Our Favourite LGBTQIA+ Retellings
By Emma Holbrook, Becca Binnie and Emily Myhill
This week, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite LGBTQIA+ retellings of Disney, classic literature and folklore/fairy tales for you to cosy up with!
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Starting off, we have the thrilling futuristic retelling of classic princess, Cinderella, with Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Set in futuristic New Beijing, protagonist Cinder is a cyborg and a gifted mechanic living with her horrid stepmother who deems her responsible for her stepsister’s mysterious illness. Soon, Cinder finds herself in the middle of a violent power struggle, leaving her to choose between duty and loyalty, or freedom and betrayal.
Marissa Meyer’s take on the famous Cinderella story is definitely not the sweet and childlike story you remember; this retelling is dark with a ton of twists and turns you won’t see coming. Cinder brings the reader into a world where there are diverse LGBTQIA+ characters and a focus on how romance is not always for everyone, especially when you have a world to save. This is not one to overlook.
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig is a dark horror/fantasy retelling of The 12 Dancing Princesses, where the princesses are allegedly suffering at the hands of a deadly curse that won’t stop until it consumes them all.
Princess Annaleigh has lived a sheltered life with her beloved father and stepmother in the kingdom of Highmoor. Once there were twelve, now only eight remain. Four of Annaleigh’s sisters have suffered a death, each more horrifying than the last – plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning and now a slippery plunge. Annaleigh knows that she’s next, but will her heart lead her down the same path as her sisters? If you’re looking for a book with an LGBTQIA+ focus that isn’t romance-heavy, head to a bookstore and pick this up!
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
Published by HarperCollins in 2020, Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur, is a compelling and witty retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice.
Bellefleur’s story unfolds when a care-free social media astrologer agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary. In a bid to stop her brother playing matchmaker, Darcy Lowell pretends his latest idea for a match was a major success. Enter Elle Jones, an influential social media star; confident in the idea of soulmates, she is certain the serious, analytical Darcy is not hers.
However, they do say opposites attract and when the line between real and pretend starts to blur, the relationship becomes complex. Discover more in this inclusive, irresistible and charming retelling of a beloved classic.
Peter Darling by Austin Chant
A fresh and captivating take on J.M.Barrie’s well-known Peter Pan, Austin Chant writes a fantasy novel which picks up where the classic tale leaves off.
Chant writes of a trans Peter who returns to Neverland after spending some time in England, however, when he arrives it seems Neverland has carried on without him. Soon, it is clear the only one who really missed Peter was none other than the notorious Captain James Hook.
When conflict reignites between Hook’s pirates and the Lost Boys, the infamous rivalry between Hook and Peter turns into something more complex, something deeper, sensual and potentially deadly.
Peter Darling sees the characters we all know in a new and refreshing light. A vital and inclusive version of a beloved tale deserves a place on everyone’s bookshelves!
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
From the author of Girls Made of Snow and Glass comes Girl, Serpent, Thorn: another retelling, based on Persian mythology, alongside elements from Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. An unusual amalgamation of stories, it stands apart from other retellings through the unique anti-heroic storyline.
It follows the story of Soraya, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. At her brother’s wedding, she is faced with unlikely hope in the form of a boy: someone not afraid of her, who may have the answer… But things are never quite what they seem.
Starring a bisexual main character and featuring a sapphic love story between the dark, tense pages, this is the perfect re-telling for those wanting to see a morally grey heroine.
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Finally, we have The Deathless Girls: a gorgeously intoxicating gothic reimagining of the untold story of the brides of Dracula. Fiercely feminist, with strong themes of female friendship, The Deathless Girls has all the modern heart you can hope for, alongside a sharp bite.
Seventeen year old sisters Lil and Kizzy are enslaved, taken far away from their traveller community to work in the castle kitchens. Darkly atmospheric, compelling and filled with fright, Lil’s comfort comes from Mira, another slave who she is inexplicably drawn to…
Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2020, Kiran’s YA debut made quite the splash and is definitely not one to miss if you love a sinister, gothic retelling of a well-loved classic.