Once Upon a Dream

Book Information
Rating: Cannot Recommend
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Liz Braswell
Publisher: Disney Press
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9781484707258
Pages: 440

Aurora is perfectly happy living in the castle with her aunt Maleficent away from the world her parents destroyed until slowly she starts to realize what her aunt is telling her might be the truth. When the prince doesn't come to kiss Sleeping Beauty and wake her up, Aurora has to fight her way through her dreams and nightmares to be able to wake herself up. Aurora has to learn who her real allies are and who she truly is in order to save herself from the dream world that she is cursed to be in.

While the premise was interesting, the execution had a lot to be desired. The writing style is choppy and confusing to follow at times, and the characters were often childish or strange in how they interacted with each other. The descriptions throughout the story were bland, and most of the plot is slow and boring enough to make the reader want to be in a dream themselves instead. It feels like it's trying too hard in the plot and text while not trying nearly hard enough to make the characters interesting. For example, Sleeping Beauty's hobbies only include twirling and sleeping. The tone also makes it difficult to read because at times it's trying to feel like a Disney story and the next it could be much darker. Even the most dedicated fairy tale readers and Disney fans should look elsewhere for a good Sleeping Beauty retelling.