September 28, 2018 | Posted by Victoria in Book Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Poetry
Publication Date: September 11, 2018 by Hachette Books
Format: Paperback
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
4 Stars
Source: Publisher via Mail

Poet, writer, and Instagram sensation Nikita Gill returns with a collection of fairytales poetically retold for a new generation of women.

Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory.

But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviors. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.

Complete with beautifully hand-drawn illustrations by Gill herself, Fierce Fairytales is an empowering collection of poems and stories for a new generation.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“Our stories don’t begin and end because men we once trusted have left them, we were made whole to start with, independent tales of strength and madness.”

I’m not a huge poetry reader. I’ve read some of the more popular poetry books that have been published in the last few years, and haven’t been a huge fan of them. I’d heard a lot about Nikita Gill’s new collection, and was intrigued by the fact that they were longer poems and retellings. When I had the opportunity to read this collection early, I jumped at it because it intrigued me.

Fierce Fairytales is a short, quick, and easy read, but with poems that will stick with me for a long time. The poems in this collection are updated fairytales with reimagining of heroes and villains. I love how “updated” these were, there were so many deeper meanings in the poems: discussions about war, ageism, sexism, and feminism to name a few.

“Children aren’t born ugly either. They learn to hate themselves from society’s narrow-minded ideas about how they must feel unsatisfied in their own skin.”

I love how even the poems about the villains made you see their backstory in a new way and why they acted the way they did. Gill didn’t excuse the cruel actions they committed in the original fairytales, but changed them and gave them a backstory for why they were seen as negative characters.

Overall I really enjoyed this poetry collection, and think it’s great for readers who aren’t usually drawn to poetry.

If you’re a poetry reader and have read this collection or other work by Nikita Gill, what are other poetry collections you recommend?
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