One thing about me is that I’m a sucker for a good retelling. Give me gender-swapped, queer, modern, or new cultural and identity-based perspectives on the stories that form our collective consciousness. Let’s have a newly happy ending or a different main character or an unexpected villain. The canon is whatever we can dream it to be. Let’s reimagine it all for ourselves. So go forth and enjoy this collection of classics retold for a new generation.
(Read the first two books in the series to get The Iliad as well!)
After fighting in the Trojan War against her own people, Daphne is plagued by memories—of her family, of her shortcomings, of her lover, Apollo, and of the secrets he and the gods keep. As she reels from the horrendous sacrifice she had to make and her own failure in the battle for Troy, she knows the Titans are out there—just beyond the island of Aeaea where she has taken refuge—raging a war against the world.
As Daphne struggles to regain her will to fight as well as rein in the new abilities that have been thrust upon her, the gods call for her help once more. But it has been prophesized that she will bring about the ruin of Olympus and the downfall of Sparta, just as she caused the destruction of Troy. Now, as she begins to witness her terrible destiny coming true, she must become a hero to rival those of myth and save the gods, her people, and the world. Or she will watch it all burn around her.
by L. C. Rosen
Emmett knows he’s blessed. And because of that, he tries to give back: from charity work to letting the often irritating Georgia sit at his table at lunch, he knows it’s important to be nice. And recently, he’s found a new way of giving back: matchmaking. He set up his best friend Taylor with her new boyfriend and it’s gone perfectly. So when his occasional friend-with-benefits Harrison starts saying he wants a boyfriend (something Emmett definitely does NOT want to be), he decides to try and find Harrison the perfect man at Highbury Academy, the candy-colored private school they attend just outside Los Angeles.
Emmett’s childhood friend, Miles, thinks finding a boyfriend for a guy you sleep with is a bad idea. But Miles is straight, and Emmett says this is gay life – your friends, your lovers, your boyfriends – they all come from the same very small pool. That’s why Emmett doesn’t date – to keep things clean. He knows the human brain isn’t done developing until twenty-five, so any relationship he enters into before then would inevitably end in a breakup, in loss. And he’s seen what loss can do. His mother died four years ago and his Dad hasn’t been the same since.
But the lines Emmett tries to draw are more porous than he thinks, and as he tries to find Harrison the perfect match, he learns that gifted as he may be, maybe he has no idea what he’s doing when it comes to love.
Romeo & Juliet
Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.
Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.
As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love…but time is running out, and fate will have its way.
by Malinda Lo
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed by grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Their friendship, as delicate as a new bloom, reawakens Ash’s capacity for love–and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Miriam may be the daughter of Queen Alethia of Tirendell, but she’s not a princess. She’s the child of Alethia and her previous husband, the King’s Champion, who died fighting for the king, and she has no desire to rule. When her new baby sister Aurora, heir to the throne, is born, she’s ecstatic. She adores the baby, who seems perfect in every way. But on the day of Aurora’s christening, an uninvited Dark Fae arrives, prepared to curse her, and Miriam discovers she possesses impossible power.
Soon, Miriam is charged with being trained in both magic and combat to act as chief protector to her sister. But shadowy threats are moving closer and closer to their kingdom, and Miriam’s dark power may not be enough to save everyone she loves, let alone herself.
by Tara Sim
The Count of Monte Cristo
When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her an even longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.
Amaya still only wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception–and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down–the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she can’t trust anyone but herself.
One Thousand and One Nights
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next. And so she is taken in her sister’s place. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.
Far away, back in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air. Then at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.
The Once & Future King
When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind. No pressure.
by Michelle Ray
Meet Ophelia, high school senior, daughter of the Danish king’s most trusted adviser, and longtime girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. She lives a glamorous life and has a royal social circle, and her beautiful face is splashed across magazines and television screens. But it comes with a price–her life is ruled not only by Hamlet’s fame and his overbearing royal family but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. After the sudden and suspicious death of his father, the king, the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals dangerously toward madness, and Ophelia finds herself torn, with no one to turn to. All Ophelia wants is to live a normal life. But when you date a prince, you have to play your part. Ophelia rides out this crazy roller coaster life, and lives to tell her story in live television interviews.
by Molly Booth
Much Ado About Nothing
Sisters Bee and Hana Leonato have lived their whole lives at idyllic Camp Dogberry. Their parents own the place, and every summer they look forward to leading little campers in crafts, swimming in the lake, playing capture the flag and Sproutball, and of course, throwing legendary counselor parties.
This year, the camp drama isn’t just on the improv stage. Bee and longtime counselor Ben have a will-they-or-won’t-they romance that’s complicated by events that happened — or didn’t happen — last summer. Meanwhile, Hana is falling hard for the kind but insecure Claudia, putting them both in the crosshairs of resident troublemaker John, who spreads a vicious rumor that could tear them apart.
As the counselors juggle their camp responsibilities with simmering drama that comes to a head at the Fourth of July sparkler party, they’ll have to swallow their pride and find the courage to untangle the truth, whether it leads to heartbreak or happily ever after.