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

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

Written by Ron Koertge

Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

Published in 2012 by Candlewick Press

Source: Public Library

Genre: YA and up


I don’t see, but I know things.

Nature does that sometimes – curses and blesses,

takes away and gives. I’m blind but I see.

–          from “Thumbelina, The Mole’s Story”

I love fairy tale retellings.  Earlier this year it seems like retellings were the only things I was reading. In Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses, Ron Koertge retells some of the most popular fairy tales in free prose giving them a facelift.

The cleverness of some of Koertge’s stories reminds me of why I like retellings so much. A good retelling gives readers an old story in a fresh way. The Ever After for Cinderella’s stepsisters was sober reading while the modern-day story of Red Riding Hood in what I imagine to be a Valley-Girl voice was hilarious. This book also reminded me that not every retelling works. There were some retellings that missed the mark for me. Not every retelling needs to be clever or funny but it needs to add something or what’s the point?

I picked Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses up because it was recently listed as a Publisher Weekly Best of 2012 book. While I’m glad I read it, I don’t feel the need to buy my own copy. My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.


About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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10 Responses to Short Review: Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge

  1. I love fairy tale retellings also! And I love the cover of this one!

  2. The cover is gorgeous indeed! It’s too bad the stories were hit and miss, but it still sounds worth reading if I can get it from the library.

  3. zibilee says:

    I bought My Father He Killed Me, My Mother She Ate Me hoping that I would have some time to get into some darker fairy tale retellings this year, but that hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps I will be able to get to some of them before the year ends. I might see if I can grab this one too. Very nice short review today, Natasha!

  4. therelentlessreader says:

    The cover of this one is FANTASTIC! I saw this on the list too…I might grab it from the library one of these days 🙂

  5. I bet my sister would love this!

  6. You probably knew that I’d be rushing to add this to my TBR, even if you didn’t love every single story.Thanks!

  7. Kailana says:

    I will have to see if I can get this from the library at some point! I don’t think I need to own it…

  8. Jenny says:

    Beautiful cover and wonderful title (two aspects that always sway me more than they maybe should). And I do love Candlewick Press, as a general rule. I’ll have to see if my library can hook me up with this one.

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