What Once Was Mine – Liz Braswell
Rapunzel, retelling, young adult, fiction.
Rapunzel’s mother drank a potion to save her life and it was what they thought was the sundrop flower. When Rapunzel was born she had silver hair that was proven deadly. The King and Queen had to face a decision that all new parents would fear is giving up their child or sending their child away. The Queen made it her quest to find a caregiver for Rapunzel and found Mother Gothel who promised to care for Rapunzel. Mother Gothel had other plans that led to Rapunzel being afraid of her hair’s powers. Rapunzel asked Mother Gothel if she could leave the tower to see the floating lanterns that happen every year on a specific date that correlated to her birthday and was told a firm no. She can’t have Rapunzel kill another person like what she had done to her parents long ago. She asks her mother to go get her something and when the coast is clear Rapunzel leaves the tower out of curiosity of what this strange man left behind to find a crown of some sort. Rapunzel goes on a quest to find someone to take her to the floating lights and has a prize for whomever. She finds Flynn Rider and Gina, both outlaws in trouble, and agrees to help Rapunzel. Along the way Rapunzel finds out the truth about her origin and the reality of her origin.
I’m a huge fan of Tangled and this twisted tale was by far the best presentation of the story being twisted. Rapunzel has magical hair that destroys or rather takes the life of whoever touches it. This blew my mind because I wasn’t expecting Gina to be included into the mix. Overall I enjoyed the characters in this form too. The plot was intriguing and kept me always on my toes. What I loved a lot about this novel was the way that it felt like The Princess Bride storytelling of someone sitting down and telling this story to someone young and in need of a good story. This story was being told by a man named Brendan to his twin sister Daniella who loves Tangled a lot and often requested to rewatch the movie. I nearly cried throughout this novel as well as laughing and going ‘aw’ a lot. This was utterly sweet and I highly recommend that one go get this novel to read. I couldn’t help but to savor this novel so I finished it within a week. I didn’t want to rush reading it because of how well it was written.
The Nine Lives of Chloe King: The Fallen – Liz Braswell
Young adult, fantasy, fiction.
Chloe King is an average sixteen-year-old turning seventeen. Her life is alright and considerably normal until she has a near death experience that should’ve killed her. Then she develops some new traits that are alarming as well as someone tried to assassinate her. She learns that there is a group called The Order of the Tenth Blade wants to eradicate her species. She must learn who she is.
I had read this when I was in middle school and liked the novel. I tried to retrieve my copy, but it was unfortunately destroyed due to horrible packing styles. Either way, I hunted down a new copy to read. I went down nostalgia lane and remembered why I loved this book so much. The writing was thorough and was never predictable. That is my opinion though. I was so happy to reread this novel for sure. And I would recommend reading all three books. I only read the first book for now. Might pick up the book once more soon. Or let me know to read and give it a review.
Unbirthday – Liz Braswell
Alice in Wonderland, young adult, fiction.
It has been eleven years since Alice had visited Wonderland. She has wanted to go back but never was able to. She now has a new hobby that entails photography with the help of her aunt. One day a photo reveals Wonderland citizens in peculiar, distressed states. Alice fearing the worse she tries to go understand what is going on in Wonderland when she takes a photo of herself revealing Mary Ann who is in peril. Alice produces a way to go back to Wonderland and it involves returning back to the place where she first had discovered Wonderland, the park. She manages to successfully find her way into Wonderland, but things have became darker and more gruesome as she discovers that the Queen of Hearts has been murdering her own people. Alice hops through both worlds, her own and Wonderland, to balance out her personal issues while dealing with Wonderland issues. She is faced with the ultimate choice that would depend on the survival of Wonderland.
I had seen this book all over my feeds on my many platforms of social media and was waiting forever to find out when this book would come out. I had thought I needed to pre-order until my fairly recent trip to the Barnes and Nobles. This book is on shelves of select Barnes and Nobles. I’m a fan of the Wonderland stories and this one was by far the most interesting plot I ever had read. What made this novel interesting was Alice going back and forth from Wonderland to her own reality but the ways she would get back to Wonderland was peculiar and strange. At first, I thought this novel was going to be as dark as some of the other Twisted Tales, but this was all right. I loved the dialogues and character interactions plus the real-life iteration of Snakes and Ladders. That was interesting. Overall, I do highly recommend this novel for sure even if one has to pre-order the novel. I can’t express how much I loved this novel. I binged this novel faster than any novel I’ve read this year.
