaping her stepmother.

Book Cover: ELLA ENCHANTED

"ELLA ENCHANTED" by GAIL CARSON LEVINE

MIDDLE-GRADE

Also available as an e-book and audiobook

At birth, Ella of Frell is cursed by a foolish fairy’s “gift.” Ella is forced to obey any order, whether it’s to hop on foot for a day or chop off her own head! But Ella doesn’t accept her fate. Against a backdrop of princes, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever!

Book Cover: PRINCESS OF GLASS

"PRINCESS OF GLASS" by JESSICA DAY

Also available as an e-book

In this sequel to “Princess of the Midnight Ball,” Princess Poppy agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, mostly to escape the troubles in her kingdom. All could be fairy tale happiness, until Eleanor, a hapless servant, is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing against Poppy for the only eligible prince. Ballgowns, enchanted glass slippers and cinders fly in this romantic and action packed quest for happily ever after.  

Book Cover: SHADOWS OF THE MOON

"SHADOWS OF THE MOON" by ZOE MARRIOTT

Also available as an e-book

Suzume is trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving and able to recreate herself in any form. An amazing gift for a girl trying to escape her past. Who is she really? Is she of noble birth or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes? Or is she Yue, the most beautiful woman in the Moonlit lands? Who ever she might be, she is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in revenge.

Book Cover: CINDER

"CINDER" by MARISSA MEYER

Also available as an e-book and audiobook

New Beijing is a crowded with androids and humans. A deadly plague ravages the population and in space, the lunar people watch, waiting to make a move. The Earth’s fate hinges on one girl—Cinder. Cinder is a gifted mechanic and cyborg. A second class citizen with a mysterious past, blamed for her sister’s illness and hated by her stepmother. Then her life becomes entwined with Prince Kai and she finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle.

Book Cover: ASH

"ASH" by MALINDA LO

Also available as an e-book

After her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her stepmother. Consumed by grief, Ash’s only joy comes from rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. She dreams that the fairies will someday steal her away. Then she meets Sidhean and she believes her wish might come true. Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress and her life changes—instead of dreaming of fairies, she’s hunting with Kaisa. Their friendship helps reawakens Ash’s capacity for love. But Sidhean has already claimed her and now she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Book Cover: ASH & BRAMBLE

"ASH & BRAMBLE" by SARAH PRINEAS

Also available as an e-book

Pin has no idea how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. Only that she is a seamstress making dresses fit for fairy tales. She wants to end her servitude and escapes with the young Shoemaker. But she’s not free for long before she’s recaptured and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her. A fairy tale story with a charming prince, instead of finding her own happily ever after. 

Book Cover: STEPSISTER

"STEPSISTER" by JENNIFER DONELLY

Also available as an audiobook

Isabelle should be ecstatic—she’s about to marry the handsome prince. Except, she’s not the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper. She’s the stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into the glass slipper, which is now filling with her blood. When the prince finds out about her deception, she’s turned away. She’s a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a bold girl in a world that demands that she be pliant and good. She tried to fit in; she cut away pieces of herself in order to become what the world demands. Being more like Cinderella, beautiful and sweet. But that only made her mean, jealous and hollow feeling. Now she as the chance to alter her destiny and be more than just an ugly stepsister. After all, it takes more than heartache to break a girl.


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