calendar girls

Calendar Girls: Best Fairytale Retelling

Happy Monday lovelies! It’s that time again!

Calendar Girls Post time!

What is Calendar Girls?

Calendar Girls is a monthly book group, formed by Flavia and Melanie, inspired by the song Calendar Girl by Neil Sedaka. This lovely group votes on a monthly theme to center a blog post around (first Monday of the month) and then discusses these posts on Twitter about two weeks later (third Sunday of the month). If this sounds interesting to you, please give Melanie and Flavia a visit and let them know you would like to join!

For the month of July our theme is Best Fairytale Retelling. This means that our post today is about our own personal favorites as far as retellings go. We will be discussing our choices on Twitter at 8 p.m. est. on Sunday, July 16 with the hash tag #CGBChat.

We will also be having a read along together for a retelling of The Phantom of The Opera. This will be hosted by Melanie (@NoellBernard) on Twitter using hashtag #CGBReadalong.

July 10th: Discuss chapters 1-7
July 12th: Discuss chapters 8-13
July 14th: Discuss chapters 14-19
July 16th: Discuss chapters 20-24 (The End!)


Best Fairytale Retelling Contendors

Before I get into my choice for this month, I wanted to mention a few fairytale retellings that stuck with me and that I would recommend. These ones came in close competition with my choice for the best fairytale retelling:


You can find my review on Hunted by Meagan Spooner here. This one is an enchanting Beauty and the Beast retelling.


A steampunk retelling of Peter Pan!

Everland is imaginative and adventurous. It truly has a creative twist on the old tale of Peter Pan, which illustrates Peter’s philosophy of “One girl is more use than twenty boys,” (J.M. Barrie). The author captures the essence of the emotional story of an orphan while captivating the reader with a true sense of adventure and danger.


Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell is a fabulous retelling of Peter Pan with an imaginative twist!

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe. (from Good Reads).


Best Fairytale Retelling

And, without further ado, my choice for Best Fairytale Retelling is…


Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell is a refreshing, enchanting, STEAMPUNK retelling of the classic tale of Cinderella! This one has a strong, independent, female main character who is determined to keep the memory of her mother alive in her heart and her work. It has all the charm of Cinderella, but holds an imaginative depth of freshness with the steampunk aspects and the boldness of the main character and her friends! It shows the beauty of friendship and the importance of family and being true to one’s self.

The Plot: Nicolette has always been treated poorly by her mother and stepsisters. With both parents gone, she has only the memory of her strong, inventive mother to hold on to. But, on her sixteenth birthday, she discovers a secret that could change her life forever. She finds her mother’s secret cellar workshop full of extraordinary inventions and plans. She even finds a new friend in the tiny metal horse names Jules. Can she follow in her mother’s footsteps and make a new life for herself?

Mechanica brings you in to a fairy tale that you have heard time and again, but adds such a twist of enchantment that it leaves you yearning to keep reading. This story wraps you in it’s imagery and leaves you feeling satisfied and nostalgic all at once. It is truly magical.

I read Mechanica in one sitting in less than 6 hours. I couldn’t put it down. It follows the story of Cinderella, for the most part, with the evil stepmother and step sisters, but it holds its own originality with the steampunk elements. It also adds depth and dimension with the creation of the world of Faerie and its race of people. It has a twist at the end that differentiates it from the original tale, but holds true to its own bold, brave main character, Nicolette. I also loved it for its steampunk details and the creation of Jules, the metal horse with a fascinating personality of its own!


Head over to Flavia and Melanie‘s pages to see their choices, as well as the choices of the rest of the members of the group. We hope you will join us! Our theme for August is Best Historical Fiction Novel!


37 thoughts on “Calendar Girls: Best Fairytale Retelling

  1. I really love how you format your post, Adrienne! (Yes, I’m calling you by your actual name now. Deal with it! I think your name ROCKS! But seriously, if you really don’t want me to, let me know. I won’t. Your name, after all. 🙂 ) But back to the post! I love that you throw up a bunch of options first, like you’re narrowing it down, like it’s a competition, like it’s March Madness for books! It’s awesome! *wish I’d thought of that* But alas, you seem to think of ALL the fun stuff we do for Calendar Girls. Hahahaha!

    Okay. Now I wish I’d read this book, but I never heard much about it until now. I’ve seen it here and there. I believe the sequel is coming out soon. (Venturess, yes? I saw a blog tour for it.) Though, I didn’t sign up because I’ve dealt with some pretty bad steampunk stories in the past and it kind of set me on the defensive. Which is horrible because I absolutely LOVE the aesthetic of steampunk. Some of my favorite cosplays are steampunk (probably because the style is so similar to post-apoc), but I’ve not seen any stories implement these aspects well. Now I have a recommendation! I will have to look into this one! Great post!! ❤

    P.s. Have I ever mentioned just how magical your blog looks? I love the little images you have in your posts. They're so pretty! It's like… the complete opposite of my blog. Bahahaha! (And my blog is about to get a WHOLE LOT DARKER. 😈 Mwahahaha!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You crack me up sometimes Melanie. I am perfectly fine with you using my name 🙂 And if you and Flavia want to use it in the future CGB posts that is okay too. Thanks for the compliments! I feel like you have an awesome, successful blog and that means a lot coming from you! I aim to get more interaction with mine and I have been pondering over what I can do to make it unique.

      I think you would like Mechanica. I received an ARC of Venturess from the publisher and I loved it, but not as much as I did Mechanica. The steampunk aspects feel natural and not forced. You will have to let me know if you decided to read it and what you think (whenever that may be you busy woman).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hee hee! Good. I will let Flavia know. 🙂 I personally enjoy using names because they are more personal than aliases or the like.

        Bahahaha! Me? Awesome and successful! That’s funny! You must be thinking of another person’s blog. No worries, though. I’ll set you straight! :p

        Uniqueness is always the hardest part when there are so few things that can be modified on WordPress (unless you pay.) I think the easiest way are the images, headers, and voice. Those are what make a blog stand out. 🙂 But maybe I’m just rambling. Even I am still trying to find my blog. Hahahaha! (I’m doing a re-vamp come my blog-o-versary in August! Super excited!)

        Busy! Why, yes. I do believe that is my title at the moment. I shall wear it proudly… and blame it when things don’t go accordingly to plan. HAHAHAHA! I do hope to find some time to read it, but it may be a while before I can. (Still got those 70 unread books sitting around my place. Oops!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll keep calling you awesome and successful until you believe it, ;-).

        I feel like you are blog is pretty unique. I like how you incite thoughtful discussions and repost them for readers to catch up and join.

        I can’t wait to see what you do with the blog!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Bahahaha! Well, I hope you enjoy eternity. 😉

        Well, thank you. Discussions are a big thing for me because I realized I wasn’t enjoying just posting content. I wanted interaction with other bloggers. That’s what makes up the worth of a blog, in my opinion, but that’s just what I want out of my blog. And I offer the highlights because… well, I know I’m long-winded. Bahahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhhh I’ve heard of Unhooked, Everland, and Hunted (although I didn’t know the latter one was a fairytale retelling) and I need to read them all. I have, however, NEVER heard of Mechanica! This is one of the reason why I enjoy this blog event so much. So many books that I’ve never heard of, suddenly being displayed and discussed. I’m in heaven, lol. Anyway, steampunk Cinderella retelling? Sign. Me. Up!

    Liked by 1 person

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