Once Upon a Dream (Twisted Tale Series #2)

Once Upon a Dream (Twisted Tale Series #2)

3.7 3
by 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 princess in a castle, a prince poised to wake her. But when the prince falls asleep as his lips touch the fair maiden's, it is


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 princess in a castle, a prince poised to wake her. But when the prince falls asleep as his lips touch the fair maiden's, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.

With a desperate fairy's last curse controlling her mind, Princess Aurora must escape from a different castle of thorns and navigate a dangerously magical landscape—created from her very own dreams. Aurora isn't alone—a charming prince is eager to join her quest, and old friends offer their help. But as Maleficent's agents follow 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?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA, April 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 1) - Lisa Martincik
Prince Phillip kills the dragon, kisses the sleeping princess, and . . . falls asleep? Princess Aurora has relived her life in a dream world wherein her parents are the villains, the lands outside the castle are certain death, and the fairy Maleficent has saved what is left of the kingdom. Something is wrong, and fixing the problem will require help and a journey of self-discovery as much as a journey outside the walls. Braswell’s second foray into the Twisted Tales series, this time tackling Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, fares better than A Whole New World (Disney, 2015/Voya October 2015). The nonlinear storytelling may initially be a little hard to follow, but it only mirrors the confusion felt by Aurora Rose as she slowly realizes that her lives—both of them—have been a lie. Raised in the real world thinking her parents dead, then raised in the dream world thinking them evil, even a fairy-gifted princess is understandably shaken and even depressed. Luckily, in her dream she meets the wandering Prince Phillip, who in this iteration has an actual personality and a rather adorable one at that. Their partnership provides good opportunity to examine the ideal of love at first sight and the expectations of society. Maleficent and even the fairy godmothers get beefier roles. Once the new premise sinks in, the story risks becoming predictable, but Braswell injects just enough introspection and snark to carry through to a satisfying (if not entirely happy) ending. Reviewer: Lisa Martincik; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—What if Sleeping Beauty never woke up? This work asks readers to rethink the classic Disney version. Prince Phillip throws his sword at the dragon version of Maleficent, but when he approaches the sleeping Princess Aurora and kisses her lips, he, too, succumbs to the sleeping curse. Meanwhile, Aurora is alive and living a normal life, or so she believes. Maleficent rescues the kingdom and princess from her neglectful parents, taking the crown for herself. When Aurora overhears a confession of truth from Maleficent, her world begins to crumble. She has been asleep this entire time. The world she thought was real has been a construct of her dreams. Her escape from the evil fairy's grasp leads her to Prince Phillip, who, in her dream world, becomes one of her few allies in her attempt to finally defeat Maleficent. The princess is the ultimate hero of her own fate. She is a strong, intelligent young woman who struggles to find and trust her own skills. Switching between the real and the dream worlds may confuse readers at first, but those who stick with the jumping narration will be rewarded with a fun, fast-paced adventure. Readers' possible confusion mimics Aurora's own grappling with reality vs. her dreams. Aurora finds her voice and becomes the queen she was born to be. VERDICT For fans of the original story who are ready to see a self-reliant, take-charge princess emerge.—Carrie Fox, South Park High School, PA
Kirkus Reviews
What if Disney's Sleeping Beauty never woke up? Princess Aurora endures endless days of useless boredom in the surreal, post-apocalyptic confines of Thorn Castle, whose shellshocked inhabitants survive only due to gracious Queen Maleficent's powers. Slowly the princess realizes that she is trapped within her own dreams, an alternate reality horribly twisted by the evil fairy after her dragon form wasn't completely slain. Familiar characters from the film (and some intriguing new ones) help Aurora in her struggles to awaken and save her kingdom, but her greatest enemy is her own overwhelming despair. Greatly improving upon A Whole New World (2015), the first in the Disney-authorized series, this story starts after the movie's end, fleshing out its tissue-thin archetypes into likable (if fallible) personalities: the fairies become more otherworldly, the villain more magnificently evil, and the prince downright endearing in his unflagging cheerfulness and dogged devotion. Since nearly the entire narrative occurs in Aurora's subconscious, her character is the most deeply explored—in a daringly faithful depiction of chronic depression, with all the loneliness, listlessness, and self-loathing that entails. Hundreds of pages of Aurora's pain and passive futility may be even harder to read than the brief, grisly interludes of Maleficent's viciousness, but the dreary slog is redeemed once the princess finally reclaims the intelligence, courage, and compassion that are her true birthright. A surprising and clever twist on a beloved tale. (Fantasy. 13-18)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Twisted Tale Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

After the sort of introverted childhood you would expect from a writer, Liz earned a degree in Egyptology at Brown University and then promptly spent the next ten years producing video games. Finally she caved into fate and wrote Snow and Rx under the name Tracy Lynn, followed by The Nine Lives of Chloe King series under her real name, because by then the assassins hunting her were all dead. She also wrote A Whole New World, the first book in the new A Twisted Tale series. She lives in Brooklyn with a husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish and five coffee trees she insists will start producing beans any day. You can email her at me@lizbraswell.com or tweet @LizBraswell.

