Beauty and the Beast Adaptations to Look Out For

So we’ve all seen (or at least heard of) the Disney adaptations – animated, a Broadway musical, and now a live action starring Emma Watson – of this classic fairy tale, and it’s one of my favourite stories of all time. What I wanted to do today, though, was list a couple of other interpretations of the story that may have slipped your notice! In no particular order:

Beastly (2011) Shamefully, I haven’t read the book, so I’ll just say a little about the film. This is the modern-day Young Adult movie version of the story, starring Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen and Neil Patrick Harris. Pretty heavy-handed with its morality, and uncomfortably obvious in soundtrack choices, it is at least a creative twist on the classic story.

A Court of Thrones and Roses – Sarah J Maas I guess I would call this a New Adult Fantasy interpretation; although it sticks reasonably closely to the fairy tale, it’s set in a world with fairies, and I think it works hard to step outside expectations.

The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh Potentially my favourite on this list (find my review here), this is a Young Adult novel set in a sort of Fantasy, Pre-Islamic Middle Eastern world that puts a whole new twist on the story, and that embellishes the core story elements into a whole new fairy tale.

The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter This is a collection of short fairy tale re-tellings, two of which are direct re-tellings of Beauty and the Beast. This book is pretty graphic, and uses fairy tale tropes to discuss feminist and gender issues. Carter certainly doesn’t pull any punches.

The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux Last but not least, we have The Phantom of the Opera! (I reviewed this here) I watched the musical multiple times before realising the connection with the story, and I think that’s what I like about this gothic Parisian re-telling: it is very liberal with its interpretation.

Those are all of my top picks, but I know there are loads more books based around Beauty and the Beast! Are there any you’d recommend?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

Dani

Month in Books: April 2017

Here’s a little round-up of what I read in April! As always, I’ll link you up with the Goodreads page for each book.

Job – Joseph Roth – 4 stars  This is about a twentieth century Russian family of Jews, and their struggles and eventual emigration to the USA. There’s a lot of really interesting interplay with the Biblical book of Job, and overall I really enjoyed this!

The Red Tree – Shaun Tan – 5 stars Shaun Tan is an Australian artist who I think is quite big right now! This was my first introduction to his work, and it blew my mind. This was easily one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen.

The World’s Wife – Carol Ann Duffy – 4 stars This is a collection of poems by our Poet Laureate here in the UK. Each poem is from the perspective of a woman from a famous story whose voice we don’t usually get to hear. Some are funny, some sexy, some sad, but they’re all incisively clever, and force the reader to re-think some of the stories we’re all familiar with.

Intentional – Paul Williams – 4 stars This is a tiny little Christian book that encourages people to be brave enough to talk about faith. It’s not a guilt trip, but a call to authenticity.

A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett – 4 stars I’ve never really been a Pratchett fan, but when my friend told me this was her all time favourite book, I decided I should give it a try. And I loved it. This is almost on the same level as Howl’s Moving Castle ( but not quite). I loved that the humorous surrealism didn’t come at the expense of warmth and character depth.

Black Coffee – Charles Osborne – 3 stars If you were to look at the cover of this book, you’d think it was by Agatha Christie – and it does pretend to be. It’s actually a novelisation of one of Christie’s plays, and although it took me a few pages to realise that, it kind of lacks the nuance that the other mystery novels in the series have. The structure and dialogue are hers, and the rendering of Hercule Poirot as a pompous and frustrating caricature is Osborne’s. Mixed feelings about this!

Medieval Ghost Stories: An Anthology of Miracles, Marvels and Prodigies – Andrew Joynes – 3 stars This does what it says on the tin: it’s a collection of Medieval ghost stories. It was really interesting to see the kind of stories people were telling before Gothic influence, but part of me wished the book was a little shorter. There are a lot of stories here, and not all of them are that interesting.

The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh – 5 stars And finally, I re-read The Wrath and the Dawn. I thought it might be one of those times where it’s better in your memory, but this book is still pretty good! Here’s the review I wrote for it the first time I read it.

That’s all I got through in April – how many of these have you read? What was your favourite read of April?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

Dani

Month in Books: August 2015

And we’re just about caught up! Here’s my reading wrap-up for August.

75 Uplifting Poems for Christians – AJ Barlow – 5 stars I loved this! It’s an accessible, thoughtful collection of lovely poetry. I wrote a review here!

