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The Rose and The Beast: Fairy Tales Retold

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  6,463 Ratings  ·  370 Reviews
With language that is both lyrical and distinctly her own, Francesca Lia Block turns nine fairy tales inside out.

Escaping the poisoned apple, Snow frees herself from possession to find the truth of love in an unexpected place.

A club girl from L.A., awakening from a long sleep to the memories of her past, finally finds release from its curse.

And Beauty learns that Beasts ca
ebook, 240 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published September 19th 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Cait • A Page with a View
Wow... I never thought I would give any fairy tale retelling one star.

This just made me sad. It's a bunch of short retellings of some of my favorite fairy tales like Snow White and Cinderella. It shortens them by basically cutting out everything that could matter, mangling the plot, and making the endings straight up weird. The writing was odd and the entire thing was just pointless. Nothing was fun.

J.G. Keely
I think what would really make this book complete would be two more chapters. Then it would be wide enough to correct the short leg on my dining-room table. As of now, the thing can have no possible purpose.
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Mar 06, 2010 Greta is Erikasbuddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
WOW!! I'm speachless. Not many books can do that to me. Normally I can take a really cool book and make fun of it but not this book. This one just blew me away.

The Rose and the Beast is exactly what the title says. The author takes 9 fairy tales and retells them. SHe put her own twist on them.

My three favorites were Charm, Bones, and Ice.


The reason I loved these stories so much is because there was a bit of rock-n- roll in them. They brought up past memories in this thrity-something that I
May 14, 2008 Joana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gloria Mundi
This is a short story collection of nine fairy tales retold. These were certainly beautiful and gave a totally different perspective to some of the stories while keeping very close to the original with others. They read more like poetry than anything else.

I loved him the way it feels when you get hot wax on the inside of your wrist and while it's burning, just as sudden, it's a cool thick skin. Like it tastes to eat sweet snow, above the daffodil bulbs - not that I've ever found it, but clean sn
Jun 07, 2011 Charlynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although not written as free-verse poetry, The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold by Francesca Lia Block is also quite lyrical and some grammar rules are blatantly ignored as a way, I assume, to make the reading flow more like conscious thought rather than narration. With nine classic fairy tales revisited and retold in a more modern way and setting, Block takes what are usually considered romances and dirties them up. Stories don't always end happily, the beautiful girl doesn't always get h ...more
In The Rose and the Beast, Block writes fairytale-inspired short stories that take snapshots from various angles of the budding sexuality of teenage girls. Often, these stories depict sexual violence, like in "Wolf," where a teenage girl runs away from home after her mother confronts her stepfather about what he's been doing to her daughter at night. But sometimes the girls discover their sexuality in less violent ways, like in "Tiny," where a Thumbelina-type girl runs away from home to find the ...more
Feb 09, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With language and a writing style that is deliciously unorthodox, Francesca Lia Block weaves a series of retold fairy tales that can easily stand by themselves. Each story possesses an almost dreamlike quality that enchants the reader and tenderly pulls them along, making the pages fly by in the process (this is also partly due to the margins on each page forming the text into little blocks of story). Even though each tale is short and sweet, each one packs a mean punch that resonates with the r ...more
This is written by my favorite author. She is one of the best storytellers of my generation. Her work should not be limited to just teen readers-adults should read them as well.

An adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

I enjoyed the retelling of this. The start was a lot more believable- a desperate mother giving up her child because she realises she's unable to take care of it. I also liked the twist at the end, with Snow staying with her makeshift brothers/fathers.

I didn't quite understand why the mother decided to poison her child, but that's partially because sometimes I find Block's style hard to read and understand.



