2016 is going to be a great year for fairy tale retellings in the YA world, what with The Rose and the Dagger and A Court of Mist and Fury and SO MANY OTHERS. But it’s also going to be a great year for classic lit retellings, starting with these returns to two of our favorite magical locales—Neverland and Wonderland. If you can’t get enough of flying/tumbling your way into mysterious distant lands, you don’t want to miss these books.
Unhooked, by Lisa Maxwell
Gwen has always been a girl on the move, thanks to her mother’s weird delusions about being chased by monsters. Except they’re not delusions—something Gwen discovers when she and her friend Olivia and kidnapped and dragged into Neverland. But it’s not all lost boys and fairies: Gwen finds herself on a pirate ship, quickly falling for the roguish captain who saved her from drowning. With bloodthirsty battles, sexy pirates, and a fading distinction between good and evil, this is a dark, thrilling Peter Pan you won’t be able to put down.
Never Ever, by Sara Saedi
New York City, Peter Pan, and YA romance: this book combines three things we love, so you know it’s bound to be good. Wylie’s brother is headed to juvie, and Wylie isn’t just devastated—she feels she’s to blame. So when she meets a mysterious handsome stranger the night before her brother’s incarceration, and he just happens to be able to fly, well, it’s not long before she and her brothers are whisked away to a secret island where nobody ages. But behind the nonstop party, something darker is going on—can Wylie untangle it before it’s too late?
Everland, by Wendy Spinale
A mysterious virus has been released in the ruins of London by the evil German queen, and the only survivors are children. Desperate to cure the disease before it spreads too far, Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer (Hook) is kidnapping those children for experimentation. So when Gwen’s sister Joanna disappears, she and brother Mikey have to act fast before she’s gone for good. Their rescue mission leads them straight toward Pete, Belle, and their Lost Boys, but will they be enough? It’s the steampunk/dystopian Peter Pan you had no clue you needed.
Heartless, by Marissa Meyer
If we know one thing about Marissa Meyer, it’s probably that she’s pretty much got this retelling thing down, so yeah, we’re basically dying for November to roll around and bring this beauty with it. Catherine may be the girl most likely to marry the King of Hearts, but all she really wants to do is open a bakery and fall in love with the new court jester. But her parents (and fate, it seems) have other plans. Here’s hoping Meyer’s magical ability to give everyone a happily ever after still holds true!
Queen of Hearts, by Colleen Oakes
Wonderland is a dark and secretive realm, and Dinah’s life is full of all the complications that come with being its future queen—despite the fact that she’d be happy if she could just ignore her cruel father and spend some time with her best friend/love, the Knave of Hearts. But her coronation day approaches, and with it comes a mysterious stranger and a series of even stranger events that just might mark the end of Dinah and her chance to rule. The best part? There are two more books to come.