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back – Todd Burpo – 5 stars This is an autobiographical account of a father whose three year old son nearly dies, and then returns to consciousness with wild tales of heaven that are spookily accurate to Biblical prophecies. It’s a quick read, but a moving one. Fab book!

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself – Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert – 5 stars This is such a great resource, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s really challenging, but also very practical and hopeful. It’s quite heavy on allegories, which I found very helpful!

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain – 4 stars It took me a while to get into this, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down! This book is sweet and funny and action-packed and all the things I could want from it.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy – Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke A. Allen – 4 stars I bought this because I loved Noelle Stevenson’s ‘Nimona’, and I was hoping this would be a similar thing. It is a very good comic, and I enjoyed the whole six pages that I bought for 99p. Not impressed. I can buy the whole of Sense and Sensibility for half that price.

Paper Towns – John Green – 4 stars I think I would have enjoyed this more if it was my first John Green book. I had to read it in order to go and see the new movie though – I wrote a post about that here!

The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh – 5 stars I am SO in love with this book, and it physically hurts me that the sequel is so far away. It’s a YA romance, beautifully written, and in a gorgeous Arabian setting. I wrote a review here!

Sabriel – Garth Nix – 5 stars This is another YA book, although this one was written a bit longer ago! It’s a crazy fantasy adventure that is just so much fun to read – it’s creative and scary and wonderful. It’s the first book in the Abhorsen trilogy, and – I know this sounds weird – I don’t think I’ll be reading any of the other books. It feels a bit like Philip Pullmans Dark Materials books – I loved the first one, but I’m sensing the later books will be a lot darker and will spoil the series for me.

The Heir – Kiera Cass – 4 stars Oh look, more YA. This one is the fourth book in The Selection series which is a full-on Princess romance sort of deal. I kind of liked it. Here’s my review!

Selp Helf – Miranda Sings – 5 stars I received this book as a gift from an aunt who knows how much I love Miranda Sings. For those of you don’t know, she’s a comedy character on YouTube, and I think she’s brilliant. This book was, of course, a masterpiece, and I read the whole thing in one sitting.

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter – Stacy King – 5 stars This is a manga adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, and I thought it was fantastic! It was my first time reading actual manga, but I wrote a review anyway.

Manga Messiah – Hidenori Kumai – 5 stars This is a slightly more amateur-friendly manga book, but I still loved it! It’s the story of Jesus….but manga. I thought it was clever, creative, and just great in general.

God’s Eagles, Athletes and Pilgrims – Haide Sanchez – 5 stars This is a book of weekly devotions, and I loved it! My review is here.

Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari – 5 stars Written by the famous comedian, this book is a non-fiction book that explores…well, modern romance. It focuses on USA, France, Japan and Argentina, and just studies the way romance has changed. It was actually really interesting, and I loved the chatty way all the research was presented. There are a lot of anecdotes that make the whole book more interesting. I really enjoyed it!

Apologies for the slightly longer post – some months you just have to keep reading, you know?

If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.

~Dani

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh – 5 stars

The Wrath and the DawnI’m going to start by giving you all a fair warning: THIS BOOK HAS A SEQUEL. THE SEQUEL IS NOT YET OUT. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

I can’t even describe the feeling of getting 90% through the Kindle version and realising that the remaining 10% is an excerpt of the next book…which I can’t buy yet. I feel so empty.

In all seriousness though, I freaking love this book. I’ve seen it crop up on a lot of blogs, so yesterday I thought screw it – I’m reading it. I got through it in two sittings.

The Wrath and the Dawn is technically a young adult fantasy novel, but I feel like it doesn’t sit too easily in either of those categories. It’s the story of a cursed boy-king with the blood of all his ex-wives on his hands – and it’s the story of the bride who survives.

The book is set in a sort of stylised Arabic culture, and that’s something I’d actually have liked to see a bit more of; it added a lot to the story, and gave the whole thing a really lovely other-worldly feel.

It’s also one of the most beautifully-written YA books I’ve laid hands on in a really long time. It’s such a tight plot, with well-constructed characters and just the right amount of mystery, romance and action. Ms Ahdieh is a really classy story-teller – the whole book reads like one big, exquisitely narrated aural story, and it’s the perfect style.

I absolutely can’t wait to re-read this closer to the time of the sequel’s release (please don’t disappoint me, Renee!)

If you’ve read this too, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.

~Dani