Must-Read YA Retellings of Fairy Tales and Classics

We love fairy tales! Give us a story with magic, peril, romance, and adventure—we’re here for it! And not just fairy tales—classics, too. These fairy tale retellings breathe new life into beloved stories that have stood the test of time. Pick up one of these books, and you’ll find yourself obsessing over a new version of an old tale.

Whether you love books with spooky vibes or heart-pounding romance, we’ve got you covered! Here is a list of modern retellings of your favorite fairy tales and classic novels to add to your reading stack.

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

Experience the story of Anastasia in a magical setting with this unique and exciting retelling. When her father, the emperor, is murdered and she’s the only suspect, Anastacya Mikhailov flees the palace and hides in the city. To clear her name and expose the true culprit, Ana teams up with a crime lord named Ransome Quicktongue.

Blood Heir

Blood Heir

By Amélie Wen Zhao

The first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder.

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Take a step back in time with this modern retelling of the classic novel Les Misérables. Set in an alternate 1828 Paris, Eponine takes on the corrupt city guilds to keep her younger sister safe. You’ll be hooked from page one.

The Court of Miracles

The Court of Miracles

By Kester Grant

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

When you need a book to give you goosebumps, pick up this retelling of Frankenstein. It tells the story from Elizabeth’s point of view—from her troubled childhood to joining Victor Frankenstein’s household and surviving the darkness brewing there. You won’t be able to put it down!

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

By Kiersten White

A stunning and dark reimagining of Frankenstein told from the point-of-view of Elizabeth Lavenza, who is taken in by the Frankenstein family.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Strap yourself in, this retelling of The Talented Mr. Ripley has more twists and turns than a roller coaster. This book might be slim, but it will keep you guessing (and gasping) until the end. Keep a flashlight close by because you’ll be up all night reading!

Genuine Fraud

Genuine Fraud

By E. Lockhart

From the author of We Were Liars, which John Green called “utterly unforgettable,” comes a mind-bending, New York Times bestselling thriller told in reverse.

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Do you love medieval fantasy novels? Then you’ll obsess over this spin on The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. As tangible and magical threats creep into Camelot, the wizard Merlin sends Guinevere to marry Arthur and keep the kingdom safe. Romance, betrayal, friendship, and magic combine in an irresistible story.

The Guinevere Deception

The Guinevere Deception

By Kiersten White

A new fantasy series set in the world of Camelot that bestselling author Christina Lauren calls “brilliant,” reimagining the Arthurian legend . . . where nothing is as magical and terrifying as a girl.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

If you find yourself drawn to spooky fairy tale retellings, this book is for you. It combines “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” with ghostly visions, a deadly curse, and horrifying monsters. The story is dark and moody, with enough chills to keep you reading past your bedtime.

House of Salt and Sorrows

House of Salt and Sorrows

By Erin A. Craig

Get swept away by the New York Times bestseller that’s sold over 100,000 copies. As one by one her beautiful sisters mysteriously die on their isolated island estate, Annaleigh must unravel the curse that haunts her family.

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

If “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is your favorite Halloween story, add this book to your TBR! It’s jam-packed with romance, danger, magic, monsters, and hair-raising moments. You’ll devour every page of this atmospheric spin on the chilling legend.

The Lantern's Ember

The Lantern's Ember

By Colleen Houck

A bold and ghostly stand-alone from New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck, with all the moodiness of Sleepy Hollow and all the romance her fans love.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

This gorgeous retelling of “The Wild Swans” will introduce you to a lesser-known fairy tale about a girl who saves her brothers from an evil queen. Inspired by East Asian folklore and Hans Christian Andersen’s short story, this book, filled with adventure, danger, and betrayal, will take your breath away!

Six Crimson Cranes

Six Crimson Cranes

By Elizabeth Lim

A princess in exile, a shapeshifting dragon, six enchanted cranes, and an unspeakable curse… Drawing from fairy tales and East Asian folklore, this original fantasy from the author of Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Experience The Little Mermaid like never before. Inspired by West African mythology and the classic fairy tale, this retelling will sweep you away on an unforgettable underwater adventure. Cursed to serve the gods as a collector of souls, Simi risks everything when she saves a boy from drowning. Monsters, mythology, and peril will keep you glued to the page.

Skin of the Sea

Skin of the Sea

By Natasha Bowen

An unforgettable fantasy debut inspired by West African mythology, this is Children of Blood and Bone meets The Little Mermaid, in which a mermaid takes on the gods themselves.

On Sale 11.02.21

Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

If you’re craving more spooky vibes, this dark spin on the tale of Rumpelstiltskin is just the thing. The people in Ellerie’s secluded town start promising favors to the monstrous creatures in the woods in exchange for a granted wish. But things turn sinister in this intense, heart-pounding fairy tale retelling.

Small Favors

Small Favors

By Erin A. Craig

From the critically-acclaimed author of House of Salt and Sorrows comes a mesmerizing and chilling fairy-talesque novel about Ellerie Downing, a young woman in a small town with monsters lurking in the trees and dark desires hidden in the shadows—in Amity Falls, nothing is more dangerous than a wish come true.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

While this isn’t an exact retelling of Mulan, there are similarities. For example, when Maia’s aging father gets summoned to the capital to compete for the title of royal tailor, she assumes her brother’s identity and goes in her father’s place. She competes against the best tailors in the land before being sent on an impossible mission to the kingdom’s farthest edges. You’ll love the magic, adventure, and breathtaking romance.

Spin the Dawn

Spin the Dawn

By Elizabeth Lim

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping fantasy about a teenage girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. You won’t want to miss this fairy tale retelling.

Love this roundup of fairy tale retellings? Check out other articles here and get social with us at @getunderlined!

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