Review: GRIM edited by Christine Johnson

March 18, 2014 3 stars, Book Review 12 ★★★


Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins Amanda Hocking Julie Kagawa Claudia Gray Rachel Hawkins Kimberly Derting Myra McEntire Malinda Lo Sarah Rees-Brennan Jackson Pearce Christine Johnson Jeri Smith Ready Shaun David Hutchinson Saundra Mitchell Sonia Gensler Tessa Gratton Jon Skrovan

​Given that GRIM is a collection of short stories inspired by classic fairytales I don’t think you need be familiar with those classics to read these. I for one have not read a ton of classic fairytales so my perspective on this does not compare them to whatever fairy tale might have inspired them. Some I recognized but most I really wasn’t even trying to figure out what story might have inspired them. So I definitely went in hoping that the stories would speak for themselves and possibly turn me onto a few new authors – which I did find a few authors I will now check out.

I wasn’t blown away by this collection overall but I do think I know a few young teen girls who would adore it. Half of what I read is young adult fiction so sometimes I can be a bit of a hit or miss when it comes to enjoyment. Ultimately, I had a few favorites but most others herein were just ok. Perhaps an avid lover of fairy tales might appreciate it more for being able to recognize which story had inspired it?? I’m always up for reading short fiction collections because I have never walked away from one where I haven’t immensely enjoyed one of the stories.

Keep in mind these are a mix of sci-fi and fantasy toned stories. I personally like both genres, though I’ve always been an avid lover of fantasy stories in this collection I seemed to lean towards a few of the sci-fi ones!

Honorable mentions to these in the collection:

The Raven Princess by Jon Skrovan I read his book MAN MADE BOY last year and seriously enjoyed it. This was one of the ones in the collection that I felt captured a certain fantasy feeling for me. There is a princess obviously, a terrible curse and the man that must save her.

Thinner than Water – Saundra Mitchell I recently read her book MISTWALKER and absolutely adored it so I was excited to see she was in this collection. Anyways this one is twisted! Father’s wife dies and she has a strange request…and he has a very bad idea about fulfilling it…with his daughter. Don’t be scared it’s so deliciously creepy.

Untethered by Sonia Gensler I’m surprised I liked this one as much as I did because sometimes stories dealing with the loss of a loved one can have oddball effects on me. Luckily I enjoyed this one.

Better by Shawn David Hutchinson Space drama! How can you run from a disease you can’t escape…yeah I was totally loving the sci-fi in this one.

A Real Boy by Claudia Gray Another sci-fi tale, I even recognized this as a Pinocchio story which was so neat to see it done in such a way. This definitely makes me want to check to see if this author has written anything that might appeal to me.

You can also read a guest post from one of the author’s Saundra Mitchell – on how she created her legend of The Grey Man for her book MISTWALKER!

Grim (edited by Christine Johnson)

Find Book: Indiebound | Goodreads Follow Editor: Website | Twitter

*gasp* This book was provided by the publisher! No worries though it’s an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. This post might also contain affiliate links. To view my full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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12 Responses to “Review: GRIM edited by Christine Johnson”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Haha – so anthologies bug you why? Not meaty enough per story for you? Or right as you get into each story they are about to end? I use them as a way to find new authors. Also I love reading the stories by authors that I already love.

      • Jessica @ Rabid Reads

        Mostly they’re filled with novellas from series, so if you follow a series, you’re forced to pay for the entire anthology even if you’re only interested in reading a single story. It just really peeves me off. The anthologies that mostly have random, standalone stories don’t bother me, but I also don’t buy them b/c short stories/novellas aren’t really my thing . . .
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        • Mogsy

          I agree with both of you. I love discovering new authors through anthologies but it also bugs me that a lot of the stories in SFF collections by authors I know are based on their existing series or characters. I don’t feel that I am forced to get the whole anthology to read them though, in fact I just skip them all together because I’ve had bad experiences with certain stories themselves feeling shoehorned in and unnecessary, obviously written for the sole purpose of the anthology because they were asked to.
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          • Tabitha the Pabkins

            Oh I agree – some anthologies are completely bonkers like that. I think a lot of the UF anthologies are all pretty much stories from the worlds the author is already writing in. If I’m already familiar with those stories I don’t mind but yeah I think better effort could be made on some of them to make them stand better on their own. I’m naughty if I really don’t want to buy the collection I’ll go to the bookstore and read the one story I’m interested in.

            I like the ones edited by Ellen Datlow because I find that to be less common. The collections I’ve read compiled by her I don’t feel like they are based from worlds that the author is already writing.

  1. Mogsy

    As you know, I don’t read as many anthologies as I should. Circumstances always just lead me to reach for a longer book whenever I have time to read, because I know I’ll get a “meatier” story. There are a lot of collections I’d like to check out though.
    Mogsy recently posted…Mogsy’s Book Haul – The Book ThingMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      No it makes complete sense to do that. I feel like I’ve actually been reading MORE collections than I normally would now that I blog/review. But then I’m also reading way more than I ever did before as well…or maybe its just that I feel like I’m keeping track of it more. Who knows. But yeah lately I’ve been wanting to just read novels instead of shorts. I still enjoy them though but I’m going to be much pickier now about the ones that I’ll read.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I haven’t read many classic fairytales so I really wasn’t doing any comparisons. In a way I prefer it that way. lol Someday I’ll get around to reading the originals though!