New Diverse YA Classic Retellings

Tirzah Price

Senior Contributing Editor

Most of Tirzah Price's life decisions have been motivated by a desire to read as many books as humanly possible. Tirzah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked as an independent bookseller and librarian. She’s also the author of the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, published by HarperTeen, and Bibliologist at TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. Follow her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.

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I will always be a sucker for retellings because there is no shortage of ways to rework and reinvent old, classic tales into exciting new stories that offer new intrigue, excitement, or insight. This year we are fortunate enough to see a lot exciting new retellings, from myths and fairytales to classic books! Here are three great ones that offer new twists on classic literature, but with diverse characters and storytelling!

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

One of Jane Austen’s lesser popular books gets a modern update in this contemporary retelling of Persuasion set in Tobago! Reyna’s family owns the Plumeria, a seaside resort that is a gorgeous destination and getaway, and yet Reyna can’t help but feel that everyone wants to leave: Her childhood friend Aiden moved away to pursue his music dreams, her mother passed away, and even her father is considering leaving behind the Plumeria. But then Aiden returns to the resort, now famous and with an entourage, stirring up old feelings and new insecurities as Reyna reckons with her own future.

Darling by K. Ancrum cover

Darling by K. Ancrum

Peter Pan gets an update with this new thriller about Wendy Darling, who has just arrived in Chicago and is looking for some fun. When a mysterious boy named Peter comes to Wendy’s window, he charms her into joining him on a night on the town…but Wendy soon finds that rather than hit up traditional nightlife venues, they explore the underground, which is both dangerous and exhilarating. As Wendy meets another girl named Tinkerbelle and Peter’s lost boys, she also makes an enemy: Detective Hook. But what if Hook isn’t the only person Wendy has just met that she should fear?

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

This is a supernatural, loose retelling of Jane Eyre about Andromeda, who has trained to be a debtera, which is an exorcist of bad spirits. But right before she can get her license, she’s thrown out by her mentor and now her only chance at finding work and building her reputation is Magnus Rorschach. Rorschach is a wealthy, eccentric man whose estate has seen a dozen debtera flee the premises in terror. Andromeda is determined to stick it out, but she is shocked by all the dark twists and secrets she begins to uncover, which threaten her life. Along the way, she begins to fall for Rorschach, despite the darkness he harbors.

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