REVIEW : Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell

ouadTitle : Once Upon A Dream
Author : Liz Braswell
Published : April 5th, 2016
Publisher : Disney Press
Genre : Fantasy, Retelling
Series : Twisted Tales #2

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’, 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?

Okay, so I love Disney. I love retellings. I love fairy tales. I was really excited for this, despite Sleeping Beauty not being my favorite Disney movie.

Once Upon A Dream starts out as a weird flipped version of Sleeping Beauty. Aurora’s parents were evil and made a deal with the three fairies, who were also evil. Maleficent showed up at Aurora’s first birthday party, intercepted the three fairies, and overthrew her parents, throwing them in the dungeon. She then surrounded the entire castle with vines and thorns, “protecting” everyone inside from the Outside, which was supposedly a desolate landscape.

Aurora continues on with her life in the castle, raised by Maleficent, interacting with all the other people who are also trapped in the castle. They have magnificent themed balls every month, Aurora has a tutor to help her with her schoolwork, they have delicious meals. Until Aurora starts putting two-and-two together and starts figuring out the truth of her world.

I really wanted to like this book. And on some level, I did. It was fast paced, I read it over the course of two days I think. There was a lot of action, sword fights, monster creatures, etc.

But overall, I was kind of let down by this one. Aurora seemed very bland to me. I’m not sure what it was. She just kind of accepted everything that was told to her by Prince Phillip. And, I’m sorry. If a random dude I stumbled onto out of the blue in the middle of the woods told me my whole entire life was a lie, I would most definitely not be trusting that man. Obviously, he ended up being right, but still.

Another thing that really bothered me was how convenient everything seemed to be. Aurora bumped into a stranger who happened to be Prince Phillip, who was her one true love. They, in turn, bumped into the only man who knew anything about the Outside, because he had been banished. That man turned out to be Prince Phillip’s father. There were just a lot of little things like that, that kind of bugged me.

I ended up somewhat enjoying this one, so I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series, but the next one is a Beauty and the Beast retelling which is one of my favorites. So who knows.

Have you read this series before? What are some of your other favorite retellings? Let me know in the comments!


3 thoughts on “REVIEW : Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell

  1. Oh wow, this is so cool! Obviously the book could be better from your review, but I didn’t know of this series before, and I like what you’ve said about the retellings here.


    1. Oh, it was SUCH a cool idea! I am all about flipped fairy tales where the good guys are the bad guys. I still might read the Beauty and the Beast retelling Liz Braswell wrote. Maybe that one will hook me more.


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