Fairy tales, fantasy, and teens

image of girl with black hair and glasses in jean jacket giving thumbs up inside green circle. box underneath reads Miss Mahee's Booklist. light blue background around white.
Booklists for you

Hi everyone, this last week’s booklist post will feature a short-ish list of titles of teen reads for your reading pleasure. To be honest, teen fantasy and I are somewhat akin to strangers as I tend to favour the contemporary novels instead. Reading these titles were a bit challenging for me but there were aspects that I found myself enjoying. 

Well, to begin with, as I’ve done with the previous posts this month, I’m starting off with a series I found that has a contemporary and fantasy blend by best-selling author, Sandhya Menon.

cover image has Indian-looking girl in pink blazer and grey skirt sitting on top of large white letters and boy in white short and dark pants looking away at bottom of letters. large white cursive letters in middle read Of Curses and kisses. dark olive coloured background with pink roses here and there.
An awesome fantasy re-telling

Sandhya Menon has created a fantasy world in her signature style with a diverse cast of characters set on the slopes and valleys of Aspen in an elite boarding school, St Rosetta’s Academy. Her first title, Of curses and kisses, tells a version of Beauty and the Beast that fantasy readers will enjoy. We meet Princess Jaya Rao in this read. She’s actually enrolled at St Rosetta’s to get her revenge on the loathsome Grey Emerson after his family had targeted her sister. Jaya knows what she must do: make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty and whether it’s possible for two sworn enemies to find their fairytale ending. If you were after some teen drama with a diverse twist and some amazing characters, then this is the perfect read for you!! I found myself really enjoying this new series by Menon. 

cover image of heart-shaped bottle with dark red liquid and small frog on coin inside. background is green with swirly pattern around bottle. large orange letters across top and bottom reads Of princes and promises.
A gorgeous sequel

The second instalment, Of princes and promises, gives us the story of Caterina LaValle and Rahul Chopra. Even though her ex-boyfriend, Alaric, cheated on her, Caterina’s determined to march right back in there and continue to ruin the whole puppet show. Rahul Chopra is unsure how he could ever fit into Caterina’s world even though he’d loved her for years. When Caterina realises she needs a perfect date for the upcoming gala, her solution to this problem is solved by Rahul Chopra and a mysterious pot of hair gel, with the power to alter the wearer into whatever his heart desires. Once Rahul tries it, he transforms instantly into RC – a debonair, handsome and charming. As Rahul enjoys his new social standing, the line between his two personas begins to blur. Giving us an altered and modern version of the tale of The Princess and the Frog in Menon’s signature style, I found this another amazing story that kept me gripped. It was really awesome meeting up with Jaya, Grey, and the rest of the gang in this read!!

The next two are fantasy reads that I stumbled on quite recently and found myself engrossed in the worlds they created in my mind.

cover image of princess in golden ball dress. cursive letters beside her reads Princess of the midnight ball.
An engaging teen read

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George is a darker re-telling of the Dancing Princesses story that will have you captivated with every turn of the page. We meet crown princess Rose and her eleven sisters who live a lavish life of parties, treated with beautiful gowns, slippers, and everything a young princess could ask for. But their evenings don’t end when the party guests return home: instead, Rose and her sisters must travel deep into the earth to the wicked King Under Stone’s palace. There, the girls are cursed to dance each night, even when they grow exhausted or ill. Many princes have tried but failed to break the spell that binds them until Rose meets Galen, a young soldier who now works in their garden. Together they begin to unravel the mystery and banish the curse. Be warned readers, this version has some graphic description so you should most probably make plenty of time for this read!! Jessica Day George has done a marvellous job of taking us into this fantasy tale world and given it unexpected twists and turns.

cover image of a red apple made of broken glass with a gold stem and leaf at top and drop of blood at bottom. black background with large yellow letters across middle reads Poisoned.
A dark and twisted tale…

The last title, Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly is again a darker and twisted version of Snow White and the seven dwarfs with, again, characters who you don’t expect are as evil as you think and some have an unlikely path in the story. I don’t want to go into depth and give you a summary here, but I will tell you this, it is much darker with mature content than the previous book I read. I found the descriptions quite vivid and the dialogue interesting with a cast of characters who were not just courageous but felt more modern than their original version told by the Brothers Grimm. This particular read is better suited for older readers.

So there you have my list of teen fairy tale reads. I know for a fact that there are many more out there as the teens who visit my library leave with armloads of these!! I hope you enjoy this selection and would love to hear if you have any similar lists of your own.

Stay safe and keep reading

Miss Mahee

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