A retelling of Thumberlina.

black lamb
I think my favourite thing about this book are all the people clutching their pearls over how Block made the stories "dark" or "edgy," complaining about the "unnecessary" drugs, sex, violence, and (eyeroll) ~bad language~. It made me perversely like this book more. Don't like dark fairy tales? Tough, they've always been dark. It's only very recently that they've been sanitized by companies like Disney trying to take out all the sex and violence to make them more palatable to overprotective Conce ...more
Oct 22, 2010 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Block fans
Shelves: youngadult, 2010read
I've always loved fairy tales, and I've always loved retold fairy tales. In fact, I've written a few myself in the past. There's something about reading version after version of these universal stories that people have heard since they were kids that appeals to me. There's also something about the duality of nature that most of the stories hold: a darkness within the light. I suppose Francesca Lia Block would be the exact kind of writer you would expect to put out a collection like this. Her sto ...more
Nine tales are offered including Little Red Riding Hood ("Wolf"), Beauty and the Beast ("Beast"), Thumbelina ("Tiny"), Bluebeard ("Bones"), Sleeping Beauty ("Charm"), Snow White ("Snow"), Snow Queen ("Ice"), and Cinderella ("Glass"). These, for the most part, are not your typical Disney retelling, light and fluffy. They are dark and gritty, not unlike the originals.

In these evocations Bluebeard becomes an aging blue-haired producer, Sleeping Beauty pricks her arm with a heroin needle, Red Riding
Nov 09, 2011 Jolene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The back of this book does not misrepresent itself when it states that, "Francesca Lia Block turns nine fairy tales inside out." These retellings are recommended for those days when you are feeling particularly anti-Disney. In other words, do not pick this book up unless you are willing to have well-known and, possibly, well-loved stories told in a highly original and sometimes unrecognizable manner. Happily ever after is not on the menu, at least not in its traditionally accepted interpretation ...more
To sum it all up in one word - odd. I wanted to try my hand at some young adult literature and this was probably the wrong one because I would never recommend it to my young daughter to read. It had a very dark and vulgar feel to it. It wasn't terrible but not really to my taste.
Ana Rînceanu
I like the dark tone of this short story collection, but none of the fairy tale retellings stuck with me in any significant way. The writing was good, but I just didn't feel any sense of suspense or anticipation.
3.5 out of 5
This collection of nine fairy tale retellings has a little bit of everything: it's dark and gritty, modern and timeless, magical and realistic... And always so dreamy and lyrical!
Felicia Caro
Francesca Lia Block’s “The Rose And The Beast: Fairy Tales Retold” is composed of nine tales that shimmer and sparkle with hope. Each story is very loosely based off of classic fairy tales such as “Snow White”, “Thumbelina”, and “Beauty & The Beast”. The book is melancholic in nature. While there are beautiful objects (“tall glasses of mineral water with slices of lime like green moons rising above clear bubbling pools”), beautiful people (“a singing stranger with golden hair tousled in his ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Karissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally bought this book to go towards the Fairy Tales Retold Challenge I was participating in this year. I have read a few of Lia Block’s books, they are always intriguing. Lia Block has a very different writing style that is beautiful and a bit ambiguous. She’s an author I enjoy reading occasionally but not all the time.

This was a dark, yet strangely beautiful, collection of fairy tales told in Block’s typical ambiguous writing style. Really they read more as poetry than story.

My favorit
Gloria Villagomez
The title of the book is The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block. The book was fist published in 2000 and it is a fairy tale. The main character is Snow. When she was a baby gave to a gardener and the gardener gave the baby to seven brothers. Another important character was the gardener. He gave away Snow when she was a baby. The third important character of this book is the 7 brothers and they are the fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters every thing to Snow.The summary of this book is at t ...more
Alie Margaret Carter
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I really enjoyed The Rose and the Beast. This captivating set of tales is quite short--each tale is 20 to 30 pages, so the entire book only takes a couple of hours to read--but very beautiful and sophisticated. Block's gorgeous prose transports you to a fantastical, depressing place that mirrors parts of our own world (such as Los Angeles), but with a slight twist.

Here's a breakdown:

Snow: Based on "Snow White"
Tiny: Based on "Thumbelina"
Glass: Based on "Cinderella"
Charm: B
Jul 08, 2011 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Title: The Rose and the Beast: Fairy tales retold
Description: This book is a selection of nine retellings of fairy tales, all set in contemporary United States.
Review source: nope, this one I wanted and purchased on my own (I know, you didn’t think I did that…)
Plot: The short stories are not connected, other than stylistically and by the fact that they are fairy tales.
Characters: Block’s most memorable characters are her heroines. A book like this one really brings it
Kay Smith
Sep 16, 2015 Kay Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a strangely compelling novel. It was a surprisingly engaging read.
I read a few pages in store and was ambivalent, but was willing to give it a try. I thought this was going to be a novel that I picked at, for probably a couple weeks, turns out I finished it the same day I bought it. I didn't sit down and read it all through--I read one chapter (which equals one fairytale), then did something a chapter, did something else...rinse and repeat.

