Classic Fairytales That Need More YA Retellings

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a good-old fairytale retelling! And what I love even more is watching an author subvert and adapt these classic adventures to create new and exciting storylines that we can’t help but love. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas and Heartless and The Luna Chronicles by Marissa Myers are a perfect examples of this, not only are they both wonderful retellings that only use the basic framework of the original story but they use their characters to create something entirely different and unique.

Growing up Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favourite Disney classics, but after reading so many different retellings I’m getting a little bored of the same old storyline, which breaks my heart because it’s such a beautiful tale! This then got me thinking about all the other incredible and magical stories that have yet to be retold and adapted, so I wanted to share a few of my favourites that I believe need more attention!

This has been one of my favourite posts to write this year, and has even inspired me to start writing some modern day fairytale inspired flash-fiction that I hope to share in the future! So if you’re up for the challenge or are looking for a new writing prompt then I challenge you to adapt one of your favourite fairytales!

I loved re-searching all the different fairytales from around the world, so much so that I’ve had to write an entirely different post about some of my new favourites that I found as well as the Myths that I think need retellings, so keep an eye out for them soon!

And finally, shout out to the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson for creating some wonderfully dark fantasy fables!

Peter Pan – This whole idea about not growing up sounds pretty good to me, being an adult is WAY too stressful! This beloved children’s classic has so much potential and I can see it being adapted as both a fantasy but also a contemporary novel. I can also see it as a sci-fi inspired adventure, with Neverland being some distant planet with a secret.

Jack and the Beanstalk – What if Jack found something else at the top of the beanstalk? What if instead of a beanstalk, Jack climbed out of a broken elevator only to find a portal leading to a hidden world?

Rapunzel – Tangled is hands down my favourite Disney film EVER, so it’s only right that I request more Rapunzel inspired reading. I loved Cress by Marissa Myers but I need more, so any recommendations would be great!

Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet tells the story of the doomed love of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette. Prince Siegfried goes out hunting one night and chases a group of swans – one of which transforms into a young woman, Odette, who explains that she and her companions were turned into swans by the evil Baron Von Rothbart. The spell can only be broken if someone who has never loved before swears an oath of undying love and promises to marry her. This tale of broken hearts and deception is one that is packed full of drama and one which I could see featuring an enemies-to-lovers-to-enemies dynamic?

The Frog Prince – Another Disney favourite that I’d love to see! If we break it down, the story ultimately revolves around a fatal kiss and from that there is endless opportunity!

The Little Match Girl – This is such a underrated and beautifully heartbreaking story and focuses on a dying child’s dreams and hope. I’d love to see this powerful story used as a narrative to raise attention for youth homelessness.

The Twelve Brothers – One of the lesser known tales by The Brothers Grimm but ultimately is a tale about who should inherit a mighty kingdom. A king wants to kill his twelve sons, but only if his thirteenth child would be a girl. This way, she alone can inherit his kingdom. The Queen warns her son and urges them to escape into the forest where they are forced to live, until they are discovered by their sister years later. I’m a sucker for a fantasy that focuses on a fight for the throne and is another classic fairytale with lots of potential.

A Christmas Nutcracker – A Christmas classic that I’d love to see adapted into a romanic and lighthearted festive contemporary!

The Twelve Dancing Princesses – Aside from the cinematic masterpiece that is Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this story adapted. In short the story follows 12 princesses who are locked away securely every night by the king, but in the morning their dancing shoes are found to be worn through as if they had been dancing all night. Determined to uncover their secret the King offers a reward to anyone who can uncover their whereabouts every night, and is revealed by a solider that every night they escape through a trap door to meet 12 waiting princes and embark on a night of fun and dancing.


43 thoughts on “Classic Fairytales That Need More YA Retellings

    1. I’ve got so many ideas running around my head, the possibilities are endless! 🥰

      I was just having another Google and I had no idea that Disney were making a live-action adaptation of Peter Pan, starring Tom Holland, Yara Shahidi and Jude Law, YES PLEASE!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love fairytale adaptions too! And you’re spot on about being tired of beauty and the beast retellings. It’s my favorite fairytale but I def agree that we need more variety in our adaptions. The twelve princesses would be very interesting to see adapted to a modern era.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is tired of Beauty and the Beast! I had so much fun looking up different fairytales, there are so many out there that would make great reads!

      And I agree, I’d love to see the twelve dancing princesses with a modern twist! 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t House of Salt and Sorrows a 12 dancing princesses retelling?! Not sure I love the book, but I don’t know the fairytale.. haha!
    I would love more Peter Pan retellings!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. GREAT POST! This is so awesome. Actually, I read a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling by Kenley Davidson in her Andari Chronicles series. (I loved her twist on Cinderella in the first book, and the Rumplestiltzkin redo in the second book totally won me over, too.)

    I’ve seen some Peter Pan retelling or spin-off type novels, but the only one I’ve read is Everland by Wendy Spinale, which I liked.

    Thanks for sharing this list! Hope you have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU! I’ve been given so many recommendations recently, I don’t know where to start! My poor bank account! 😅 The Andari Chronicles are exactly what I was looking for, and are definitely going on my TBR! It looks like a might have to do a retellings inspired read-a-thon soon! 🥰


  4. For the twelve dancing princesses, there’s actually a slew of retellings. Juliet Marillier and Jessica Day George’s versions are mentioned. Melanie Cellier, Heather Dixon (Entwined), Regina Doman (Midnight Dancers), Veronica Schanoes (Ballroom Blitz), Suzanne Weyn (Midnight Dancers), and Genevieve Valentines (The Girls at the Kingfisher’s Club) have their own variations. There’s definitely more I’m forgetting, but these are some that are on my tbr (or already read).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My own tbr is just shock full of retellings and I’m beyond far from done, so it can easily turn into a constant read-a-thon if you’re not careful (like I wasn’t) 😁😆

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve come across a ton of Peter Pan ones and 12 Dancing Princesses! I wish there were more Snow Queen retellings!

    A few Pan ones on my TBR right now is Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn, Dust by Kara Swanson, and of course Lost in the Never Woods!

    I also really like fairy tale mashups! There aren’t enough of those lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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