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YA Book Reviews from Amy

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Reimagining the Classics Part 2

As promised from last week’s post, I will continue to talk about different reimaginings of different classic pieces of literature. I have listed 8 more options to read. This is one of my favorite genres because I love having read the original (usually from the past in school) and then seeing the inspiration retold from a new perspective; sometimes it’s told through a different genre, characters are genderbent, or other ways to make the book the author’s own creation.

Each title is available through our collection with the OverDrive or Libby App.  Check it out or place a hold!

Enjoy Part 2 of my reviews for these YA retellings of classics. When you check out some of my favorites, I will be reading more classics retelling for a future post!


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Ten strangers receive a mysterious invitation to an isolated island; they do not know each other, but it seems that they have to be connected. When one of them dies, the rest realize that there is a murderer on the island. Will you figure out who the murderer is before each character dies one by one?

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
During a weekend party at an exclusive island, friends Meg and Minnie do not realize that there is a dastardly plan in place that could cost them more than their reputations; it might cost them their lives. In the middle of the party, dirty laundry is blasted on the stereo about all ten of the attendees; things no one is supposed to know, things that will make everyone a suspect when teens start dying mysteriously. Ten is a dark YA book that was inspired by Agatha Christie. This book is a page turner that can easily be read in one sitting.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Bennet family is seeking stability and prosperity through marriage of their five eligible daughters. Elizabeth wants to marry for love and not for convenience. When she meets the frustratingly prideful Mr. Darcy, she does not realize her life and the life of her sisters will change.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Zuri lives in Brooklyn and has a lot of pride in her neighborhood. When the Darcy family moves across the street from her, she becomes interested in the infuriatingly handsome Darius and her sister is falling for Ainsley. Zuri does not believe that the Darcy family fits in with their family’s lifestyle and the arrogant wealth of Darius turns into a breaking point. This contemporary retelling of the classic story of Pride and Prejudice is about cultural identity, romance, and trusting in one’s instinct. This cover is absolutely stunning and Ibi Zoboi’s writing is poetic.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
A story told within a story, Victor Frankenstein recalls a time in which he was compelled by science to create life through death.  One of my favorite classics of all time!

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Elizabeth Lavenza is groomed to be the friend and companion of the young and disturbed Victor Frankenstein. Throughout the years, she realizes that Victor has a troubled mind, but he’s controlled the people around him to believe that he is “normal”. Kiersten White tells the story of Frankenstein through the eyes of a side character and love interest Elizabeth, and she put a dark twist into Victor’s character: making him an unreliable character from the original. It’s a very dark atmospheric story and it connects really well to the classic.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Anne Elliot gave up her one true love because of her status and her family’s opinion. Years later, Frederick Wentworth returns as a wealthy and successful captain and Anne wonders if he still has feelings for her.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
In this sci-fi retelling of Persuasion, the world is has been ravaged by the Reduction that decreases the use of technology and decreases the population. Elliot North rejected her childhood friend and love, Kai, when she decided to stay with her family instead of running away with him. Four years later, he returns with knowledge about the Reduction which has made him become a wealthy leader. The world building by Diana Peterfreund is amazingly imaginable. This novel is more than just a romance. This is a book that has stuck with me throughout the years.

You can also check out the companion book to this novel: Across a Star-Swept Sea which is a reimagining of The Scarlet Pimpernel.  

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Dorothy is whisked away from Kansas during a tornado and arrives in the Land of Oz. She is joined by three friends on her quest to return home while the Wicked Witch of the West seeks revenge against Dorothy.

Dorothy Must Die byDanielle Paige
What if Dorothy was the villain of the story? Amy Gumm, also from Kansas, knows the story of the Wizard of Oz, but she didn’t expect that she would ever go to this seemingly fictitious land. When Amy arrives at Oz, the story she thought was true is wrong. Good witches cannot be trusted; Dorothy is an evil ruler of Oz with her minions: the scarecrow, the tin man, and the lion will do anything to stop Amy. This is a twisty tale of that will be fun for readers that enjoyed the original book or the movie.

This is the first book in a four book series; the other books include: The Wicked Will Rise, Yellow Brick War, and The End of Oz.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
A young lady marries the wealthy Mr. de Winter, but she fears that she is living in the shadow of his deceased first wife, Rebecca.

I absolutely love the 1940 motion picture Rebecca directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
Suspicion pays respect to Daphne du Maurier’s classic mystery Rebecca. Imogen’s life is full of death after her father and mother are killed in a fire that destroyed the family’s estate. Imogen has been haunted for the past several years by this memory and replays the last thing her father said to her. She returns to Rockford Manor after receiving a mysterious letter. This book is full of twist and turns that will surprise you.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre, an orphan with a tragic past, becomes a governess at a hauntingly gothic mansion that is owned by the dashing Mr. Rochester. She hears voices outside her door; there is darkness around the hall corners, and a dark past will be revealed.

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
Stella works as an engineer and governess upon a spaceship that is falling apart. In the hopes of surviving longer, she applies to other ships and receives an acceptance letter from the Rochester, a private ship owned by the mysterious Hugo Fairfax. Stella quickly becomes a part of the family and is falling in love. But when she learns of Hugo’s secrets, she is not sure if she can forgive him. This is an enjoyable sci-fi retelling of Jane Eyre

Alexa Donne recently wrote her sci-fi retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion called The Stars We Steal.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Jean Valjean is arrested for stealing a loaf of bread and has spent the last 19 years in prison. After being released, he steals money from a young boy knowing that he will be sent to the galleys if he is caught. Jean becomes a wealthy factory owner and he starts to have a family to live for when Inspector Javert is suspicious of his true identity. A game of cat and mouse ensues throughout the years.

Sky without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
Three teens’ lives are connected by an upcoming revolution. Chatine is a street thief that has been following Marcellus, an officer that has been groomed by his Grandfather, and Alouette, a girl that is protecting the last library on the planet. Alouette is the only person that is able to read a letter that falls into Marcellus’ hands. This is a very fun retelling of Les Misérables with lovable characters with high stakes.

Check out the sequel Between Burning Worlds


Hello everyone! I’m Amy and I am a Youth Services Librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. When I’m not trying to reach my reading goal for the year, yes its 100 books, and yes I’m far ahead of that goal at the pace I’m going, I like to talk about what I’m reading to the 3 book clubs I am involved in. You could say I am a little obsessed with reading Young Adult books. I enjoy most genres, but my favorites include: Westerns (looking for a good YA Western… I’m your person), Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy, Dystopian, and Mystery. I am always looking for the next great book that makes me connect to its characters and hits me in the feels.