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[Anthology Review] Grim Edited By Christine Johnson & CoffeeAM Black Forest Cake Flavored Coffee

Grim Edited By Christine JohnsonTitle: Grim
Series/Universe: Standalone
Authors: Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, and Jon Skrovan
Editor: Christine Johnson
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: March 1st 2014
Page Count: 480 pages
Age Rating: NA & Up (blood, gore, violence, disturbing imagery, trigger warnings for instances of vague sexual assault and incest)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
Publisher’s page: Grim

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins

Amanda Hocking

Julie Kagawa

Claudia Gray

Rachel Hawkins

Kimberly Derting

Myra McEntire

Malinda Lo

Sarah Rees-Brennan

Jackson Pearce

Christine Johnson

Jeri Smith Ready

Shaun David Hutchinson

Saundra Mitchell

Sonia Gensler

Tessa Gratton

Jon Skrovan

My Review

All of the short stories in Grim are retellings of classic fairy tales – and not the sanitized, Disney versions, oh no, these stories stay true to the essence of the original tales, which are much darker, grittier, and, in some cases, bloodier.

With all the big name YA authors in this anthology, I wasn’t surprised to find all the stories well-written, however, I was surprised by how dark some of the stories were. Although the collection is categorized as YA, I would recommend it for older, more mature YA audiences as there are instances of some possibly triggering events: “Thinner Than Water” by Saundra Mitchell deals with forced incest (A king wants to, and does, wed and bed his own daughter – not graphic, but emotional) and “Better” By Shaun David Hutchinson has a short, non-graphic sexual assault scene. Not that all the stories are dark, one story in particular, “Beauty And The Chad” by Sarah Rees-Brennan is on the lighter side and very funny.

There’s a good selection here with some modern retellings, some set in the fairy tale settings of olde (in a kingdom far far away during an indeterminable time), and yet others set in a technologically advanced future with a definite Sci-Fi feeling. To give you an idea of the many different characters encountered throughout this collection, you will find psychics who live in a trailer park, a cursed princess in a far off place, a robot who wants to be “a real boy”, and a hipster Snow White, among others.

As a huge fan of fairy tale retellings, I really enjoyed the many interesting takes and retellings of classic fairy tales in Grim, some of them were really creative and different and it made this anthology stand out in a very good way.

The Black Forest in Germany, often associated with the classic fairy tales compiled and made famous by the Brothers Grimm, is also the region responsible for the deliciousness that is Black Forest Cake – a wonderful desert made of chocolate cake, whip cream, and cherries. A cup of this deliciousness would go great with this collection of fairy tales retold, so I’m recommending CoffeeAM Black Forest Cake Flavored Coffee – a dark, rich chocolaty coffee topped off with the perfect touch of cherry flavor.

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