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Young Adult Fiction 1126
enchanting collection of reimagined fairytales
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AT MIDNIGHT is a clever collection of reimagined fairytales. Each short story tells the reader which fairytale inspired it before producing fresh and imaginative new plots. The book contains 15 short stories, of which 14 are related to various fairytales and one is brand new. The end of the book contains the original fairytales on which they were based for readers to see what inspired them and how they evolved into the incredible new fiction.

What I loved: There is a little something for everyone with many different types of stories and emotions in each. Some were dark and some were light and some were closer to their originals while some were much farther away than their inspirations. They really all took a life of their own, and many contained thought-provoking themes. For instance, "Sugarplum," the story inspired by "The Nutcracker" deals with prejudice and microaggressions based on race and the performances that are (in this case, literally) forced to occur. Others include equally as thought-provoking and powerful of themes, making a complete story within their brief text.

Although tough to choose, my particular favorite was probably "Fire and Rhinestone," which was inspired by "The Little Matchstick Girl." The original short story had left a huge impact on me from when I read it as a child, so it is perhaps not surprising that this story inspired by it also felt very impactful. The story had themes of revenge, power wielded unfairly, and family. Another story that I particularly enjoyed the twist from the original was "Mother's Mirror," based on "Little Snow-White," which used the premise to discuss prejudice against trans teens and the impacts family can have on their mental health and the ways that they view themselves in the world. The parallels between the characters were striking, and I loved the way that these themes were presented through the lens of the original personalities.

Final verdict: A clever and thought-provoking collection of reimagined fairytales, AT MIDNIGHT is a beautifully curated book of short stories with a little something for every YA fantasy reader.
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