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Riot Recommendation: 20 of Your Favorite YA Fairy Tales

Vanessa Diaz

Managing Editor

Book Riot Managing Editor Vanessa Diaz is a writer and former bookseller from San Diego, CA whose Spanish is even faster than her English. When not reading or writing, she enjoys dreaming up travel itineraries and drinking entirely too much tea. She is a regular co-host on the All the Books podcast who especially loves mysteries, gothic lit, mythology/folklore, and all things witchy. Vanessa can be found on Instagram at @BuenosDiazSD or taking pictures of pretty trees in Portland, OR, where she now resides.

Flatiron Books, publisher of Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert

A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve original stories by the New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood and The Night Country. Journey into the Hinterland, a brutal and beautiful world where a young woman spends a night with Death, brides are wed to a mysterious house in the trees, and an enchantress is killed twice—and still lives. Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans alike, Tales from the Hinterland will include gorgeous illustrations by Jim Tierney, foil stamping, two-color interior printing, and two-color printed endpapers.

Do we ever outgrow a good fairy tale? I know I sure haven’t. I may look at the ones from my childhood with a far more critical eye these days (and relate a little too hard to the evil queen/witch types, but we can unpack that another time), but I’m still a sucker for fantastical tales set in far off places where good conquers evil, stories driven by that relentless clinging onto hope in the dark. I’m especially drawn to them now when they finally feel more inclusive than they were when I was a kid. I want to go back into time and tell Young Vanessa that she will one day learn how to style the fur ball on her head, and that the stories she falls asleep to will one day feature a heroine who looks more like she does.

Young adult fairy tales have felt especially exciting in the last several years, not only for embracing diversity and inclusion, but because the stories themselves are just so dang creative–and often subversive. That’s why I asked you to share your favorite YA fairy tales! You gave us a mix of original stories and fresh new takes on classic tales. Let’s all bask in the warm hug of a story where goodness prevails, or at least shakes sh*t up trying.

Ash by Malinda Lo

Beauty by Robin McKinley

A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

Dark Shimmer by Donna Jo Napoli

Deerskin by Robin McKinley

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Never Ever by Sara Saedi

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh