Over the past few years, I have had MAJOR difficulties reading retellings. I've read several over the past few years, and even more during my time as a book blogger, but it seems like most of them fall flat. Then there are those two or three books that completely blew me out of the water, I loved them so much!
But I think I figured out why I struggle with retellings, and it comes down to a single word:
I have found that the more original the story, the more I love it. Now when I say original retellings (yes, I realize that it's a slight oxymoron), I mean books that use same themes but a drastically different kind of plot.
Take for instance Rosamund Hodge's books Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound. The first is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that actually pulls most from the original tale and not the Disney version, but in the end she completely changes the tale to fit her world. And Crimson Bound is a a mixture of retellings: Red Riding Hood and The Girl With No Hands. She pulls only slightly from both of those tales and weaves her own very original story, characters, and plot.
I think there in lies the difference in retellings. You can even use that in the Lunar Chronicles. It's the same. Though Marissa Meyer uses Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel, there is no argument that her books are very original.
So I think that's my problem. If I read a retelling that is so common or predictable, I lose interest completely; it's the originality of the narrative that grasps me.
So what about you? Do you struggle with reading retellings?