Thursday, February 20, 2014

Title: Grim
Author: Various
Series: n/a
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 25th, 2014
Source: received from publisher via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Step into a world of dark and twisted fairy tales, with stories by Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking and more...

In the days when fairy tales were first spun, they weren’t the sweet and cheerful stories we tell today. Back then, fairy tales were terrifying. They were a warning to the listener to stay out of the night, to keep away from the mystical and ignore the mysterious. Prepare to open a treasure box of the unusual and the macabre.

Grim features some of today’s best young adult authors, sharing their own, unique retellings of classic fairy tales from around the world. These talented writers, many of them New York Times bestsellers or award-winners, put their own spin on these magical worlds.

Ellen Hopkins
Amanda Hocking
Julie Kagawa
Claudia Gray
Rachel Hawkins
Kimberly Derting
Myra McEntire
Malinda Lo
Sarah Rees-Brennan
Jackson Pearce
Christine Johnson
Jeri Smith-Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
Saundra Mitchell
Sonia Gensler
Tessa Gratton
Jon Skovron

Over the past few years, Anthology books have grown on me. The few that I’ve read have been really good. Grim was good, but it wasn't my favorite. There were some great stories in here, but there were also some that didn’t grasp my attention at all. Throughout, it was very hit or miss for me.

The Key by Rachel Hawkins – I’m not sure I would have opened up the book with this one. It was good, but it ended pretty abruptly. I would have liked to know what happens. I know it’s a short story but jeesh, give it an ending please. It deals with psychics and was pretty suspenseful so I’ll give it that.

Figment by Jeri Smith-Ready – This one was really clever. Figment is a little good luck charm Eli is left with, a gift from his estranged rock star father after he passes. This isn’t an ordinary good luck charm, it’s the real deal, and it talks. I loved Figments character, but most of all I loved the message in this story.

The Twelfth Girl by Melinda Lo – This story reminded me of a Bratz movie on Netflix. My Daughter watches this one Bratz Fairy movie sometimes, and I could not stop thinking about it the whole time reading this. I don’t really know what is in this story, I don’t think it ever truly says, but it is reminiscent of the whole fairy realm. It could just be the underworld, but there were things that made me think of the fey. I liked it; it was dark and fit the title of this book I think.

The Raven Princess by Jon Skovron - I really loved this one. A princess is cursed as a baby, turned into a raven. She spends her life looking for the one who can break the curse. It was really cute, and I adored the ending.

Thinner than Water by Saundra Mitchell – This story was bad ass! One of my favorites for sure. I’ve never read anything by Saundra Mitchell before, but now I’m going to have to. The Princess of Flamen lost her mother as an infant. The king has been a doting father for most of her life, until she is no longer a child. Then his affection becomes inappropriate. The Princess of Flamen is not having it and I felt for her. She’s smart as well as beautiful, and wit is a dangerous weapon.

Before the Rose Bloomed by Ellen Hopkins – This is a retelling of The Snow Queen. I didn’t like this one at all. I blame Frozen. I’m so in love with Disney’s version right now that nothing else can compare. It’s well written, but not how it’s supposed to go! It’s just too soon!! Lol (I have issues for real)

Beast/Beast by Tessa Gratton – I’m a huge fan of Tessa Grattons writing. Everything she puts out is beautifully written and this story is no exception. It’s obviously a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I love the original spin she put on it.

The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa – I was not expecting a retelling of the three little piglets! Loved how she gave this tale extra depth. I was always told as a child that there was a wolf who wanted to eat the three pigs…. Boring…. this version is so much better!

Untethered by Sonia Gensler – This story was extremely short and kind of meh if I’m being honest.

Better by Shaun David Huchinson – I’m a huge fan of sci fi and this had a touch of it. Pip is man made but she feels real. Children are dying and they are running out of time trying to figure out how to stop it. Pip was made to help discover a cure. I loved how it played out at the end.

Light It Up by Kimberly Derting – I didn’t really like this one. It’s a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. I hate that story so I had a hard time getting into it and ended up skimming most of it.

