Review Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell

7:00 AM

I do so love a good retelling, especially when it's about some of my favorite things from my childhood! I've already read and liked Liz Braswell's first Disney reimagining with A WHOLE NEW WORLD. Now that she's taken on one of my most favorite Disney stories, Sleeping Beauty, let's see how this one did. Read below to see if ONCE UPON A DREAM made it to the top of the Addiction Scale! Highlight the blacked out areas to see the spoilers.

Once Upon a Dream (Twisted Tales #2)

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dreammarks 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?

Oh Liz Braswell......ONCE UPON A TIME.
What can I say? How about we go with a list?

  1. The cover! I mean WOW, how perfect :D
  2. The absolutely creative way this classic Disney tale was twisted around to become a fresh, wonderful and dark what if tale. SPOILER: It's all a dream!
  3. Prince Phillip. Between him, Eric and Adam I'm always torn on whose my fav, but 90% of the time it's Phillip. Just as it was here. I loved him, don't care what others may say, he's adorable and a great balance to Aurora. He's a total dragon slayer but he also kinda has that boy next door feel which I found really appealing.
  4. The world building! Just loved it. Wonderfully dark, unique and so easy to believe in


  1. Aurora. Gone is the beloved (passive but dreamer) princess from the classic movie, but that was okay for ONCE UPON A TIME. Given that she was trapped in a dream that manipulated her into a spoiled selfish princess I can forgive the total contradiction to my 2nd fav princess. It made her ending that much more powerful and fulfilling as a reader.
  2. Maleficent. I liked her, and the way she played the "friend" who was really betraying her the whole time. For such a badass villain I felt she felt flat/predictable at places where she could have really taken on a life of her own. But overall not a bad portrayal. Def not my fav but...
  3. The pacing. It was good for most of the book, but there were definitely parts lagging behind.


  1. ALL THE SHOUTINESS. Yes, I did say I could forgive some of it on Aurora's part because of how she was manipulated. This is where I feel the editor failed. I mean come on! You could have cut 70% of the shouty caps and this book would have been so much better for it.
  2. The lack of medieval feeling to the overall book. It didn't feel as authentic as it should have for me.
  3. The predictability. I wanted more surprising plot twists outside the ending and Aurora finding herself to become this truly great heroine at the end of the book. You did so well with everything else that it made this aspect a bit  disappointing. 

Overall I liked this one a great deal. Do I love it as much as other Sleeping Beauty Do I like it more than the classic movie...NO.
I will totally give Liz props for ONCE UPON A DREAM being such a creative, unique twist on the classic.
**Steps on soap box***I also want to mention one more thing. Aurora gave of the impression of having to suffer with depression for a large part of this book. It wasn't ever actually acknowledged or mentioned so maybe I'm just reading too much into it. But if you're going to go there, then go there. No half measures. I think if Aurora truly was fighting depression, and that was Liz's intent, she could have had Aurora deal with it in a more acknowledged manor. Depression is a problem many teens suffer with and this could have made quite the statement.
And I'm off my soap box.
I'd totally recommend this book to Disney and YA fans, but with the warning to give Aurora a little bit of wiggle room for how she acts for the first half of the book.

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