Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

by Ron Koertge

"We're very, very happy. But I have to admit there's not much to do in Ever After.  It's always sunny and 78. Every night the fireworks light themselves."

This book is a collection of poems - retellings of and additions to classic fairy tales.  Each one is told as if it happened yesterday.  Some read as though they are being retold by chatty teenagers, while others follow a more traditional poetic form.

Koertge tells the stories behind the stories - those of the wolves, the rescued maidens, the ugly stepsisters.  He tells them in a dark and gruesome way. There is nothing tidy about these tales; they are graphic and real.  The Little Match Girl sells CDs on the corner beside drug addicts.  Little Red Riding Hood loves danger and kind of wants to know what it would be like to be swallowed whole.  The Ugly Stepsisters were forced by their mother to have foot surgeries in hopes of marrying the prince.  The Beast dreams of having his fangs back.  

I loved the creativity in this collection.  Fracture fairy tales are not new by any stretch, so it takes a lot to write them in an inventive way.  I think that Koertge is extremely successful in his choice of tales, his use of voice and his selection of narrators.  Each piece is different and alarming in a unique way.  

♥ Meg xoxo

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