Once Upon a Dream- a Twisted Tale, by Liz Braswell, is a retake of Sleeping Beauty. It is part of a series, with the Disney branding, which takes a look at how the story might have gone if a key point went wrong. The first title in the series, a Whole New World, follow the political upheaval when Jafar gets the lamp, not Aladdin. Once Upon a Dream is the second book, and it asks ‘what if sleeping beauty didn’t wake up when she was kissed by the prince- what if he was sucked into her dream and they had to escape together?’
The font size and short chapters (sometimes only a few pages long) make me suspect that the target audience is probably the younger reader (maybe tweens?), but after the first few chapters it was enthralling enough that I didn’t care. There was also some psychological aspects which were quiet complex and mature- as Aurora Rose travelled deeper into her dream world, she was delving deeper into her own mind. I found myself a bit surprised at the depth that was put into this ‘fairy tale’- this could have just been a fun, interesting,magical adventure, but the exploration of Aurora inner workings was a great addition. I found myself internally feeling ‘yes- that’s how it is meant to be’ at several points.
I love Disney, and unlike some sequels and spin offs, this book was not a disappointment. I actually felt really disappointed that it is not me who gets to write this series- because the mix of fantasy and psychological it so me! If there are any Disney staff out there reading this- pick me next time! 😛