Author: Various, edited by Christine Johnson
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Genre: Anthology, Fantasy, Fairytale-Retellings, Young-Adult
Publication Date: 25th February 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Format Read: Ebook, 480 pages
Synopsis: “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:
Jeri Smith Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
Jon Skrovan.” (Taken from Goodreads)
I love fairytale retellings, but I hate anthologies. So when I heard that Grim was a mixture of both, I was quite hesitant in picking up a copy. The wonderful Jeann @ Happy Indulgence Books really enjoyed it though, and as a book reviewer that I trust, the book piqued my interest immediately. “Perhaps this one will be different,” I thought. Unfortunately, no. It was not. If you’re looking for a positive review on the book, I will suggest you go and read Jeann’s review here. But if you want to know why I didn’t enjoy it, then continue on!
The biggest disappointment with Grim was that it overpromised but failed to deliver. I love the original Grimm stories, they were so dark and horrific, but they were wonderfully written. This anthology however, was neither dark nor sinister. I understand it is essentially YA, so how dark could it be? Well let’s just say there were more short romance stories in Grim than there were scary. This novel took me almost two weeks to get through, because the first half was just not doing it for me. I kept waiting, and waiting for that one story to really sell the whole book for me, and while one or two did do dark retelling justice, the rest were just … not great.
Now, I understand it’s really hard to set a dark and sinister scene when you only have a few hundred words to fit in your short story – but why do authors feel the need to include romance all. the. time?! The original Grimm stories are not the same as the Disney retellings, and I feel like a lot of the authors based their retellings on the tame Disney versions rather than the originals. The anthology is called Grim for a reason, not Disne (see what I did there? Heh).
I’m definitely in the minority here with my rating, with most people giving the book 3-5 stars. While there were a few stories here and there that I enjoyed, and found were quite original, the rest were just not my thing. Once again, I’ve found I just can’t enjoy anthologies – not sure whether it’s because I like longer novels that can really draw out a world/characters, or it’s just the style that I dislike. Irregardless, Grim was not the one to change my stance.
Thank you to Harlequin Australia for providing me with an eARC on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.