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Review: Once Upon A Dream

Liz Braswell - Once Upon A Dream (Twisted Tales #2)
Expected publication: April 5, 2016 by Disney Press
Genres: Retellings, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dream marks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

It should be simple--a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess's, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.

With a desperate fairy's last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent's agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?


How I felt about the entire cast by the end of the book.

The book starts off pretty darn cool, actually. Prince Philipp has stormed the castle. His love, Aurora, has been taken under an eternal sleep spell. So when he decides to inlay a kiss of life upon her, it has no affect on her and he drops to the floor, unconscious, instead.

We flash to Aurora as a baby, being christened by her parents, King Stefan and Queen Leah. The fairies, who are believed to be "evil" bless her with the gifts of dance and other unimportant shit. Then: a surprise arrival. Guess who? No, really. Guess who? Yawn.

After a miniscule battle, Maleficent claims the castle and Aurora for herself, tosses the king and queen into the dungeon, and has Aurora calling her "Aunt Maleficent." I thought the royal aspect of the book could've been handled better, but whatever. Not my book.

Also: Aurora is so extra. Like, okay, I get it. If I had the authority to threaten someone and (possibly) throw someone in a dungeon, I'd probably do it, too.

Generally, the dialogue of this book is tiresome. Almost everything is italicized and/or capitalized. The whole plot is one giant mess. If you haven't seen the Disney movie, it basically re-explains the original tale for you. The only difference between the Disney-version and Once Upon A Dream was their personalities. Everyone was an opposite. Aurora was almost always screaming or over-exaggerating a situation for absolutely no reason. The fairies talk shit. Prince Philipp needs to grow a pair. The only one mildly decent was Maleficent, but her character begun to diminish near the end. Hence, the quote.

Quite frankly, this book is Reign of Shadows meets Sleeping Beauty fanfiction. But, at least, Reign of Shadows was good. Later in the book, Aurora escapes the castle and "meets" Philipp, they start a journey and it is pointless. Travelling simply for romantical reasons. What is the point? Don't ask me. There is isn't one.

Definitely a read to skip.


  1. UGH, this sounds awful. I heard that the first one (whatever it was with Aladdin) was basically just the Disney script splattered on the page. And I guess this one is the same. Score. Because reading a boring version of a Disney movie sounds like something I would like to do... well, never. I held out some hope that these would get better, but wow, definitely not! Sorry this was such a rough one for you, but thanks for the great review!

    1. I hadn't read the first one, but I've been wanting to! I heard that, too! It's basically Disney fanfiction. This one was simply tragic, and I'm such a fan of retellings. Thanks!


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