Once Upon a Time: Top Ten Books to Read If Your Book Club Likes Retellings

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday Post is your top ten books to read if your book club likes ________. I decided to go with retelling because they’re one of my favorite types of books. That probably explains why everything on this list is an all-time favorite of mine. Heads up though-some of these are not retellings but rather inspired by source material. As usual, these are in no particular order. Also, I’m trying something new here. Instead of linking text, I’ve linked pictures. Click on the picture to open up my review!

Fairy Tales/Folklore:

A Thousand and One Nights: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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I honestly love this series so much! I read it in a total of two days, and I’m just so in love. Shazi is such an amazing character and Khalid is so swoon worthy! The world-building is also just so rich, and it’s truly a treat to read. I loved seeing the backstory behind the infamous prince in A Thousand and One Nights as well as the development behind the final couple’s romance.

General Fairy Tale Goodness:

The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani

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This series is just such an interesting take on the conventional fairy tale! It challenges the divides between good and evil, girls and boys, new and old. The main characters are original characters, but there are frequent mentions of classic fairy tale characters. Sometimes I like to think of this as a behind-the-scenes look at how fairy tales get made! I’ve also just realized that I never wrote a review of this one, so don’t click the picture. You won’t get a review. 😦

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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If you’re looking for a mixture of distinct fairy tale retelling strung into one big, overarching narrative, then this is your series. Marissa Meyer is one of the queens of fairy tale retellings. There are plenty of references to the original books, but each set of characters and each of their stories is super unique. I also can’t get over how well everything just fits together! In case you can’t tell by the way, the stories in order are Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Oh, and did I mention it has super cool tech and there are quite a few bits set in space and on the moon?


The Legend of Achilles: The Song of Achilles
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If you’ve been with me since about August, then you have probably seen my super long rave about this book. I love it to bits and pieces even though I cry every single time.  This series contains one my top OTPs, Patrochilles, and everything is just written so beautifully and just aaahhhh!!!!! You must read this book if you haven’t yet, especially if you’re a big Greek mythology fan. This is a perfect retelling of Achilles’ story, all from Patroclus’ point of view.

In general: any of Rick Riordan’s series

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This is just a portion of Rick Riordan’s books. Rick Riordan, troll though he may occasionally be, is one of the kings of mythology. True, these books are not exactly retellings as a whole, but rather include tons of tiny retellings all strung together in a humorous way. All the books, from the Egyptian mythology, to the Greek mythology, to the Roman mythology, to even the Norse mythology, are all tied together in some way or another. His books never fail to make me laugh, and many of his characters take up the top spots on my OTP list (see Percabeth and Solangelo.) A lot of his chapter titles are amazing too. It’s kind of hard to beat titles like, “I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom,” or “I Put on a Few Million Extra Pounds,” or even, “Pigs Fly.”


Les Miserables: Legend by Marie Lu

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I’ve known this series for quite some time now, and I just fall in love with it more and more each time. (I also get more and more upset by the end of Champion, but anyway.) I actually didn’t know that this series was Les Mis retelling, but as a Les Mis fan, I must say it is quite an adaptation.

Alice in Wonderland: Splintered by A.G. Howard

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I’ve also known this series for quite a while, and I still adore it so much. One of my favorite things about this series is that while it is based off of Alice in Wonderland, it is not about Alice. It’s about one of her descendants, which means that the story is able to progress in a unique way. (Also, Team Morpheus!)

A Tale of Two Cities: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

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I’m actually rereading this series right now! It’s amazing recapturing all the magic: the love, the characters, the humor, the feels, just all of it! This is a relatively loose retelling, although it does have quite a few elements from the “original.” Also, TID has probably one of the best love triangles ever!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

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This series is not exactly a retelling, as it doesn’t follow the original plotline at all. It does have quite a few elements from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For example, Puck is one of the main characters in the book, Oberon plays a relatively important role, and Titania is present, as bad as ever. There are even mentions of “the incident,” aka the original play. There are also parts from other stories and legends such as the Big Bad Wolf and Queen Mab. I will say though that my favorite character and at 50% of why I love this series is, to my knowledge, a completely original character. (I’m talking about you, Ash!)

Tell me. What are your favorite retellings? Do you even like retellings? Have you read any on my list?


3 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time: Top Ten Books to Read If Your Book Club Likes Retellings

  1. Zoë (@readabilitea) says:

    I LOVE the Cinder series – I actually just borrowed Winter from the library so that I can finally finish the series.

    I had absolutely no idea the Legend series was a Les Mis series! I’ve only read the first one because I didn’t really enjoy it enough to warrant continuing. I’ve only heard good things about the Wrath and Dawn so I might have to pick up that soon..

    Zoe @ Readabilitea


    • thebookpandas says:

      Isn’t the Lunar Chronicles series amazing? I think Winter might actually be my favorite out of the series, so enjoy!
      According to Marie Lu, Legend was based off her wondering what would happen if a female Javert and Jean Valjean fell in love. (Sorry that I’m murdering their names). It’s too bad that you didn’t enjoy it. I really loved it, but I can see that it’s not for everyone.
      The Wrath and the Dawn duology is simply amazing!!! The world-building is wonderful, and the characters, and just everything! Plus, the series is finished, so no cliffhangers.


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