Ogre Enchanted

Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #0.5)


Title: Ogre Enchanted

Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 16th, 2018

Ogre Enchanted is a prequel to Ella Enchanted, written two decades later. Lucinda the fairy, in her terrible judgement (as always), turns Evie, a young healer, into an ogre after turning down a marriage proposal from her best friend, Wormy. Evie only has 62 days to accept a marriage proposal and undo Lucinda’s curse – but will someone fall in love with her in ogre form?

Join Evie as she embarks on a quest to save herself from a terrible fate, experiencing friendship, heartache, and self-discovery along the way. Journey back into this beloved world created by Gail Carson Levine that has all the magic and charm of Ella Enchanted.

I enjoyed this new book by Gail Carson Levine, though I found the beginning to be a little on the slow side. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the rest of her books!

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Once Upon A Dream

Title: Once Upon A Dream: A Twisted Tale
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales, 2
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: April 5th, 2016

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up?

Similar to the Villains series I reviewed earlier this year, this series takes beloved stories from classic Disney movies and twists them into something new and unexpected. This book tells the story of Aurora. As the tagline suggests, the twist of this tale is that true love’s kiss did not wake the sleeping beauty. Instead, she remains trapped inside her own dream world – along with her prince.

At first, Aurora has no idea that she is living in a dream world, but instead believes that her aunt Maleficent – now ruling as queen – saved the kingdom from the destruction caused by her careless parents. But when she accidentally stumbles upon Maleficent mid-spell to keep her spirit alive in Aurora’s dreams, she realizes the terrible truth. It is up to her to save herself from the sleeping curse, and she must find a way to do it before everyone runs out of time.

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A Whole New World


Title: A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales, 1
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 1st, 2015

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp?

This is the first of a new series I will be reviewing, Twisted Tales! Similar to the Villains series I reviewed earlier this year, this series takes beloved stories from classic Disney movies and, yes, twists them into something new and unexpected. This book tells the story of Aladdin. For the first 80 pages, you are reading the story you saw in the movie – up till the point of the lamp’s new master. In this version, Jafar – not Aladdin – becomes the master of the genie. And it’s as bad as you can imagine.

No help escaping the Cave of Wonders, no magic wish to transform into Prince Ali and win the heart of Princess Jasmine – not this time. Aladdin has to do it all without the help of the genie, but with the help of his friends, the Street Rats, and also Jasmine, the princess who is full of surprises. Together, they must take down Jafar and put an end to the terrors he has wrought as the Sultan of Agrabah – while there is still an Agrabah to save.

A Whole New World is one of the better retellings I have read, providing the reader with fun twists while keeping the integrity of the classic tale. This is a must-read for Disney fanatics like myself!

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Tower of Dawn

Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, book 6
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 5th, 2017

Note: This post reviews the sixth book of the Throne of Glass series. You may like to read the first five books in the series, Throne of Glass, Crown of MidnightHeir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, and Empire of Storms before reading this review.

This sixth installment in the Throne of Glass series follows not Aelin, but Chaol Westfall in a journey of his own. After narrowly escaping with his life in the devastating finale of Empire of Storms, Chaol – no longer Captain of the Royal Guard but Hand to the newly crowned King Dorian – travels with Nesryn Faliq – newly appointed Captain of the Royal Guard – to the Southern Continent to the city of Antica, in hopes of gaining aid from the Great Khagan for the war in Erilea. But that is just part of their quest.

Chaol is hopeful of finding someone in the prestigious Torre Cesme who can heal the paralysis in his legs, a result of the wounds he suffered. But the most skilled healer, Yrene Towers, may prove difficult to convince. Having suffered at the hands of Adarlan, she wants nothing to do with this young Hand to the King, even though she has taken an oath to help those in need. Will Chaol find a way to help himself, and the people he cares for in Erilea?

This book was a bit slow for me, and I didn’t get sucked in the way I did with Aelin’s story.

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Happily

Title: Happily
Author: Chauncey Rogers
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, MG, YA
Publisher: self published
Release Date: April 3rd, 2018

No fairy godmother. No magic pumpkin.
Just one grumpy girl and a glass slipper.

Note: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you are a book reviewer, feel free to request a copy of your own in the comments below in exchange for a review. 

Let me begin by saying that I have read my fair share of fairytale retellings, and the timeless tale of Cinderella is no exception. I can honestly say that I have never come across one quite like this. Happily is narrated in modern-day language by the heroine of this story – and it is not Cinderella, as you might have expected, but Laure – a rough-around-the-edges girl who lives on the streets and steals to get by.

When a royal decree announces that the crown prince will marry whichever girl can fit a mysterious glass slipper, Laure sees it as her chance to make something of her lowly life. Even though she thinks the entire royal family is ridiculous and pompous, she decides to do whatever it takes to make that glass slipper fit. She embarks on her quest and teams up with Luc, a boy from her city who becomes an unexpected ally. Their quest takes them to another kingdom and back again, with no small amount of struggle and danger along the way. Though they were bent on disliking each other from the beginning, they reluctantly begin to form a friendship, possibly even something more. Will Laure make a decision to follow her head, or ultimately follow her heart, no matter the risk? And what about Cinderella anyway?

This was fun spin-off of a classic, well-loved tale. I would recommend Happily to YA fans of fairytale retellings (such as myself). Just be ready for a quirkier version than what you have seen before, with sass to spare.

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Poor Unfortunate Soul

 

Title: Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch 
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 3/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: July 26th, 2016

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows