Friday, June 11, 2010

Fiction Friday: FAIRY TALES RE-ENVISIONED

Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Crazy Beautiful is a bold reinterpretation of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Like all stories of enchantment, this novel's two protagonists are extreme. Lucius (crazy) has blown off his own hands in an explosion, becoming a double-amputee and outsider both physically and emotionally. Aurora (beautiful), still grieving the death of her mother, has a nature so sweet, thoughtful and other-oriented that she has a chance to save a "beast." The narrative alternates between Lucius's and Aurora's point-of-view while being linked by certain images and ideas.  For example, at the start of the story, both main characters find themselves in new houses that reflect elements of the emotional losses they have suffered.  The clothing each character wears also reveals their senses of self and family relationships. Against a high school backdrop complete with the classic elements of a school play and a party, Baratz-Logsted embraces the intensity of the fairy tale form while heeding her characters--not forcing the story to follow the plot of the classic tale but staying true, instead, to its universal themes.  The result is a powerful and fascinating novel.

Of course, in my compulsion for book pairings, here are some worthy reworkings of Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella, and the Pied Piper for your consideration. Interesting to see the setting into which each author introduces a classic scenario, and the way in which they incorporated original plot elements and themes into their work.

6 comments:

Tahereh said...

nice! i've seen crazy beautiful around a lot but i'd never felt compelled to pick it up. it sounds fascinating!

thanks for the reviews!

M.M.E. said...

What a great collection of books! I'm a fairy tale artist and I'm always looking for new inspiration. These looks like a few must-reads for me. Thanks!

Meredith said...

CRAZY BEAUTIFUL sounds awesome, and the cover alone of A CURSE DARK AS GOLD makes me want to read it. I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings. Thanks for the review!

SWK said...

Thanks for stopping by Tahereh & Meredith. Would love to know more about being a fairy tale artist, M.M.E.!

Dawn Simon said...

I always love your reviews, Stasia. Thanks! :)

SWK said...

Hi, Dawn. SO good to hear from you!