Fairy Tale Retelling

Coral

“A broken shell tore into the skin of her left foot. She winced and withdrew. Blood, red and angry, drip drip dripped onto the sand, dissolving in an instant. As if it never was.

Better a bleeding sole than a tortured soul.

A soul that was nothing now. Because before preluded after.

And after. Was never as it was. Before.”*

Coral, mermaid princess of the sea, is slowly succumbing to a fatal, human-originated disease: emotions. Her sister, the Crown Princess, already has been taken by its cruel waters-and Coral fears the Red Tide is coming for her next.

Brooke, teenage girl on the west coast, is close to giving up. Depression, anxiety, and trauma have pushed her to the breaking point and she’s trying a therapy home as a last resort. But if nothing will be as it was Before, what’s the point of going on?

Merrick, famous and wealthy golden boy of San Francisco, wants to escape both his father and his social status. But when his sister attempts suicide and his mom vanishes, his life is thrown upside down and he doesn’t know what else to do except escape.

When these three lives collide there can either be healing or heartache…and sometimes both exist in the same story.

I would highly recommend Coral, written by Sara Ella and published in 2019 by Thomas Nelson for mature readers 17+. A truly breathtaking and heart wrenching novel about love, loss, and mental health, this re-written fairy tale will grip your soul as you read it. There are several mature themes throughout the book including self harm, unwanted advances, and other traumatic experiences. Coral is written with a theme of hope, memorable characters, and an intriguing storyline. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“…after will never be the same again.”*

*all excerpts taken from Coral, written by Sara Ella and published in 2019 by Thomas Nelson

Cinder

Featuring cyborgs, political intrigues, deadly diseases, hidden romance, sparkly ballgowns, and a forgotten secret; Cinder-book one in the Lunar Chronicles-written by Marissa Myer and published in 2012 by Rampion Books, is a page-turning adventure about a 16-year-old mechanic girl, a handsome prince, and a possible outbreak of war with the powerful Lunar people. This novel would fall under the YA romance\sci-fi\fairytale retelling genres.
Cinder is a cyborg. She has no memory of her past, the identity of her real parents, and no idea who she really is. A man adopted her when she was eleven, and after his untimely death, she was given into the care of his wife. This woman, Adri, forces Cinder to work to provide for her and her two daughters, Pearl and Peony. As a result of her cyborg implants, Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing; she’s so good that she catches the eye of Prince Kai, who hires her to fix his android for him. He says that fixing the android is merely for sentimental reasons, but Cinder suspects that it might have something to do with the touchy situation with the Lunars-people who migrated to the moon many years before and have gained special abilities to sway and control beings they deem lesser than themselves.
After Peony, Cinder’s stepsister and only human friend, catches the dreaded plague that’s been haunting the Earth for far too long, Adri blames Cinder for it and volunteers her body for scientific research. No one survives the research long, but there’s something special about Cinder. A secret that people would kill for. A possible antidote, maybe.
Or maybe it’s something darker.
I would highly recommend this book for ages 14+. There is some mild language and one or two thematic elements to watch out for; as well as some romance and violence. Cinder is a very well written book with fairy tale aspects, sci-fi robots, and an absorbing storyline with edge-of-your-seat escapades and a thrilling plot twist. All in all, 4.5 out of 5 stars.