Thursday, 9 July 2015

Grim - Edited by Christine Johnson

Today (in case you somehow haven't already picked up on this), I'm reviewing Grim, a collection of short stories by popular YA authors which are all fairytale retellings.  I'm going to share my feelings towards each of the stories without being too specific about their contents.  Overall, I found this book to be forgettable, but there were a couple of stories that will stay with me.

The Key by Rachel Hawkins
I didn’t have any strong feelings towards this story or any of the characters except annoyance, and I think that says it all.  Also (highlight for spoilers)[the main character only decided to run away from the bad guy after recalling that her mum foretold that she would run that day?  I think that running away would be your first instinct when you find yourself alone with a murderer.]

Figment by Jeri Ready-Smith
The main character bothered me at times, but I was interested to see what was going to happen.  I loved how it was a modern take on Puss In Boots.

The Twelfth Girl by Malinda Lo
I liked this one, but at the same time I wished that there was more of an ending.  I also felt like I was missing some key information that would make the story make more sense to me.  It was like I skipped a couple of sentences that would have explained everything.

The Raven Princess by Jon Skovron
This was my first favourite from the collection.  I enjoyed the writing style and the length - it felt like a complete story, rather than just a few scenes.  It was also the first that really felt like a fairytale, rather than a paranormal story, which was something I had been waiting for.

Thinner Than Water by Saundra Mitchell
Another story that I really enjoyed.  It was unsettling, but with a fitting end.  It also felt sort of empowering which was an added bonus.

Before the Rose Bloomed by Ellen Hopkins
I have mixed feelings about this one because this short story was written in verse (???) and I had absolutely no idea how to read it, as embarrassing as that is.  So, I read it as if it was set out normally, and from that, I liked it.  But that brings up the question: what was the point of the poetry layout? (Also because of this it made me feel like an idiot, which of course is not the story's fault).  Anyway, if you've liked Ellen Hopkins' work in the past, I'm sure you'll like this.

Beast/Beast by Tessa Gratton
This was very similar to the Beauty and the Beast story, and therefore very predictable.  There were some elements that stood out to me though, so it wasn’t bad.

The Brothers Pigget by Julie Kagawa
I didn’t like this one much.  I disliked all the characters and it was predictable.  However, it was quite dark which made it a bit more interesting.

Untethered by Sonia Gensler
This was another good one.  I liked the twist at the end but I felt like the story wasn’t quite long enough for me to feel the full impact of it.

Better by Shaun Hutchinson
I loved this story!  It another of those ‘full’ ones, where it didn’t feel like only a few selected scenes.  It wasn’t predictable, and there was a bit of an “oh @#$%” moment, which I appreciated.

Light It Up by Kimberly Derting
Not one to read right before bed like I did!  Very creepy, even if it was predictable and the main character was a little irritating.

Sharper Than A Serpent’s Tongue by Christine Johnson
This was definitely interesting, and had some hidden questions about morality which was great.  I loved the relationship between the sisters and their mother.

A Real Boy by Claudia Gray
I enjoyed this one too, but having already read and loved Better, the impact of it was lessened a bit, because it was a fairly similar.

Skin Trade by Myra McEntire
This was another creepy one, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  It was a bit confusing at times, but by the end I was on the edge of my seat.

Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan 
This story came as a surprise to me - it didn’t fit the tone of the rest of the book because it was absolutely hilarious.  I can see that the humour would make some people roll their eyes, but to me it was great.  It was good to have a break from the dark and creepy for this one story.  It's also convinced me to pick up more of this author's books - Unspoken is up next for me.

The Pink: A Grimm Story by Amanda Hocking
Enjoyed this one (it was cute), though I was questioning the main character’s decisions - I was always asking myself “Why didn’t he just…?”

Sell Out
Nice story overall, but not particularly enthralling.

So my overall average rating for the book is 3.5 out of 5.  As you can see, there was a mix of stories I liked and stories I didn't like, but there is definitely something in there for everyone!


  1. I don't remember my feelings for all the short stories, it's been awhile, but my favorite was Beauty and the Chad, because it was so amusing. My least favorite was actually Skin Trade because I couldn't understand what was happening. Anyway, anthologies are a bit hard to review aren't they?

    1. I'm glad you liked Beauty and the Chad! I loved it.
      A lot of reviews I've seen have named Skin Trade as their least favourite for that reason.
      They're very hard to review! Especially because it's so hard not to give too much away about the storyline.


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