Have you ever imagined what happened after Mulan saved China? Or what if Romeo and Juliet were set in historical Shanghai? We’ve compiled a list of new and forthcoming YA and graphic novels that tell familiar tales in a not-so-familiar way.
Check out our feature on YA retellings here.
An Arrow to the Moon
Emily X.R. Pan. Little, Brown, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-46405-5
Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology in this novel focusing on Hunter Yee and Luna Chang, who fall in love despite their warring families. As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart.
Jennifer Mathieu. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-23258-8
Mathieu’s gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders follows bad girl Evie Barnes and her friends. When Evie is saved from a sinister encounter by a good girl from the “right” side of the tracks, every rule she’s lived by is called into question. Now she must redefine what it means to be a bad girl and rethink everything she knew about loyalty.
Ayana Gray. Putnam, $18.99(496p) ISBN 978-0-593-40568-0
In this story inspired by African mythology, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they journey into a magical jungle to hunt down the vicious monster who is threatening their home. But as they begin to uncover ancient deadly secrets, it becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted. See our article on Gray’s debut novel.
The Bone Spindle
Leslie Vedder. Razorbill, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-32582-7
In Vedder’s gender-swapped “Sleeping Beauty,” cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.
Rebecca Kim Wells. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8842-7
In this tale loosely inspired by “Sleeping Beauty,” one touch of Lena’s skin can kill. Cursed by a witch before she was born, Lena has always lived in fear and isolation. But after a devastating mistake, she and her father are forced to flee to a village near the Silence, a mysterious forest with a reputation for luring people into the trees, never to be seen again—until the night a girl stumbles out of the Silence and into Lena’s sheltered world.
Mercedes Lackey. Little, Brown, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7595-5745-1
In Lackey’s feminist retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” Miriam may be the daughter of Queen Alethia of Tirendell, but she’s not a princess. When her baby sister Aurora, heir to the throne, is born, she;s ecstatic. Then, on the day of Aurora's christening, an uninvited Dark Fae arrives, prepared to curse her, and Miriam discovers she possesses impossible power.
Bright Ruined Things
Samantha Cohoe. Wednesday, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-76884-1
The Tempest gets remade as a 1920s fantasy. The only life Mae has ever known is on the island, living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family, who control the magic on the island and the spirits who inhabit it. Now that she’s 18, Mae knows her time with the Prospers may soon come to an end. When the spirits start inexplicably dying, Mae starts to realize that things aren’t what they seem.
Cinder & Glass
Melissa de la Cruz. Putnam, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-32665-7
In this “Cinderella” retelling, Cendrillon de Louvois has more grace, beauty, and charm than anyone else in France. While she was once the darling child of the king’s favorite adviser, her father’s death has turned her into the servant of her stepmother and cruel stepsisters. Now called Cinder, she manages to evade her stepmother and attend the ball, where she catches the eye of the handsome Prince Louis and his younger brother Auguste.
C.B. Lee. Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-250-75037-2
The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Red Banner Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Sheltered her whole life, Xiang desperately wants to set sail and explore like her late father. Her only memento of him is a plain gold pendant. But the pendant’s true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside.
R.A. Salvatore and Erika Lewis. HarperTeen, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-291566-5
Co-authors Salvatore and Lewis explore the origins of Morgan LeFay. Maggie’s powers are fickle. With no one to help her learn to control her magic, the life debt that she owes stretches eternally over her head, with no way to repay it, until she meets Griffin. Neither has any idea that their meeting will set off a chain of events that will alter every aspect of the life they know—and all of history thereafter.
Daughters of a Dead Empire
Carolyn Tara O’Neil. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-75553-7
O’Neil reimagines the historical intrigue surrounding the Romanov family. With the execution of Tsar Nicholas, Russia is on the edge of civil war. Anna, a bourgeois girl, narrowly escaped the massacre of her entire family in Yekaterinburg. Desperate to get away from the Bolsheviks, she offers a peasant girl a diamond to take her as far south as possible—not realizing that the girl is a communist herself. With her brother in desperate need of a doctor, Evgenia accepts Anna’s offer, and suddenly finds herself on the wrong side of the war.
