Skip To Content

    If You Love Books That Reimagine Fairy Tales And Classic Literature, Read These 15 Novels

    These new books give a fresh spin on Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, and more.

    1. The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis

    Katherine Tegen Books,

    Release date: February 23

    What it's about: What better author for the infamously boundary-shattering McGinnis to take on than Poe himself? This contemporary reimagining of The Cask of Amontillado stars Tress Montor (you see what she did there), a girl who lost everything when her parents disappeared and became a sideshow in her own life. That includes Felicity Turnado, who used to be Tress's best friend — and who was there the night the Montors went missing. Felicity's blocked the events out of her mind completely, and she knows she needs to keep doing so if she's going to keep her impressive social standing. But Tress has a plan to retrieve the truth from Felicity, or kill trying...

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    2. Tell Me My Name by Amy Reed

    DIal Books / Via, Via

    Release date: March 9

    What it's about: With the copyright of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby expiring this year, there's an explosion of takes on the classic work, and the prolific Reed is making the most of it with this near-future psychological thriller about a girl named Fern who's perpetually waiting for her life to begin, only to see it take off in a most unexpected direction when new girl Ivy arrives on Commodore Island. Ivy is a consummate party girl, perpetually entertaining at her estate, but as Fern gets to know her, she sees the hurting heart beneath the glitz. Fern genuinely wants to help her, but the closer they grow, the more Fern's own life spins out, until nothing was as it was and she has no idea where it's going.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    3. Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson

    Inkyard Press,

    Release date: March 9

    What it's about: The Phantom of the Opera gets a gender-swapping makeover in the story of Isda, a magical girl who was rescued at birth by an opera house owner who uses her singing talent to keep them both afloat. Isda has always obeyed Cyril's rule of staying hidden, but when she falls for a boy whose voice is its own magic, she realizes he may also be the key to her escape. But there's a catch: If she wants her freedom, she'll have to use the very magic she nearly died for possessing, and there's no guarantee that she'll make it out alive a second time.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    4. The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore

    Feiwel & Friends / Via, J Elliott / Via Author

    Release date: March 16

    What it's about: In their trademark gorgeous and magical style, McLemore pulls from Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen to tell the beautifully haunting and all-too-relevant story of a girl named Graciela who's sexually assaulted at a party along with a boy she doesn't know. When Lock shows up at school, Ciela realizes he has no idea what happened to them, and she's determined to hide the truth to keep them both safe. But as they grow closer, the secrets between them weigh heavy on her heart — and may tear them apart.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    5. Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price


    Release date: April 6

    What it's about: Jane Austen, and especially Pride and Prejudice, makes for common (and always welcome!) inspiration in YA, but seldom has it been reimagined as a murder mystery. This Lizzie Bennet is out to prove she's got the makings of a stellar future lawyer, and a scandalous murder provides the perfect opportunity to do it. But not everyone is cool with her getting herself involved, least of all Fitzwilliam Darcy (of course), prestigious law firm heir. And he might be onto something, because when Lizzie follows the trail of the killer, she puts her own life on the line.

    Already read and loved this one? Good news: Follow-up Sense and Second-Degree Murder releases April 5, 2022.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    6. Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

    Balzer & Bray/Harperteen,

    Release date: May 11

    What it's about: Speaking of Austen, Persuasion heads to the Caribbean in Dass's debut, set in Trinidad and Tobago and starring a girl named Reyna who's tired of feeling trapped at her family's resort. It's certainly a whole lot less fun, even in paradise, without her first love Aiden, who moved away to pursue a career in music. Then Aiden returns (as a VIP guest, no less), and it's a major shock to Reyna's system, especially since he's returned with a girl on his arm. Now Reyna has to figure out if anything remains between them, and where exactly her future lies.

    (And for one more new YA with Austen inspiration, check out Margot Wood's Fresh, a queer college-set coming of age with tinges of Emma.)

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    7. Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

    Simon & Schuster, Dana Foster / Via

    Release date: June 8

    What it's about: Continuing on in her St. Rosetta's series of fairy-tale retellings set at an exclusive boarding school (which kicked off with the Beauty and the Beast–inspired Of Curses and Kisses), Menon's newest takes on The Frog Prince through an "It Girl" and the unsuspecting boy helping her save face after being cheated on. Caterina LaValle knows that to get everyone's mind off the fact that Alaric humiliated her, all she has to do is snag another guy, but the pickings of her classmates are not particularly appealing. So instead she makes a rogue move and snatches up Rahul Chopra, whose magical hair gel enables him to transform into whatever her heart this case, a cool, sexy boy named RC. But as Rahul begins losing himself, they'll both have to decide how far they're going to let this go before he disappears completely, and whether they really need magic to create sparks.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    8. Darling by K. Ancrum

    Jasemine Denise Photography / Via, Imprint

    Release date: June 22

    What it's about: 'Tis the year for Peter Pan, but this definitely isn't like any version you've seen before. In it, Wendy is coaxed from her room by Peter Pan for a night on the town, and being brand new in Chicago, she lets him lead her to an underground full of curiosity. She makes friends with punk Tinkerbelle and the lost boys, and quickly makes an enemy of Detective Hook. But it's Peter with whom this whole night began, but Peter has apparently been keeping a few secrets...secrets that could be the end of them all.