Each story has its own moral issue,
Jacob Mroczkiewicz
I'm really waving my nerd flag with this one, but I loved this collection of re-imagined fairy tales. Block constructs her prose differently based on the tale she is depicting. The collection as a whole is laced with emotion, yet somehow manages to stray away from sentimentalist cliches, a trip which would be easy to fall into in writing such stories. The final story in particular -- I think its titled "Ice," but I can't find my copy to double-check -- is particularly arresting. Similar to what ...more
Francesca Lia Block takes over the fairy tales of old in short, abstract and effervescent stories with unexpected twists and modern commentary.

Snow - ***
A young snow white grows up amongst brothers and grows finds expected truths about her past and future.

Tiny - **
The life of a small girl who is different than most of us but still feels the same pangs of first love.

Glass - ****
An almost abstract portrait of a girl with a beautiful personality and those who will try to destroy her with their en
Ann Keller
Oct 28, 2012 Ann Keller rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
At times, this book was truly wonderful, a unique perspective on some of our most famous fairy tales such as Snow White, Thumbelina and Beauty and the Beast. I was enchanted and could have recommended this book to young adults. It might have provided them with an alternative read to embrace.

Then the swear words and references to drugs and alcohol began. I realize that some men and women choose to revel in this culture, destroying themselves and others around them. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t expose
J. Libby
Gorgeously unexpected takes on classic fairy tales. From Snow White to Bluebeard, Block surprises with twist endings that turn each fairy tale on its head. What I love love love about this book is how much agency these girls have. They are no longer passively awaiting the end of the narrative, rather they are demanding, moving, striving, deciding, and embracing their endings. In these tales happily ever after isn't just a prince on a white horse riding in to make everything okay. These happily e ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the fairy tale retellings I've been reading lately, these have to be my favorite. Not just because Block rarely mentions menstruation (though, yeah, that's a big part of it) but because even after reading two or three of the stories you could never tell which way she was going to go with it. Sometimes she played to expectation and the story ended in a similar way to the original, but sometimes she would turn it on its head. Snow White goes back to the dwarfs. Beauty preferred the Beast as ...more
Laura Morrigan
I think the most poignant and devastating of these stories were the ones that did not end in happily ever after, with girl meets boy and is happy. I found the raw pain and life in these stories amazing. A girl realises the man whose home she spent the night is a serial killer, abused children struggling to deal with the pain of their lives, the real wolf, romantic love several familial bonds, and a girl choosing the love of her fathers over the pain of romance. These are stories about the real w ...more
Cannot describe it, but I can express my impressions. I read it at a young age and fell prey to its dark seduction. My favourite story is the retake on the Snow Queen... in this, it's perverted, very - a young girl with a pure and devoted heart trying to save the boy she loves against a cruel, cold, beautiful and powerful woman... actually I read that wrong. The Ice Queen might have been cocaine or some drug, 'cuz the boy is a rocker and well, it makes sense he's become consumed by his addiction ...more
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Mrs. Anderson's E...: the Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold 1 4 Mar 09, 2016 03:21PM  
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Francesca Lia Block was born in Los Angeles to a poet and a painter, their creativity an obvious influence on her writing. Another influence was her childhood love of Greek mythology and fairy tales.
She has lived in the city all her life, and still resides there with her daughter, Jasmine Angelina (about whom she wrote her book Guarding the Moon), her son Samuel Alexander, and her two dogs: a spr
More about Francesca Lia Block...

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“But be careful; sand is already broken but glass breaks. The shoes are for dancing, not running away.” 119 likes
“You must reach inside yourselves where I live like a story, not old, not young laughing at my own sorrow, weeping pearls at weddings, wielding a torch to melt sand into something clear and bright.” 42 likes
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