Sayantani DasGupta. Scholastic, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-338-79769-5
This contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice stars life-long speech competitor Leela Bose, who loves nothing more than crushing the competition. But when she meets the incorrigible Firoze Darcy, a debater from an elitist private school, Leela can’t stand him. Unfortunately, he’ll be competing in the state league, so their paths are set to collide.
Molly Horan. Clarion, $18.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-358-56613-7
In Horan’s LGBTQ+ comedy of errors inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, a high school senior works up the courage to ask her long-time crush to prom, all while deciding if she should look for her biological family.
The Excalibur Curse
Kiersten White. Delacorte, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-58175-8
In the conclusion to White’s Arthurian fantasy trilogy Camelot Rising, while journeying north toward the Dark Queen, Guinevere falls into the hands of her enemies. Behind her are Lancelot, who is trapped on the other side of the magical barrier they created to protect Camelot, and Arthur, who has been led away from his kingdom, chasing after false promises. But the greatest danger isn’t what lies ahead of Guinevere—it’s what’s been buried inside her.
Feather and Flame (The Queen Council #2)
Livia Blackburne. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-368-04822-4
In this sequel to the Chinese legend, Mulan, now a renowned hero, spends her days in her home village, training a militia of female warriors. When Shang arrives with an invitation to the Imperial City, Mulan’s relatively peaceful life is upended once more. The aging emperor decrees that Mulan will be his heir to the throne, and who can say no to the emperor?
Claire McFall. Walker US, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1845-9
In this series starter taking inspiration from the Greek myth of Charon, Dylan thinks she has survived a train crash but wakes up in a wasteland of the afterlife. There she meets a teenage boy, Tristan, a Ferryman tasked with guiding Dylan’s soul safely across the treacherous landscape. But as they travel together and an unexpected connection develops, Dylan begins to wonder where she is truly meant to be. See our story on the series.
Margot Wood. Amulet, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4813-4
In this LGBTQ retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, picking a major is the last thing on college freshman Elliot McHugh’s mind. She’s much more interested in a life of partying and casual sex. When the fallout from reality hits, Elliot may just discover the person she wants to be. See our q&a with Wood on her YA debut.
Marissa Meyer. Feiwel and Friends, $19.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-250-61884-9
In the first in a YA fantasy duology that puts a new spin on “Rumpelstiltskin,” when one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, the king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid, who agrees to help her for a price; love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
Axie Oh. Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-78086-7
In this feminist retelling of the Korean legend “The Tale of Shim Cheong”, deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Her people believe the Sea God has cursed them. Many believe that Shim Cheong—the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the one to finally end the suffering. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Mina jumps into the water to save her brother. Swept away to the Spirit Realm, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young lord named Shin, Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms.
Phil Stamper. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0737-2
It’s the summer before their senior year and a group of four best friends—bonded in their small, rural town by their queerness, their good grades, and their big dreams—are each about to embark on a new adventure, in Stamper’s remix of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Heart of the Impaler
Alexander Delacroix. Swoon, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-75616-9
Delacroix’s retelling of the Dracula legend stars Vlad Dracula, who has long lived in the shadows cast by his bloodthirsty father, the voivode, and his older brother, Mircea. Despite their cruelty, Vlad has yearned to prove himself worthy of the throne his whole life. When Vlad and Andrei meet Ilona Csáki, the daughter of an influential boyar, they each find themselves inextricably drawn to her. But then Ilona is betrothed to Mircea as part of a political alliance, and Vlad's resentfulness of his brother begins to seethe into something far darker.
Martha Brockenbrough. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-338-67387-6
In this retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, King Tyran divides his land, leaving half to each of his two children. However, his son, Albrecht, unsatisfied with half a kingdom, decides that his older sister, Ursula, a girl and werebear, is unfit to rule. As King Albrecht builds his iron rule and an army to defend his reign, Ursula makes plans to seize back the kingdom.
The Ivory Key
Akshaya Raman. Clarion, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-358-46833-2
In this Robin Hood retelling, magic is a prized resource. When the magic runs out, four siblings must find a new source before their country is overtaken by the neighboring kingdoms. With each sibling harboring secrets and conflicting agendas, figuring out a way to work together may be the most difficult task of all.
