July 21, 2012

Mini Review: Lies, Knives, and Girls In Red Dresses by Ron Koertge


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

Once upon a time, there was a strung-out match girl who sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped King Daddy’s clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. A fickle Thumbelina searched for a tiny husband, leaving bodies in her wake. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it’s like to be swallowed whole. From bloodied and blinded stepsisters (they were duped) to a chopped-off finger flying into a heroine’s cleavage, this is fairy tale world turned upside down. Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer
– he wants to whisper in your ear.

Lies, Knives, and Girls In Red Dresses by Ron Koertge

Illustrations by Andrea Dezso

Publish Date: July 10, 2012

Publisher:  Candlewick Press

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song for ya!

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** This book was provided to us by the publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinion **

Dark, sometimes gory retellings of classic Fairytales.  That about sums up Lies, Knives, and Girls In Red Dresses by Ron Koertge, with illustrations by Andrea Dezso.

The fairytales you hold near and dear to your heart are completely twisted and will open up your eyes to a darker side of storytelling.   Inside you’ll find a different side to stories such as Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Prince, The Princess and the pea, among others.  Cleverly written, original, and delightfully entertaining.

Not only are many of the stories written in short verse, but there was one in particular that stood out in my mind.  The retelling of Little Red Riding Hood where Red Riding Hood explains to her mother what happened in the woods when she encounters the wolf, told in the voice of your modern day teenager.  I was chuckling all throughout that one.

Accompanying these stories are some fantastic illustrations by Andrea Dezso which just seem to pop out of the pages and assists in getting my more gruesome imagination going.

Not for the faint of heart, Lies, Knives, and Girls In Red Dresses is a quick read for anyone interested in more of the darker side of a fairytale, with voices from the characters you least expect.  A quick read that will turn your fairytale world upside down.

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Available for purchase:


Barnes & Nobles

The Book Depository



  1. I am in need! I am finding I love the darker twists to these fairy tales. Heck I’m loving dark twists in books period! Going to look into getting this one. Great review

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    i adore retellings and most of the original versions were very dark ..adding to my list!

  3. Jess Haight

    I love fairy tales and this book sounds like it is right up my alley. I have marked it on my TBR list. What a great review!

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