    For another new look at Peter Pan, check out Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    9. The Tragedy of Dane Riley by Kat Spears

    Wednesday Books, Kimberly Frost / Via

    Release date: June 22

    What it's about: Spears takes on Shakespeare's Hamlet in this contemporary novel about a boy named Dane (get it?) whose mental health is suffering following the loss of his father. It doesn't help that his mother's now dating a jerk. On the bright side, something's brewing between him and the girl next door, even if he isn't quite sure what it is yet. If he wants to find out, though, he'll have to stick around, and for Dane, that's a lot harder than it sounds.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    10. Summer in the City of Roses by Michelle Ruiz Keil

    Soho Teen,

    Release date: July 6

    What it's about: Set in '90s Portland, this sophomore YA novel steeped in magical realism was inspired by the Greek myth of Iphigenia and the Grimm fairy tale "Brother and Sister." Here, the brother and sister are Orr and Iph respectively, and their summer (and lives) are thrown into upheaval when their father demands that the gentle Orr attend wilderness boot camp. Determined to find and save her brother, Iph finds a partner in crime to make the trek, but as it turns out, Orr's managed to find his people; he escaped camp and is now living with an all-girl punk band. But as they both discover new paths for themselves, they'll have to find their way back to each other before the ability to reunite disappears for good.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    11. So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow

    Feiwel & Friends,

    Release date: September 7

    What it's about: A Song Below Water author Morrow's remix of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women sees the March sisters as four Black girls coming of age during the Civil War in the Freedpeople's Colony of Roanoke in North Carolina. Jo, Beth, Meg, and Amy thrive among the other newly emancipated citizens, but adolescence everywhere has its challenges, and the sisters will need to band together to get through it and pursue their dreams.

    Buy it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    12. A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee

    Feiwel & Friends, Caroline Tran / Via

    Release date: September 7

    What it's about: Lee reimagines Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island as a badass treasure hunt set in 1826 China starring two girls named Xiang and Anh, who have nothing but a tiny map scroll to go on. The scroll came from a pendant that Xiang's deceased father left with her, so they're aware of one thing: He sailed with the legendary Dragon Fleet, rumored to have left behind a tremendous treasure. But the dangers of the past are only part of the story, and they're about to embark on a journey far more treacherous than anything they could have imagined.

    Buy it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    13. The Other Merlin by Robyn Schneider

    Viking, Emily Sandifer / Via

    Release date: September 21

    What it's about: Arthuriana is having a gorgeous moment in YA right now (see Legendborn, Once & Future, and The Guinevere Deception), and it's delightful to see Schneider leave her contemporary roots behind and deliver a snarky historical fantasy take complete with a bi girl in the role of the noted wizard. Well, technically, no one knows she's a girl. If they did, she'd be forbidden from performing magic, which is why she disguises herself as her twin brother for a job at the castle. Does that make things complicated when she falls for Prince Arthur? Sure does, leaving Emry with the difficult choice of deciding what comes first: her magical future or her heart.

    Get it from Bookshop or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    14. Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

    Wednesday Books, Twitter: @lj_blackwood

    Release date: October 19

    What it's about: Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre is definitely having a moment these days as far as source material for literary reimaginings go, but as an Ethiopian-inspired fantasy? That's definitely a new and intriguing move. Here our Jane is Andromeda, a debtera who studied how to cleanse houses of the evil eye. But desperation gets the better of her when her mentorship is cut short before she can earn her license. She takes a job at the Rochester Estate despite the ridiculous list of rules and the absurd number of predecessors to her position. It's a hellish job with untold dangers that very well may take her down with it, and she should leave. There's just one problem: She's fallen for the Rochester heir who hired her.

    Get it from Bookshop or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    15. Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells

    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Carter Hasegawa / Via

    Release date: November 2

    What it's about: Wells (Shatter the Sky) is back to deliver more queer magic with this dark and lovely tale of romance and betrayal based on The Sleeping Beauty. In this reimagining, Starring is cursed girl Lena — whose mere touch can kill, forcing her and her father to live in solitude outside a deadly forest. But when a girl stumbles out of said forest and into her life, Lena gets a second chance at life by striking a deal with Miranda: She'll help the girl on her quest to wake a princess and free the forest if Miranda will then help her break the curse. It's a long and arduous journey, but nothing about it is quite as painful for Lena as learning that her entire life is a lie...

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    Want great book recommendations in your inbox every week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Books newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form