Kingdom of the Cursed
Kerri Maniscalco. Little, Brown/Patterson, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-42847-7
Much like Persephone, who was forced to marry the lord of the underworld in Greek mythology, Emilia must bind herself to the devil in matrimony in order to get the revenge she seeks for her twin sister Vittoria’s death, in this sequel to Kingdom of the Wicked.
Lyndall Clipstone. Holt, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-75339-7
In this story with nods to “Beauty and the Beast” and the tale of Hades and Persephone, when Violeta Graceling and her younger brother Arien arrive at the haunted Lakesedge estate, they expect to find a monster. But neither the estate nor the monster, Rowan, are what they seem. As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake.
Margaret Owen. Holt, $18.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-250-19190-8
The wicked maid at the heart of the Brothers Grimm classic “The Goose Girl” tells her story in this Bavarian-inspired YA fantasy. Seventeen-year-old Vanja Schmidt is the 13th daughter of a 13th daughter, and wherever she goes, misfortune follows. Her godmothers, Death and Fortune, bless her with magic in exchange for a life of servitude when she comes of age. When the time comes, Vanja flees, swiping an enchanted string of pearls that allows her to impersonate a princess.
Jessie Burton, illus. by Olivia Lomenech Gill. Bloomsbury, $19.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0759-4
In this retelling from from 18-year-old Medusa’s point of view, Medusa lives in isolation until charming and beautiful Perseus arrives, unleashing desire and love. But when faced with heartbreaking betrayal, she must become her own rescuer and take back the life the gods, and men, have sought to control.
My Fine Fellow
Jennieke Cohen. HarperTeen, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-304753-2
In this gender-bent take on My Fair Lady, set in 1830s England, Culinarians are doyens who consult with society’s elite to create gorgeous food. When aspiring Culinarian Helena meets poor merchant Elijah, she is determined to turn him into a gentleman chef. But Elijah’s transformation will have a greater impact than they expected.
Robyn Schneider. Viking, $18.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-593-35102-4
Schneider’s gender-flipped queer retelling of the Arthurian Legend stars Emry Merlin, who has just arrived at the castle disguised as her twin brother to serve the prince because girls can’t practice magic. She quickly befriends bookish Arthur and troublemaker Lancelot, falling into a life at court full of scandals. But as she begins to fall for Arthur, her secret is threatened to be revealed.
Our Violent Ends
Chloe Gong. McElderry, $19.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-5344-5772-0
Gong continues her imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai. Suddenly a new danger emerges in the city, and Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences. But they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other.
Jennifer Donnelly. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-338-26849-2
In this version of “Snow White,” when Sophie—a girl with lips the color of cherries, skin as soft as new-fallen snow, hair as dark as midnight—rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman, her heart was taken by the huntsman. With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. but when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy.
Jordan Ifueko. Amulet, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3984-2
Drawing from African storytelling traditions and mythology, the sequel to Raybearer finds an Empress Redemptor sitting on Aritsar’s throne for the first time. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must anoint a council of her own in order to come into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.
Tilman Roehrig, trans. from the German by Oliver Latsch. Arctis, $18.95 (350p) ISBN 978-1-64690-007-7
When peasant John Little witnesses the Sheriff of Nottingham’s men destroying his village for poaching deer to feed his people, he flees into the tangle of Sherwood Forest with the only other survivor, his young daughter Marian. But the outlaw Robin Hood soon catches them and takes them prisoner.
Natasha Bowen. Random House, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-12094-1
In a tale inspired by West African folklore, Simi now serves the gods as a mermaid, collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home. But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi does the unthinkable—she saves his life, going against an ancient decree. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy it.
Spin Me Right Round
David Valdes. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0710-5
In this LGBTQ+ reimagining of Back to the Future, out and proud Latinx teen Luis Gonzalez just wants to go to prom with his boyfriend, something his “progressive” school still won’t allow. Not after the events of prom 1985 when Chaz, a closeted gay teen, died under suspicious circumstances. After a hit on the head knocks him back to high school circa 1985, Luis is thrust into a world and time he doesn’t fully understand and becomes determined to save Chaz, but changing the past could jeopardize his existence in the future.
Bethany C. Morrow. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-76121-7
The Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island is blossoming, a haven for the recently emancipated. As the four young Black March sisters come of age during the Civil War, they will face first love, health struggles, heartbreak, and new horizons.
