I can’t recall the last time I read a collection of short stories, it was that long ago. I’m not a huge fan of short stories, and, unfortunately, Grim didn’t impress me.
Grim is a collection of 17 short stories by well-known YA authors that are retellings of fairy tales. I love fairy tale retellings and with The Lunar Chronicles being so popular and renewing my love of fairy tales, I thought I would highly enjoy this book. However, it just didn’t work for me.
The short stories were entertaining, but there was always something that stopped me from loving them, for example, my biggest problem was how short and unresolved so many of the stories were. I get that short stories are supposed to be, ya know, short, but I think some of the endings could have been less abrupt and explained more. Maybe it’s just me.
A few of my favorite short stories in this collection are The Twelfth Girl by Malinda Lo, Figment by Jeri Smith Ready, and The Key by Rachel Hawkings.
The Twelfth Girl was captivating. It’s a tale about 12 girls who, all living at a boarding school, manage to sneak out every night to go dancing, only there’s something more mysterious about it than simply trying to figure out how they get away with it, and it’s something that might not be so pleasant. I think it was the mystery that kept me interested in this one.
Figment was a little strange at first, for me anyway, but I quickly grew attached to the characters, the story, and the writing style. Figment is trapped in the body of a stuffed cat, and brings good luck to whoever owns it (her/him?). The characters were very easy to like and I think I was mostly invested in how things ended up for them.
The Key had a plot twist to it, and while it wasn’t completely unpredictable, it was gripping. I was upset by how abrupt this ended though. I would definitely read a novel length version of this short story! I wish there was more to it. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything.
The rest were okay, with only a few that I didn’t really like, which were Before the Rose Bloomed by Ellen Hopkins (this surprised me! I thought I’d enjoy this more since I’m a huge fan of Hopkins.) and Thinner Than Water by Saundra Mitchell. I didn’t particularly dislike Thinner Than Water, but it overall made me uncomfortable, but it wasn’t necessarily bad.
Overall, if you like short stories, fairy tales, and young adult fiction, I recommend you read Grim. It’s not amazing, but it is an interesting and good read.