Sharper than a Serpent’s Tongue by Christine Johnson – This one also didn’t stand out for me. By this time, I was just ready for the book to end. Oh and whoa to all the bad language. Not that it bothered me, I’m a sailor, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

A Real Boy by Claudia Gray – This is retelling of Pinocchio but he’s a robot, not a wooden. I’m not a fan of Pinocchio but this version was pretty awesome. I really enjoyed it. Also, Claudia Gray is another author I hadn’t read yet, so now that I know I like her style, I’ll have to pick something else up by her.

Skin Trade by Myra McEntire – This one turned me off right away. Opening page… a guy walks into a strip club… nope, not interested. I knew I wouldn’t like this one so I just moved on.

Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan – This was another meh for me. Meh’s are to be expected when reading anthologies. The problem with this one is, there is already a Beauty and the Beast retelling earlier on in this book. Compared to Tessa Gratton’s contribution, this one was not that great, at least in my opinion.

The Pink by Amanda Hocking – I read a book by Amanda Hocking a few years ago. It was okay, but I wasn’t blown away. This story though, was so awesome. I loved everything about it. Prince Brenn has a special power, he can wish for anything his heart desires and it will appear right in front of him. But that kind of power can be dangerous, especially if the wrong person discovers you have it. I was reminded me a little bit of Rapunzel, but without the hair. My favorite part about this one was the love story. It warmed my little heart. <3

Sell Out by Jackson Pearce – I know see why Pearce is so famous for her retellings. She actually made Snow White Tolerable. (She’s my least favorite princess). It’s only natural that they would close out the book with this story. I don’t own any of Jackson Pearce’s retellings but I will now. Sell Out was great.

I had some trouble picking it up at times, especially when I was in the middle of a story that I didn’t like as much. I couldn’t tell what some of these stories were retellings of… I’m thinking I need to brush up on my fairy tales. You’d think being a mother, I’d be more educated. 

I did like Grim. There were a few stand out stories that I adored. The ones I didn't care for dragged it down for me. Not a bad anthology but I've read better ones. 


  1. I really want to read this! I need to beg/borrow/steal myself a copy. (Okay, okay, I don't steal. Unless my sister has it and then I steal it from her room, but I feel like that's acceptable.) XD I really like Jon Skovron's Man Made Boy and I LOVE Jackson Pearce! It's an amazing group of authors. :)

    1. After reading Jackson Pearce's story, I realize I need to get a few of her books. That short story was awesome. :) Thanks for stopping by. And stealing from sisters is for sure acceptable. If I had a sister I'd steal from her all the time. lol

  2. You know I pretty much agree with your review except I liked Beauty and the Chad. I really think this Anthology should've been split into two volumes though. Way too long.

    1. It really was long!! I thought it was just me. And maybe part of my dislike of Beauty and the Chad was the fact I was ready for this book to be done. lol.

  3. I'm not a huge fan of short stories...not sure why but I tend to just never pick them up. I've heard fairly good things about this so I might be reading it (love the cover and some of the authors included). Thanks for the review April!

  4. Anthologies and me don't go well together and this one was 'meh'. They key would have been so much better with a solid ending. I loved The raven prince too! :) Thinner than water creeped me out, haha. Father wants to marry his daughter, yuck! I agree that she was very clever. Funny that you didn't like Light it up, it was one of the better stories to me :p.

    I agree, I've read better anthologies. This one was just.. okay. Great review :)

  5. This doesn't sound like my type of book, although I love fairytales, and after your review, I know for sure that I won't be picking this up. Too many meh stories for me :) Great review!

  6. I'm still on the fence with anthologies--though I do appreciate a dark retelling of a fairy tale. I've read abut 4 of the author's represented here--but there are several more I'm curious about trying (like Tessa Gratton and Sarah Rees-Brennan) I'll have to think a bit more about picking this up--but I do like how you highlighted each story for us:)

  7. I haven't read many anthologies - none of them seem to grab my eye. I've read several authors represented here, so I may be encouraged to pick this one up. :)

  8. I'm currently reading this and completely agree with you. Some of the stories are pretty good, but the ones I'm not connecting with are dragging down the pace. Anthologies are almost always hit or miss with me. The only ones I've ever really loved are the Girls Night Out and Girls Night In. Great review!

  9. I've heard good things about this one, but I think it is nearly impossible to find an anthology in which I like almost all of the stories. I think they are mostly hit and miss for me. I still enjoy them for the stories I do love. :)

  10. THIS LOOKS AWESOME! I must get my hands on it! :)


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