Tracing my love of fairy tales back to its origins isn’t something I can accurately recount. I didn’t grow up drenched in a childhood of the fantastical adventures, but my six-year-old childhood favorite was Disney’s animated classic The Little Mermaid. Or so my parents tell me. It was at its height during my young days when, in all probability, I was at my happiest playing dress up.
Adoration for all things fairy tales blossomed since those days, and as an adult, I am even more fascinated by them. I can still remember reading about Disney’s live-action version of Cinderella in its early days. Loving the idea of Lily James as Cinderella, detesting the fact that Richard Madden had been cast as the Prince (never fear, he won me over), and being starry-eyed at the result. This is why, when rumors echoed that Beauty and the Beast was to be the next of Disney’s live-action reimagining, I was ecstatic to see how it’d turn out.
With the release of Beauty and the Beast this past weekend (March 17th), I thought I’d share some novels that imagine the “Tale as Old as Time” fable, in some instances in an entirely new way. If you are still on the high that is the beauty of this film, you might like to revisit, relive and reimagine the enchantment of this story through these pages.
Let’s take a peek at some of the stories you can discover.
9 Beauty and the Beast YA Novels Destined to Enchant
Sorted from A-Z, by Author
#1 The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
An adult historical novel (that will enchant an interested YA audience), this one is set in the 1800s, Virginia. It involves a circus, a baby, the nurse who cares for her, and a tender-hearted lion tamer with a top hat full of secrets! Content PG/PG-13 depending. Add on Goodreads
#2 The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
Enchanting many readers, Dickerson’s fairy tale series retells the classics in a unique fashion. ‘Daughter’ is about the wealthy daughter of a merchant who’s indentured to Lord Ranulf. Content not explicit. Add on Goodreads.
#3 Unblemished by Sara Ella
With echoes of the Shadowhunters world and the classic tale, this parallel universe story is the start of Booktuber Sara Ella’s debut series. Content PG. Add on Goodreads
#4 Beastly by Alex Flinn
A sweet contemporary “update,” this novel is a favorite (with an important message) with an emphasis on its teenaged Beast and is perfect for a younger YA audience. Plus, it’s been adapted into an equally sweet film adaptation starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer. Content PG. Add on Goodreads
#5 Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Her mission was to kill him. Her destiny was to love him.
With its gorgeous cover, this retelling looks to take a more Gothic approach to the story. The overview involves a mission in which “Beauty” must kill the Beast. Content: Implied sexuality. Should be fine for older teens. Add on Goodreads
#6 Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
A dystopian novel, this futuristic tale sounds like an interesting tale full of danger and darkness! Content: Some sexual innuendo, violence, and mature behavior though nothing explicit. For older teens. Add on Goodreads
#7 Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
This may be the one rebel on the list as it’s not commonly referenced as a BATB retelling, but I recently discovered, it takes cues from the classic fable. One of the similarities? Its hero is called “Beast,” while our Beauty is a trained assassin with a dark past. Content on the mature side but the scenes are not explicit. Add on Goodreads
#8 Beauty by Robin McKinley
A “classic” re-telling, this 1978 novel sounds like it’d be a quick albeit enchanting read. Content: Moments of peril. Add on Goodreads
#9 Hunted by Meagan Spooner
A Beauty deadlier than the Beast
Hot off the press, this sounds like a fierce kind of retelling in which our “Belle” is the hunter rather than the captive. Sounds good, right? (I mean, check out the tagline!) Content unclear. Add on Goodreads
Have you read any of these? Which Beauty and the Beast retellings rank as favorites? Are there any fairy tale novels you enjoy reading? Have you seen Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? Comment down below with your thoughts! I’d love to chat with you.