Review 235. Anthology Grim.

16115038Title: Grim.
Author: Anthology.
Pages: 480.
Expected publication: February 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Sort: Anthology.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today: Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton & Jon Skrovan.
Rating:

I have mixed feelings about this anthology. I’m not a huge fan of them, but I couldn’t pass this one when I saw it was inspired by classic fairy tales. The dark and sinister twist made it sound even better, but I was let down by many stories and by most of them I'm still looking for that promise. I found them boring and uninteresting instead of dark/twisted.


My favorite stories were:
Jon Skrovan – The raven girl, inspired by ‘The raven.’ This had a very fairytale-ish feeling, something I missed in some of the other short stories. I do have a feeling that it’s basically the same story as the original, but I haven’t read the it – yet. I hope to compare them soon. It's about a princess who is turned into a raven after an accidental wish of her mother. They are now both looking for the boy to turn her back into a human girl. Julie Kagawa – The brothers Piggett, based on ‘Three little piglets.’ I love everything she writes. She knows how to create a gripping story and I like that it's only loose based on the original story. She created something of her own. Kimberly Derting – Light it up, inspired by ‘Hansel & Gretel.’ I like how she used the modern world without losing the magical feeling. She blended them well together, by switching a witch into a cannibalistic hunter. Claudia Gray A real boy, based on ‘Pinocchio.’ Very fun sci-fi twist that reminds me of Cinder and last Jackson Pearce, because she turns one of my least favorite princesses into something good (Snow white).

Train wrecks:
Ellen Hopkins – Before the rose bloomed, ‘The snow queen.’ This is very personal, but I don’t like this style.
Chopping lines and 
random enters 
doesn’t make it
 poetry. 

I did read the entire story, because I love retellings of it, and it wasn't bad. This way of writing just doesn't seem to work for me and I'm glad I figured that out before trying one of her books. Sarah Rees Brennan – Beauty & The Chad, ‘Beauty and the beast.’ This was HORRIBLE. Ugh. She completely butchered my favorite tale. The whole modernisation was ridiculous and out of place. The beast talks about ‘dudes’ and ‘what’s up bro’ Just.. no. You don't go there with fairy tales!

The other stories were okay. Not memorable, but definitely not bad. There is a retelling of Bluebeard and I liked the subtle use. There was another Beauty and the beast retelling and I loved the concept, but it could use a longer storyline. I had a feeling some of them weren't done yet. All together, it was a fun book to read once, but I won’t purchase or re-read it.

35 comments

  1. I don't usually read anthologies, either. But was interested for the same reason you were. The first story, I think it was by Rachel Hawkins? Was such a let down. I did, however, like the ones by Derting and Gray. :) I agree that there rest were just 'meh'. I don't know, maybe short stories are not for me.

    Anyway, great review!

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    1. I like how it started, but it never felt like it ended..

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  2. It's a shame you didn't love the book! I love your blog however. It's so pretty and cute.

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  3. Aw. I'm sorry that you didn't love this one Mel! But I'm glad you enjoyed a few of the short stories. <3 I have already pre-ordered a hardcover.. not sure when I will read it (A) but at least I will own it, lol. But oh. That beauty and the beast story sounds pretty awful :( I don't like that kind of uhm.. this: " ‘dudes’ and ‘what’s up bro’" in any books that I read, hih (A) Anyway. Awesome review :D Thank you for sharing. <3

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    1. Well, at least you can look at the pretty cover!

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  4. Anthologies and I don't always get along, but I do like the sound of some of these individual stories - Julia Kagawa's and Kimberly Derting's in particular. It's a shame that many others weren't quite as memorable, but thanks for the helpful review. I hope you enjoy whatever you decide to pick up next. :)

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    1. Yes, it's a shame that the quality is so different.

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  5. Aw...I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy this one as much as you wanted to Mel! I'm a huge fan of the Brothers Grimm stories, but - like you - I'm not the biggest fan of anthologies; and it sounds like this one just simply falls under the "meh" category - which is a shame. It's always sad when books simply aren't good enough to be memorable, and this sounds like exactly the case.

    I think this is going to be a miss for me though since everything you've mentioned will probably bother me as well. Anyways, as always, brilliant review Mel! Hopefully your next read is better!

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Anthologies are so hard! I always seem to have problems with them.

