Classics Retold: 7 Modern Retellings of Classic Novels

We’ve all become more than familiar with popular titles like Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice. Book retellings take classics we know and love, then reimagine them either in a more modern setting, or from the perspective of a different character. We put together a list of popular retellings from books you’re sure to be familiar with, so you can explore these famous stories in ways you’ve never imagined. Take a look!




1. Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

This is a book you won’t ever get bored of rereading, because there are over 100 possible endings! This choose-your-own-path style book puts you in charge of where the classic Shakespeare story of Romeo and Juliet goes. Read the book from a different character’s perspective each time, and steer the characters through hundreds of different circumstances and outcomes. There are countless combinations of story lines! Available June 7th, 2016.

2. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

This story is a hilarious retelling of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, The Taming of the Shrew. The book centers around an awkward preschool teacher, Kate Battista, as her scientist father attempts to incorporate her into an elaborate plan to save his lab assistant from getting deported. Available June 21st, 2016.




3. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

This modern spin on Pride and Prejudice reimagines the Bennet family in Cincinnati. Take the story you know and love, then surround it with crossfit, dating shows, Paleo diets, and modern day awkward romances.

4. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Possibly the most popular retelling of Pride and Prejudice, this book was also adapted into a film earlier this year. The book is a mashup between the well-known classic novel and modern zombie fiction. Think Jane Austen meets The Walking Dead.

5. Longbourn by Jo Baker

Longbourn is another retelling of Pride and Prejudice, except this time it’s from the perspective of the servant to the Bennet sisters. The life of this orphaned housemaid gives us an entirely new view of England during the time period, and takes us threw new romances and commotion.




4. Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights by Anne Tyler

If you loved the emotion and suspense in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, you’ll love this re-imagined version from the perspective of the Earnshaw family servant, Nelly Dean. This book takes you through the drama, violence, and betrayal that the young woman encounters and cannot escape.

5. The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips

This version re-imagines Wuthering Heights by taking you back to when Heathcliff was just a young boy – before Mr. Earnshaw brought him to his family. The deeply emotional story centers around orphans trying to let go of their painful pasts in hopes to free themselves from their restricting lives. Available June 7th, 2016.


Retellings are always a fun way to explore some of our favorite stories more in depth. Have you read any of these reimagined books? Let us know how you felt about these versions in the comments below or on Twitter!







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  1. Jake says:

    Are there links to these books or any information which retailers may have them/what sites will sell them?

    • The College Juice says:

      Hi Jake!

      Most of these titles are available at Barnes & Noble, but the best way to find them online would be to search for the ISBN number:

      Eligible – 9781400068326
      Vinegar Girl – 9780804141260
      Nelly Dean – 9781605989617
      The Lost Child – 9781250094650
      Romeo and/or Juliet – 9781101983300
      Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – 9781594748899
      Longbourn – 9780345806970

  2. Johanna says:

    Another retelling of a classic that I’m reading right now is called The Spring Girls by Anna Todd which is a modern retelling of Little Women!

  3. Zach says:

    Neil Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology” is a retelling of the “Prose Edda” and the “Poetic Edda” in a more coherent fashion

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