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Rashika, The Book Owl

So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).

A very interesting collection of re-tellings

Grim - Christine   Johnson, Ellen Hopkins, Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This is definitely one interesting collection of tales and I have to say, I definitely enjoyed it on the whole. I’ve had my ups and downs while reading this, but generally, it was pleasurable reading most of these stories. Of course, there are quite a few for which I didn’t know the original tale on which the retelling was based, so I wouldn’t be able to compare and contrast the original with the retelling, but to methey were all unique in their own ways even if not all of them were enjoyable.

The Key 

This short story wasn’t as creepy as I would have imagined it to be, but it sure as hell was fun. After finishing it, I was left with a lot of questions, but the open ending is also something that works for this story. It was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t complain if there had been more to give us a better idea of what was going on.


This one wasn’t scary so much as it was sweet. The characters were all interesting and I definitely enjoyed reading it. I don’t know what else to say in all honesty, because the story left me with such a huge smile on my face. It reminded me of when I was a kid and it kind of just makes me want to give a group hug to all my soft toys (I still have most of them!). Definitely worth it.

The Twelfth Girl 

This short story definitely had the eerie like quality to it that can make your heart beat faster and can make you want to crawl under the covers, but at the same time, I also felt something was missing.  I am not sure what exactly, but I felt like there could have been more - something that would have made the pieces click. Overall though, fun story.

The Raven Princess 

This story was slightly different from the others, and I’d say a little silly as well. While I did like it, I was more tempted to roll my eyes than not after finishing it. It was just so childish in some ways and reminded me of the kind of fairy tales your parents read to you at bed time (even if this is a retelling).

Thinner than Water 

While the story is good, I did not enjoy it. I was repulsed by the idea and couldn’t begin to wrap my head around it. Incest makes me incredibly uncomfortable (like it would most people) and it was just so hard to swallow no matter the outcome so I couldn’t enjoy this story. I have to say though; it IS grim and well written and has a great story arc considering that it’s only a short story.

The Rose Bloomed 

Weird writing style aside (at first I thought it was the formatting but it turns out that’s how the author writes), the story was enjoyable but at the same time there was no spark to it. It was fun, quick, and sweet, but it lacked something that would make it stand apart and make it more than just likeable, something that would make it memorable. Sadly though, it lacked that spark and so while I enjoyed it, there wasn’t much to it.


Rather incomplete, I’d think. When it ended my first thought was its over? Already? I loved reading it (not surprising since I love Beauty and the Beast) but I wouldn’t say it was particularly grim and because of its short length it left a lot to be desired. Still, I loved the author’s writing style and was thoroughly engrossed in this tale.

The Brother’s Piggett 

Holy guacamole! This was a grim take on the Three Little Pigs. I actually kind of expected that twist but at the same time I was still taken a back. I have to say, this one really fits well in this collection because it is so grim. In fact it's almost like everyone was a villain in their own way. With that said, I cannot really find any faults in this tale, it was a short story and it worked well as one.


I LOVE the writing style and the weird twist in the end took me by surprise. I ended up going back to read the story and wow.  I like. I really do like. I am definitely reading more stuff by this author in the future. I just hope it'll be as gorgeous as this short story was.


Uhh, yeah. I didn’t like this one. It has an interesting sci-fic setting so there is that, but I feel like that it was more of a drawback instead of an advantage for this fairy tale. I mean it does give it a unique feel but at the same time, it feels less like a fairy tale.  I also didn’t like the ending. The ending did not work for me in the least and really bothered me. Oh well.

Light it Up 

This one was SO good. I really loved the relationship between Greta and Hansen and I think the author really did do a good job with this re-telling. In spite of its shortness, there is a well defined story arc and I felt pretty satisfied in the end.

Sharper than a Serpent’s Tongue 

I found this story to be somewhat insufficient. There are still some things I don’t understand and I think because of the shortness of it, there are quite a few chunks that just seem to be missing. It’s not developed really well to be honest and I just wish there was more. I think this might have been more interesting as a full length-novel.

A Real Boy 

This story was ridiculous, but I never really disliked it. Not that I liked it, but I didn’t dislike it either. I just thought it was annoying. The romance was pretty meh, and it did have an insta-feel to it. I mean it is a short story but at the same time, the romance really rubbed me in the wrong way. So did the main character. Even with a short story like this, I could not get behind the main character. I did not like her in the least and I wonder if this story would have been better as a novel rather than a short story. It would mean there would be more room for development which this story seems to lack in my opinion.

Skin Trade 

I don’t even know how to describe this story. It was just incredibly weird and not in a good way. My face kind of looked like this...

... after finishing this short story. I don’t even know. It’s less creepy and more question mark inducing.

Beauty and the Chad 

This was the most adorable story ever. It puts a twist on the original Beauty and the Beast where the beast is a modern day frat boy who has been transported to a different time and Beauty dresses up like a dude (if you've read this anthology and this story you'll get this) to help Beast out with his horses. I was laughing the whole time I read reading this story and I could tackle hug Sarah for writing someone so entertaining and so hilarious and SO ORIGINAL!

The Pink 

I don’t actually know where to start with this one. I liked the story, but I felt like it was underdeveloped. Reading it left much to be desired in terms of development. Some may say it's hard to achieve such with short stories, but it's hard to believe that in this case seeing the other stories in this anthology were able to grow and develop their characters.

Sell Out 

This one did not end this collection with the bang one would have hoped for. I am kind of disappointed, in all honesty. All that from a painting? Really? Or did I miss something? It seemed way too rushed and therefore was a huge disappointment, considering that I’ve heard tons of praise about the author’s other works.


The weird thing about this collection is that not all the stories were grim, in spite of what the title of this collection might suggest, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying some of the funner ones. Figment was one of my favorites if not my favorite because in spite of the lightness of it, it just made me want to be a kid again and even thinking about it brings happy tears to my eyes. The Key was also another noteable one for me because there was just something about the way Hawkins wrote it that just made my heart beat faster. The Brothers Piggett was one that definitely caught my attention. It was bursting with originality and put such a unique spin on the original tale and I just adored it. Untethered really got me in the feels though. It was gorgeously written.

As you can tell, this collection will make you laugh, make you feel nostalgic, scare you and perhaps gross you out. It is such an interesting collection of tales and in spite of the fact I didn’t love every single one of these, it’s a collection worth reading.