YA Friday: Classics Retold

If you seek a modern twist on classic literature, look no further! There is no shortage of ways to rework and reinvent old, classic tales into exciting new stories that offer new intrigue, excitement, or insight. Whether you want to understand Jane Austen deeper or are just hoping for some escapism during this stressful time, these classic-lit-inspired books featuring diverse characters and storytelling are for you.

Within These Wicked Walls, book cover

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

Inspired by Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

What the heart desires, the house destroys...

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, Andromeda 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. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.

So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix, book cover

So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany C. Morrow

Inspired by Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

North Carolina, 1863. As the American Civil War rages on, the Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island is blossoming, a haven for the recently emancipated. Black people have begun building a community of their own, a refuge from the shadow of the old life. It is where the March family has finally been able to put down roots with four young daughters safely:

Meg, a teacher who longs to find love and start her own family.

Jo, a writer whose words are too powerful to be contained.

Beth, a talented seamstress, is searching for a higher purpose.

Amy, a dancer eager to explore life outside her family's home.

As the four March sisters come into their own as independent young women, they will face first love, health struggles, heartbreak, and new horizons. But they will face it all together.

Where the Rhythm Takes You, book cover

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

Inspired by Persuasion by Jane Austen

Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.

And that's when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort.

Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them…

Bad Girls Never Say Die, book cover

Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu

Inspired by The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

1964. Houston, Texas.

Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. They’re the sort who wear bold makeup, laugh too loud, and run around with boys. Most of all, they protect their own against the world. So when Evie is saved from a sinister encounter by a good girl from the "right" side of the tracks, every rule she's always 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.

Darling, book cover

Darling by K. Ancrum

Inspired by Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town.

Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead, they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too?

She's Too Pretty to Burn, book cover

She's Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

Further Reading

Phantom Heart, book cover
Scavenge the Stars, book cover
A Clash of Steel, book cover
Anna K: A Love Story, book cover
This Poison Heart, book cover
We Are the Perfect Girl, book cover