Spines Talk: Celebrating New Releases

Yep, haven’t figured out a good category name for my bookish discussions yet 😛 Feel free to comment below if you have a suggestion (maybe I’ll just use book talk? bookish talk?) but for now I’m celebrating some new fantasy releases that came out this week! Thanks to Macmillan and Raincoast Books for sending ARCs of these my way!

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron, a retelling with an MC who attempts to upend the patriarchy, and Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust, where the MC is both the princess and the monster in the story, are both fascinating takes on fairytales that celebrated their book pub day on July 7th! And they’re both LGBTQ+ and feminist reads! Read on for more about each of these books:

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Genre: YA Fantasy | LGBTQ+
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

This cover, wow (the UK one is also incredible). This book is a retelling of the Cinderella fairytale where Prince Charming is much more of a controlling figure and all women are subject to the extreme patriarchal rules of his kingdom. I finished this one last week and I’ve got lots of thoughts going around in my head and coming to a review near you soon but for now I’ll say I loved the creepy vibe all throughout, even as it kept me on the edge of my seat.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
Genre: YA Fantasy | LGBTQ+
Publisher: Flatiron Books

A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

I’m only a chapter or two in so I don’t have much to say about this one yet, but apparently it’s inspired by Persian mythology and Sleeping Beauty! I really like this idea of the dichotomy (or lack of) between princesses and monsters, and I’m not familiar with Persian mythology so I’m looking forward to these elements as well.

I hope to finish up reviews for both of these in the coming month so expect my thoughts soon! In the meantime, check out some other reviewers:


Are either of these on your TBR?
What are some of your favourite fairytale retellings?


Cover images and blurbs from Goodreads.


14 thoughts on “Spines Talk: Celebrating New Releases

  1. The premise of cinderella is dead is so good and I cannot WAIT to read it! I also am intrigued by girl, serpent, thorn and would want to give that one a go too. Happy reading x

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s