Cyla Panin. Amulet, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5265-0
In this novel based on “Beauty and the Beast,” 17-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small 18th-century French town in hopes of saving a dowry for her sister, Ama, to marry well and gain freedom. But a few of her perfumes are laced with honeysuckle that she’s trained her sister to respond to. Marie marks her victim, and Ama attacks and kills as a beast.
Kathryn Williams. HarperTeen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-304939-0
Williams follows a teenage girl’s quest to uncover the truth behind her secretive great aunt Anna, who just might be the long-lost Russian princess Anastasia.
This Might Get Awkward
Kara McDowell. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-338-74623-5
In McDowell’s spin on the rom-com While You Were Sleeping, 17-year-old Gemma can’t handle social interactions, let alone speak to her crush, Beau. During a solo outing, Gemma ends up talking to Beau, who asks her to pretend that they’re “close.” Gemma agrees until Beau falls off a boat, hits his head, and ends up in a coma. After rescuing Beau from the water, Gemma is mistaken for Beau’s girlfriend and tries to correct the record, to no avail.
Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix
Aminah Mae Safi. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-77127-8
Rahma al-Hud loyally followed her elder sister Zeena into the war over the Holy Land, but now that the Faranji invaders have gotten reinforcements from Richard the Lionheart, all she wants is get herself and her sister home alive. But Zeena, a soldier of honor at heart, refuses to give up the fight, so Rahma has no choice but to take on one final mission with her sister.
Vial of Tears
Cristin Bishara. Holiday House, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4641-4
In a tale inspired by Phoenician mythology, sisters Samira and Rima are desperate to survive. With money tight, when their grandfather wills the family valuables, Sam tries pawning them before their parents can. But one of the items is a cursed coin and disturbing it condemns Sam and her sister to the Phoenician underworld where nothing is what it seems.
Kathryn Barker. Flatiron, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-17410-9
In this genre-bending retelling of Romeo and Juliet, it’s the end of the world. Literally. Time travel is possible but only forward. Eighteen-year-old Juliet is with the love of her life, Romeo. But Romeo lies in a coma and Jules is estranged from her friends and family, dealing with the very real fallout of their romance. Then a mysterious time traveler, Ellis, arrives from the future with a mission that makes Juliet question everything she knows about life and love.
What Once Was Mine (A Twisted Tale #12)
Liz Braswell. Disney-Hyperion, $18.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-368-06382-1
This retelling of “Rapunzel” by way of the Disney film Tangled images what would’ve happened if the queen drank a potion from the wrong flower. When the child is born, she is a healthy baby girl with hair as silver and gray as the moon. But with that comes dangerous magical powers: the power to hurt, not heal.
When You Get the Chance
Emma Lord. Wednesday, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-78334-9
In this retelling of Mamma Mia, when a left-open browser brings Millie to her father’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do. She’s going to find her mother. There’s Steph, a still-aspiring stage actress and receptionist at a talent agency. There’s Farrah, an ethereal dance teacher who doesn’t have the two left feet Millie has. And Beth, the chipper and sweet stage enthusiast with an equally exuberant 15-year-old daughter.
David Bowles and Raúl the Third, illus. by Stacey Robinson and Damian Duffy. Tu, $17.95 (112p) ISBN 978-1-62014-592-0
In this young adult graphic novel reimagining of Frankenstein set in colonial Mexico, when Cristina Franco, an apprentice shaman, is killed by witch owls, her brother Enrique cannot let her go. With forbidden alchemy and engineering, Enrique brings her back to life: part human, part machine.
Within These Wicked Walls
Lauren Blackwood. Wednesday, (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-78710-1
In Blackwood’s Ethiopian-inspired fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre, Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for.
Kathleen Glasgow. Delacorte, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-70804-9
Glasgow takes her inspiration from Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. For Emory’s entire life she’s been told who she is. But when she and Joey were in the car accident that killed Candy MontClaire, it revealed just how bad Joey’s drug habit was. Four months later, Emmy’s junior year is starting, Joey is home from rehab, and the entire town is still reeling from the accident. Everyone’s telling Emmy who she is, but so much has changed, was she ever that person at all?