I’m a gargantuan fan of retellings with a sparkly, unique twist.
I read a lot (I can’t help it! Books are so delicious!) and after a while things can all start to taste like gnawing on a cereal box. I will flop onto my knees and beg for uniqueness. I WILL. I’m also a huge fan of retellings — classics, fairy tales, or history — so please just give them all to me now.
If you mix “uniqueness” with “retellings”, I will devour them.
Which is why I’m a huge fan of gender-swaps!
They add such a unique spin to old classic tales. Like if Cinderella is a boy? And Peter Pan a girl? And a fantasy based off Attila the Hun but about a GIRL?! I will literally beg for this stuff.
Now I hadn’t really thought about my love of gender swaps until I was discussing the many adaptions of Sherlock Holmes with you wonderful peoples. A lot of people said they weren’t a fan of gender swaps. WHICH IS FINE! And, honestly, I have to thank you people, because it makes a terrific discussion. (You’re all so inspiring, gawsh, what would I do without you?) And I love a good discussion.
SO! The golden question of today’s post:
DO YOU LIKE GENDER-SWAPS IN LITERATURE??
Grab some tea, cake, a chocolate palace, whatever, and let’s CHAT.
I haven’t stumbled across many in YA books, actually, which makes me sad. I particularly love Every Breath by Ellie Marney, which is another Sherlock adaptation (so of course I’m going to love it) and features a female Watson! Rachel Watts is best friends with her genius next-door-neighbour, James Mycroft. It twists just about everything Sherlock-ish. Plus it’s set in Australia (which is undeniably the best country in the world, am I right?) and there is plenty of slang and whacking the kettle on for a cuppa this arvo.
I also liked the very (very) loose retelling of Cinderella, Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood. ALSO AUSTRALIAN!! Clearly we are just more open to mixing up retellings, eh? Cinderella is, in fact, a boy named Dan Cerelli (an anagram of “Cinderella”). I can’t remember if he misplaced his shoes though.
But this is all I’ve discovered?! THE SHAME.
I would happily read a million gender-swaps, and this is why:
- I think it puts a fresh spin on the story because gender can change reactions and emotions and decisions.
- Since a lot of older classic stories/fairy tales are based a lot on guys, it’s refreshing to see women take the lead.
- Although that saying I love reading girls being swapped to boys JUST AS MUCH. Again! It’s just refreshing and interesting to see how a boy-version-of-Alice-in-Wonderland would cope.
- The concept art is. just. awesome. What? You wish me to prove it?! FINE.
\\ pictures link to pinterest //
Here we concept art for The Mad Hatter, Cruella DeVille, Pocahontas and Merida from Brave. I’m pretty much in love with this art.
And how about Atlantis with Milo and Kida, The Little Merman, Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon, and Esmarelda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Not only is the art incredible (gosh, people with these kinds of talents are sickening, aren’t they? I’m the fan that just sits around crying and eating popcorn instead of, you know, actually drawing/writing fandom things. #uselessfan), but my mind fairly bursts with “WHAT IF” ideas. The writer in me wants to experiment with all the things!
Now, I’m definitely not saying EVERYTHING should be gender bent.
No way! There is room for both, of course. And not everyone has to like this. It’s like any topic of discussion in the universe: everyone can have their own likes and dislikes…and it doesn’t make anyone wrong. Besides this is change and sometimes change sucks and we don’t like it. I, for one, am usually guilty of being a change-hater.
But, honestly? Gender-swapping the old famous stories absolutely floods my brain with ideas and inspiration! I THINK IT’S COOL, OKAY?! It’s fresh and exciting and it already puts a spin on something that might’ve been retold nine million times (hello Cinderella).
So, please, if you see a YA book with a female version of Captain Hook running around slashing and stabbing — I want it. I’ll also take Alister in Wonderland and Aladdinette shhh, I’m trying with the names.
Basically: I’m all for the inspiration of retellings with gender-swaps.