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  6. Why must the Beauty and the Beast one be one of the not fantastic ones :( But you always get this with anthologies I've found. Some stories are amazing and others are just meh. I do want to check out this though because fairy tale retellings! And not just the usual retellings!

    Thanks for the review :)

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    1. Yes, that was such a let down! :( My favorite tale butchered.

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  7. Anthologies are so hard to review, so I passed this one up on Netgalley. I'm glad there were a few gems for you!

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    1. Haha, true, they are the hardest reviews to write.

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  8. HAHAHAH Oh Mel you are so right about Beauty and the Chad! I was cringing all the way through and I just had to skip it. It was the only story in the anthology which I hated, the rest I adored. Thanks for shedding some light on what some of those stories were!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  9. Ack, I nearly requested this but passed on it and I'm sort of glad I did. Although I would have loved to read more of what Julie Kagawa wrote, I was hesitant about the other authors. Ack, that sounds horrible about Beauty and the Chad :(

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  10. [ Smiles ] Thanks for another interesting book review.

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  11. Yay! I'm glad to hear that Julie Kagawa's writing is its usual awesome self. :D
    Aww, it's sad to see that you didn't like Ellen Hopkins' writing. ):
    There should be a warning on her books though; although her writing format LOOKS like it's poetry, it's not. You read it like every other normal book. The reason why her books are formatted like poetry books is for the effect. For example, one book she wrote talks about rape, so that page's writing was shaped like an "R." Some of her formatting doesn't really make sense though.
    And WHAT. The Beast talks about "dudes" and "what's up bro"? Is he like a Californian broooo? -looks around for something to erase my memory with-
    Wonderful review Mel! (:

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    1. OHH, so that's what her style is? I thought I was supposed to read it in a poetic way, but this makes more sense! :)

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  12. I only want to read this anthology for Julie Kagawa's story lol. Although A Real Boy sounds pretty dang interesting too! A Cinder-like twist on Pinocchio? Heck yes :D
    HAHAHA Beauty and the Chad. Sounds like a complete disaster.

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  13. This is why a compilation of short stories always worries me and I have yet to brave one. It seems rare that I would enjoy every story and combined they make for one looong book. It would be ideal to just skip over stories, but in that case I wouldn't want to buy myself a copy. Maybe i'll see if my library gets a copy and i'll just read the stories you liked best!

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    1. The library would be a good idea, because some stories are definitely interesting :)

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  14. Oh, I'm so glad you wrote this review! I'm about to read this one, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to read all the... tales? I think I'll be reading just those from the authors I know.
    Thanks for the help! And great review, as usual!
    Lis @ The reader lines

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  15. I also read this one. Alike you, Ellen's story just didn't work for me. I actually couldn't finish it. I feel like this was due to the fact that this was told in verse. To me, it made the story clunky and it just didn't flow. It bothered me, I could read the lines just as if they were told in regular prose. To write it in verse seemed unnecessary. When I read poetry, it needs to be written that way for a reason. It needs to have a heartbeat.

    I enjoyed the majority of the stories in Grim though, some were definitely more memorable then others. Julie, Rachel and Claudia's story were my favorites.

    Okay, I'm prepared to get yelled at for this one. I actually didn't mind Beauty & the Chad. I thought it was an interesting modernization and it made me laugh. This might be because I enjoy campy things though lol.

    Awesome review (:

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  16. I'm sorry this one didn't turn out better! :( I had my eye on it since I love fairy tale retellings too. But if it's at the library, I might check it out since you've made me really curious about A Real Boy and that Beauty and the Beast retelling that you loved the concept of! (What was the concept, if you don't mind me asking?) :)

    Great review!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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    1. You need to see that for yourself. I just like how she changed some of the things :D Like why she needs to go to the beast.

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  17. I've been really excited for this book, and I'm sad it didn't live up to your expectations. It sounds like some stories are really promising, and I'm sorry there are some duds. Thanks for a thoughtful and honest review!

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  18. I read this ARC some time back,but I am still struggling to come up with a review.I've never reviewed an anthology before,so I am finding it hard.
    I had mixed feelings towards the anthology too.My personal favourites were Rachel Hawkins' Key and Sonia Gensler's Untethered.Thinner than Water was really disturbing.I hated Beauty and the Chad too.
    Great review Mel,I am considering yours as an inspiration to start writing mine.

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    1. Thinner than water gave me the creeps, haha!

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    2. I couldn't get the story out of my mind for a whole day.Skin Trade was even worse.

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