May 30, 2012

Review - Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge, Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö
July 10th, 2012 from Candlewick

Writing in free verse honed to a wicked edge, the incomparable Ron Koertge brings dark and contemporary humor to twenty iconic fairy tales.

I picked up this little book, less than 100 pages, at Midwinter and read it on the bus ride back to the hotel. Okay, more than one trip. I wasn't sure what to expect, my copy had no cover art and I don't read the back of books. Turns out, this book contains 23 classic fairy tales we all know and love. This time, they are written in free verse and often paired with paper cut silhouettes that will blow you away. Look at the cover above, you get what I'm saying. My favorite story was the very first one, The Stepsisters. It is a dark, violent, and fractured version of Cinderella through the eyes of one of the stepsisters. She describes 'You-Know-Who' coming out of the kitchen and the Prince falling on his knees practically sucking on her perfect toes at the site of her. Like the original tale, the ball doesn't go well for the sisters, but in this version they go blind due to some rogue birds.

I was pleasantly surprised with this short read and the hilarious 'yo mama joke' was icing on the cake. Slightly sick, sarcastic, and twisted in an unforgettable way. Perfect for an older teen who doesn't want to sit still for a full length novel and who loves dark humor. Heck, that is all of us at one time or another. I want need the cover art in a print!

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You can find Koertge at his website
You can find Andrea Dezsö at her website