The Compulsive Reader: Reading Rants: Returning to the Classics

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reading Rants: Returning to the Classics

Something interesting I've noticed is the sudden influx of novels based off of classics famous authors. And while re-writing Pride and Prejudice in a contemporary setting isn't exactly groundbreaking, there are some pretty cute retellings out there that I've read recently. Do you guys like them? Or do you think they are just old? While I don't think any one could ever live up to the original classic, I think they're kind of fun. Here are some of those recent releases, plus a few others I am looking forward to reading.

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

This one is a simple retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set at a boarding school with Lizzie and Jane as best friends and roommates. I thought this one was really cute and fun, and I liked the setting and the surprising musical influences quite a bit. The way Eulberg sets up the story isn't conventional, which I thought was fun. You can read my review here.

Jane by April Lindner

Okay, so Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books. She kicks some serious butt. And so I was of course very intrigued at how Lindner would pull off a retelling of the story because while Jane is quite modern for the mid-nineteenth century, certain aspects of her story wouldn't translate well into the twenty-first. However, I was pleasantly surprised! This was an absorbing, sexy, and suspenseful novel and I really enjoyed it! I'd definitely recommend it to any and all Jane Eyre fans. Read my review here.

Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler

Now, don't you just love that title? So cute! This is another Jane Austen retelling, this one of Sense and Sensibility! I just got this in the mail the other week and I'm excited to read it...however, it's been absolutely ages since I last read Sense and Sensibility, and I'd love to re-read that one before I dive into this book. Whenever I get to it (and hopefully it'll be soon), I know it will be delightful. Jennifer Ziegler is one fantastic and hilarious writer!

So Shelley by Ty Roth

This one is very intriguing to me...it's the story of high schoolers Gordon Byron, John Keats, and Michelle Shelley...contemporary "versions" of the famous poets. That gives this slightly depressing-sounding story a whole new edge and dimension that I think will make it very, very good. This is another one that I have that I still have not read, but definitely plan on doing so!

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

This is another Pride and Prejudice inspired book, and I am loving the title and the cover! So cute! I loaned this one out to Shanyn of chickloveslit.com, so I don't have it right now, but I'm eager to give it a try sometime. Has anyone read it? What did you think?

Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

This one is a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet that I think sounds pretty cute. I know the Romeo and Juliet thing can be a bit tired, but I remember reading Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson (she also wrote The Adoration of Jenna Fox), and really liking it, so I'm open for more books along those lines. Maybe I'll pick it up on my Kindle sometime.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I recently found out about this one from Lenore Appelhans. It's a dystopia re-telling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. So. Unbelievably. Cool. You can go to Lenore's blog at presentinglenore.blogspot.com to read her interview with Diana about her new book. Unfortunately it doesn't come out until next summer, but now it is definitely on my radar! It's about as cool as sci-fi fairy tales.

What are some of your favorite classics revived? Know of any that I should know about? Let me know in the comments!


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I love retellings of my favorite classic novels-I've only read the first two of these but I'm really excited about the others!

Anonymous said...

O.O Dystopian retelling of Persuasion?? That's brilliant! *whips out TBR list*

Angiev1016 said...

Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter is a great one!

Ellie (The Reading Girl) said...

I just won Epic Fail a couple weeks ago and I'm so excited to read it! I've read Sass and Serendipity too and really enjoyed it (plus the cover is adorable!). I also loved The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton, based off Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.

Can't wait to check out that dystopian retelling of Persuasion!

Anonymous said...

You gave me a ton of books to check out, of your list I think I've only read Jane and I got Prom and Prejudice and Epic Fail in my TBR pile, but not the others.

I might have to skip the Romeo and Juliet one because I kind of hate R & J, but the others sound awesome.

Unknown said...

Great post! I haven't read any of these, but they sound great.
Wonder if anyone has written a re-telling of Withering Heights?

Midnyte Reader said...

I just listened to a book called Austenland where a woman goes for a "vacation" in a place where you act like you're in that time period. It was a lot of fun.