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203: Discover New Fairy Tale Retellings with Our Latest Recommendations

Unabridged Episode Image with Open Book - Fairy Tale Retellings 2, Episode 203

What is a favorite fairy tale retelling for you? At Unabridged, we are having so much fun with the Fairy Tale Retellings category on this year's Unabridged Reading Challenge! We're coming at you this week with three new fairy tale retelling recommendations, including Elizabeth Lim’s Six Crimson Cranes, Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Kalynn Bayron’s Cinderella Is Dead, all of which were excellent! Don't miss this fun discussion; you're sure to find a retelling that you'd enjoy!

Bookish Check-in

Ashley - Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon (Amazon |

Jen - Lucy Parker’s Battle Royal (Amazon |

Sara - Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Maybe In Another Life (Amazon |

Our Fairy Tale Retellings Recommendations

Ashley - Elizabeth Lim’s Six Crimson Cranes (Amazon |

Jen - Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses (Amazon |

Sara - Kalynn Bayron’s Cinderella Is Dead (Amazon |

Other Mentions

The film Sliding Doors

Elizabeth Lim's Spin the Dawn (Amazon |

John Boyne's The Heart's Invisible Furies (Amazon |

Looking for More Fairy Tale Retelling Recommendations?

If you're looking for more recs, check out these Unabridged posts and episodes talking about all things fairytale!

Give Me One - Favorite Quotation

Listen in to hear each of us share a favorite quotation, and join us on Monday on Instagram to share your favorite quotes!

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Bookish Check-in

Ashley was reading . . .

Book cover of Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon (Amazon |

"Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teens in love to this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming novel that shines a bright light through the dark.

"A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

"A first meeting.

"Long-time friends.

"Bitter exes.

"And maybe the beginning of something new.

"When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.

"Beloved authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city."

Jen was reading . . .

Book cover of Lucy Parker's Battle Royal

Lucy Parker’s Battle Royal (Amazon |

"Beloved author Lucy Parker pens a delicious new romantic comedy that is a battle of whisks and wits.


"Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere. When Sylvie's unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has used her fame to fulfill her dream of opening a bakery. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess.


"Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple.


"When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they fight to come out on top.

"The bride adores Sylvie’s quirky style. The palace wants Dominic’s classic perfection.

"In this royal battle, can there be room for two?"

Sara was reading . . .

Book cover of Taylor Jenkins Reid's Maybe in Another Life

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Maybe In Another Life (Amazon |

"A breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

"At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

"Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

"In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

"Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him."

Our Fairy Tale Retellings Recommendations

Ashley recommended . . .

Book cover of Elizabeth Lim's Six Crimson Cranes

Elizabeth Lim’s Six Crimson Cranes (Amazon |

"Shiori'anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

"A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

"Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she's been taught all her life to forswear--no matter what the cost.

"Weaving together elements of The Wild Swans, Cinderella, the legend of Chang E, and the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, Elizabeth Lim has crafted a fantasy like no other, and one that will stay with readers long after they've turned the last page."

Jen recommended . . .

Book cover of Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses

Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses (Amazon |

"When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.

"At least, he's not a beast all the time.

"As she adapts to her new home, her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But something is not right in the faerie lands. An ancient, wicked shadow is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it, or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.

"From bestselling author Sarah J. Maas comes a seductive, breathtaking book that blends romance, adventure, and faerie lore into an unforgettable read."

Sara recommended . . .

Book cover of Kalynn Bayron's Cinderella Is Dead

Kalynn Bayron’s Cinderella Is Dead (Amazon |

"Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that's perfect for fans of Dhonielle Clayton and Melissa Albert.

"It's 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl's display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

"Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella's mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all--and in the process, they learn that there's more to Cinderella's story than they ever knew . . .

"This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they've been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them."


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