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Book Review

‘Grim’ collection revives fantasy and lore

4/9/2014

bookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Julie Goodrich

“Grim”

Harlequin Teen

2/25/14

HIV

480 pp

$16.99

Fairytales have a universal appeal that doesn’t just rest in children. These stories stick around because they speak to a side of us that longs for adventure, romance and maybe even a dragon or two. Fairy tales have been told and retold for many generations. “Grim” is a new anthology of old stories, twisted and sharpened until they shine. Some of the brightest stars of young adult fiction, along with several up-and-coming writers, appear in this stunning collection, and they’ve crafted a wonderful book for fairytale fanatics of all ages.

Several well-known old tales, along with a handful of lesser-known legends, are represented by the stories in “Grim.” My favorite is a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” by Tessa Gratton. Told from point of view of a classic fantasy trope, the feisty heroine, it is sparse and painful and absolutely lovely. For a story that has been so richly told many times, experiencing such a stark version brings the aching loneliness and intense passion of the original tale to the fore. It’s beautifully written and has made me excited to read more by Gratton. Another fun tale, “Figment,” by Jeri Smith-Ready, is a bittersweet version of “Puss in Boots” that completely captured my heart.

Many of these stories waver between fantasy and reality, modern times and ancient lessons. The dichotomy is wonderful, allowing for new interpretations of stories we’ve all heard dozens of times. Written with young adults in mind, these stories reach even farther. Whatever your age, take a moment to relive these classics with the stories in “Grim.” You won’t regret it. CV

Julie Goodrich is a collector of pretty words, geeky T-shirts and obsolete college degrees. She lives in Grimes with two weird cats and an obscene number of books. She recently earned a shiny new Master’s Degree in Library Science and is actively looking for a job; know of one? Call her!

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