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Once Upon a Dream (Twisted Tale Series #2) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Reading_With_Cupcakes 11 months ago
A retelling of a fairy tale! A retelling of a fairy tale! If you follow my reviews, you already know that I love fairy tale retellings. Love, love, love them! So of course I was super excited to get my hands on Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell. A retelling of the ever popular Sleeping Beauty story. However, as retellings usually go, this is not the story as you know it. But instead of Aurora waking up when the prince kisses her, he falls fast asleep too! Then all of a sudden we are with the princess again in the castle. Maleficent is ruling. The world outside the castle is dangerous and everyone in the castle is trapped inside for their own safety. The king and queen have been locked down in the dungeon and Princess Aurora is treated kindly. Then weird things start to happen and Aurora starts to get confused. And the story really starts happening. So much fun! First, just let me say that Once Upon a Dream was actually a lot darker than I thought it would be. I thought it was going to be pretty light hearted, but it wasn't. It got deep. It got dark. Sometimes it got a little ugly. I am not disappointed in this at all, I was just surprised. As far as the characters went. I thought they were okay. I would have liked a little bit more development in them. There were quite a few places that I felt they went a little flat. But for the most part, I think the main characters were done okay. They each had their little moments. I thought the premise of the over all story line was actually pretty clever and I really enjoyed this spin on the original story. That being said though, there wasn't much to keep me going when I was reading. I kept putting the book down. It wasn't that the book was bad, but I just wasn't drawn in enough. I wanted a little more to it. I wanted to feel closer to the characters, I wanted some more action, a little more depth than I was given. I mainly continued reading this story because I wanted to know how Liz Braswell ended this twist. This all being said, I still plan to read other retellings that come from the mind of Liz Braswell. Once Upon a Dream showed me a really cool twist on Sleeping Beauty that I never even thought of as a possibility. My Rating 3.5 Stars This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher through Irish Banana Blog Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. Find more of my reviews here: http://readingwithcupcakes.blogspot.com/
Shanrock19 More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Dream started slow for me, but by the end I really enjoyed it! The world that Liz Braswell creates is definitely fantastical and enchanting, so it is perfect for a spin on Sleeping Beauty. The story isn't a retelling, but more of a continuance of the original Sleeping Beauty story, but instead of Prince Phillip's kiss awaking Aurora, he falls under the spell as well, so Aurora has to go on a sort of quest to save herself and the kingdom within her own dreamland. Aurora starts out as a naïve princess who doesn't look to deeply into things, but as the story progresses it is nice to see her grow into her own, and she also doesn't remember much from her awake life, so she doesn't know who to trust and what is actually the correct reality. Aurora has to go through some trials in order to save everyone, and grow into a person fit to be royalty. I enjoyed when Aurora questioned things that were in the original story, things like how quickly Prince Phillip and her fell in love, and how she really wasn't the happy, joyful angel in the woods; she's a real person with real issues, and she's not perfect. I thought Prince Phillip was great! He's everything you would expect out of a fairy tale prince. He's brave, dashing, and adorable, and definitely adds some lightness to the story. He's really sweet and understanding with Aurora, which is needed because Aurora can be a bit difficult, but through it all he remains true to her. If you enjoy the original Sleeping Beauty, I'd say definitely give this one a read! There's cool creatures, awesome battles, fun faeries, and of course kick-butt characters! And I loved how this book just added so much to the original story, and it was great to read more with these characters. It brings some rather base characters to life and gives them personality. The only thing I would have liked more was for the ending to be a bit longer. Fun, interesting read!
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
2.5 stars I was disappointed by the first book in this series, but Aurora is my favorite princess and Sleeping Beauty is my favorite story, so I was willing to try this one. Yet, I don't even know what to say about it. First off, I loved the premise. The fact that it wasn't a traditional sort of retelling was exciting. I liked the fact that it was all a dream and that Aurora needed to figure out how to wake herself up. To me, that means learning things and getting stronger and maybe magic. Sadly, it was filled with childish brattiness, odd interactions with Phillip {who was fairly adorable}, and STRANGE YELLING FOR EMPHASIS. I kept waiting for some sort of amazing spark to happen that would make me fall in love with the story, because I REALLY wanted to love it. I tried so hard to love it. Overall, it was a clever idea, but not the best execution. **Huge thanks to Disney Hyperion for the NetGalley invite to read**