DNF: Once Upon a Dream (A Twisted Tale #2) (Liz Braswell)

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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?


I hate to DNF books, and it’s something I very rarely do. And honestly, I did try, but ultimately I just couldn’t put myself through the rest of this story. I had a huge problem with the first book of the series, the spin on the Aladdin story, but because that story had a little more action, I felt it was more bearable.

Once again I had a big problem with the writing of this book. It has long descriptions, short and nonsensical dialogue and it sometimes tries to hard, and other times it’s just too much “in your face”. It did nothing for me.

My other huge, ginormous problem was Aurora… I’m not a fan of Sleeping Beauty, but this girl… OMG!!! I understand that her pleasant personality is a condition of her situation, but this girl can’t count, likes to be ordered around, and her favorite thing is to sleep or watch the dust…. I mean, seriously?!

“Actions are tiring. She mostly found it better to lie on her bed and think about actions. Just the thought of getting up these days seemed exhausting and unreasonable.”

This was slow and frustrating and nothing was actually happening. But I convinced myself to wait a bit, see if things got interesting when she and Phillip met, and then there was this pearl:

“Maybe… Maybe let’s get back to the part where we were in love.”

“I met you in a clearing deep in the wood,” Phillip said eagerly. “We fell in love. Instantly.”

“That sounds nice.”

I can’t, sorry, just no. I love Disney, I really do, but these twisted tales are not for me at all. Some things might work on the animated movies, but for me they don’t work on the page.

So, sadly, I DNFed this book at 32%. Did you read this book? What did you thought of it? 

Movie of the Week: Maleficent

After putting it off due to lack of time (mostly), I finally managed to go and watch Maleficent, when my 11 years old niece expressed her desire to see the movie as well. I was a little afraid, given that most of the reviews I read online were not so positive… but I have to be honest: I liked it!

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There’s not doubt that Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is reason enough to get into that movie theatre! Her portrayal of the “Evil Queen” is magnetic. The special effects are pretty awesome as well, the Moors look great, Diaval’s changes are amazing and anything related to magic looks good… I only disliked the 3 little fairies, when they were little… they looked weird.

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I thought the casting was great. Angelina Jolie, as I said, is magnetic, Sam Riley as Diaval was probably my personal favourite though… I LOVED Diaval! Elle Fanning as Aurora… well… she played her well, and it was clear that they went for “a real 16 y.o. girl”, but I don’t see her as Aurora.

About all the changes to the story… I did not mind them. It works if you don’t relate the fairy tale animated movie and this one too much. SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Sure, when we were kids we were lead to believe that Maleficent was the epitome of a Disney Villain, doing all those bad things just because she could and that no real reason was behind it. This movie tells a different story, a different Maleficent, who fell in trust and in love with a human, and was betrayed in his search for power. It tells a story about a scorned woman who proclaims herself Queen and vows to destroy her enemy’s life by cursing his daughter. It shows how she becomes attached to the girl, caring for her since the moment she leaves the castle, and how Aurora loves and trusts her too. It also shows what obsession and greed can do to a person, destroying Aurora’s father, and once Maleficent’s love.

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All in all, a very entertaining movie. If I would change anything, it would be the intended target audience. It’s clear that this is a more “adult” movie than those that usually come out of Disney, the problem is, the adults remember a very different story, and have been living with it for a very long time… so, it’s probably hard to really get into this plot (which is not bad at all), knowing how it contradicts everything we thought we knew…

Just a little comment about how cute the baby and child Aurora were… the baby totally stole all the scenes, and the child, played by Angelina’s own daughter, was just so darn cute!