It has been a few month's since my last edition of Crossing Over so I think it's about time for me to do another one. If you're not familiar with Crossing Over it's a feature that stemmed from my desire to recommend an adult book with crossover appeal based on a YA or sometimes Middle Grade book that are similar. It's basically an if you liked, then try but for crossover books. It runs once a month here and I pick the books based on the theme of what I'm reading. So because this is Retellings month I decided to go with two books that are pretty fantastic and fit the theme.
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
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Scarlet is a retelling of a well-known story from a different perspective. In this book we see Robin Hood from the perspective of Will Scarlet. But this time around Will is not what he or she appears to be. There is a lot of mystery and action as the story unfolds. You can't help but connect with these characters who are complex and full of secrets. Not to mention the main character of Scarlet being an intelligent and snarky female protagonist. But one of the best things about this book is that it's a retelling that reads like historical fiction that shows what things were like for people during the time period, especially women. It's kind of dark at times and it doesn't shy away from some of the more negative parts of the time period. But it was historically accurate and that made it all the more enjoyable.
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
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Bitter Greens is a retelling of a well-known story from a different perspectives. In this book we see Rapunzel from the perspective of three very different women: the traditional young woman locked in a tower, the witch who kidnapped her, and the author of the famous story. All of these women are more than they appear to be. There is a lot of mystery and action as the story unfolds. You can't help but connect with these characters who are complex and full of secrets and the author does a great job of making even the witch sympathetic. Not to mention the main character of Charlotte-Rose being an intelligent and snarky female protagonist. But one of the best things about this book is that it's a retelling that reads like historical fiction. It shows what things were like for people during the time period, especially women. It's very of dark and does not shy away from the more brutal parts of the time period but it was historically accurate and that made it all the more enjoyable.
These are both amazing examples of how retellings can be just as interesting by playing up historical elements. I love it as much as the next person if retellings that make the story completely different with a contemporary or science fiction twist ala The Lunar Chronicles but sometimes it's even better to have the books keep with the historical setting. Those are some of my favorite retellings and these are just two examples (I also suggest The Steep and Thorny Way and The Song for Achilles). They also do a really great job of playing with the tropes and the stories in an interesting way. The characters are more than they appear to be and there are some really great twists here. I will warn you however that Bitter Greens is firmly an adult book. I think it will appear to fans of YA but it's doesn't shy away from sex and violence. If those things (especially those combined) are triggers for you then avoid this book. But if you are looking for dark and dramatic retellings that read like historical fiction then check these out.
Have you read Scarlet and/or Bitter Greens? What did you think? What retelling that read like historical fiction crossovers do you like? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!