Part of Your World – Liz Braswell
Disney, The Little Mermaid, witches, mermaids, retelling, mystery, young adult, fiction.
Five years gone since Ariel lost against Ursula. Both her voice and her father, King Triton, are in possession of Ursula due to the contact that Ariel had signed that allowed her three days to be on land but the catch was for that Prince Eric would have to kiss her before the sun sets on the third day and the payment for Ursula’s service was Ariel’s voice. When Ariel returned to the Sea, expecting to be punished, her sisters allowed her to be Queen of the Ocean. Her trusty sidekicks and confidants, Sebastian and Flounder, help Ariel speak to the people of Atlantica. When Ariel receives some news of a bird wanting to speak to Ariel, she investigates this. She finds out that after all this time, her father is in fact alive after all. Ariel must use whatever materials she has to try to save him and get her voice back.
I had put a hold on this book as well as the few others of these twisted tales because I wanted to see how this author really can use these Disney stories and add the twists to them. My thoughts on this book is that I felt that the author did a good job with this one as well as the other two I’ve read so far. I can’t wait to possible find more by this author or just the twisted tale series. I loved this book and this one is my second favorite. The first being Straight On Till Morning. The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite Disney stories and reading this twisted tale was enlightening and gave me thoughts about how if it went that way, would there be more movies, or a television stemmed from this concept? Either way I appreciate and love this novel a lot.
As Old as Time – Liz Braswell
Disney, Beauty and the Beast, magic, mystery, retelling, Young adult, fiction.
Maurice, father of Belle, has a story of how he came to meet Belle’s mother who was the Enchantress. They fled this one kingdom to protect their baby girl. The Enchantress has found out that the previous king and queen died, and she goes to see if their son is better than his parents. Disguised and ready to test the young prince, the Enchantress casts a spell so that her family doesn’t remember her and that she can flee without putting them in danger. The Enchantress tests the young boy and finds out he is just as despicable as his parents, casts a spell on him that he has until his twenty-first birthday to find someone who can love him as the monster he is or face an eternity stuck as a beast. Continuing the story through Belle’s narrative, she has come across this castle and strikes a deal with the Beast so that her father can be free, and she would be the prisoner of the Beast. Belle finds the rose and touches it, a flood of a memory surges through her. She remembers who her mother was as well as that she is alive. Belle and the Beast work together to figure this mystery out and how to break the curse of the Beast.
This dark retelling of the classic with the twist made me question a lot. At first, I was disappointed until I read the final third of the book. I was surprised by the dark turn it took but made sense with the plot. I was intrigued by the whole line of Disney’s Twisted Tales and one of my close friend’s family member wanted to know if they were any good and I thought this one would be a good one to start to read. I don’t regret picking this book up at all. However, I do not recommend to read these tales for anyone who is under the age of twelve years old. There is some adult situations that the little ones wouldn’t handle some of the scenes and descriptions. Overall, a great story and I would want to read more of these retellings.
Straight on Till Morning – Liz Braswell
Disney, Peter Pan, retelling, lost boys, young adult, fiction.
Wendy has found Peter Pan’s shadow and decided to keep it for safety reasons. Four years later, she finds out that her parents found her notebook containing all the stories of Peter Pan. They decide to plan to send her off to Ireland to rethink her crazy ideas. Not wanting this ending, she decides to run away and make a deal. She contacts Captain hook, the archnemesis of Peter Pan. In exchange of Pan’s shadow, Hook would give Wendy a safe passage to Neverland. To much her horror, she should’ve made a specific and indepth deal with Hook. A stroke of luck, she finds herself an exit from the nefarious pirates and made it to shore of Neverland. While she is traversing on the island, she comes across Tinkerbell. She confesses to Tink that she made a horrible mistake and vows to rectify the wrong. Both her and Tinkerbell will have to work together to save not only Peter Pan, but Neverland as well.
I’m unsure of how to start to write this at all because this book was beyond what I expected it to be. When I saw it on the Young Adult self at Barnes & Nobles, beckoning me to open and read, I knew I absolutely had to read this novel. This insane retelling of Peter Pan really affected me on a deep level. The whole idea of Wendy going to Neverland with pirates might sound weird, but Braswell really made this work. I found myself getting lost in this book on all hours of the night because I didn’t want to put the book down. I do recommend this novel for sure. Reading this was so fun and very enjoyable as a novel should be as well as do.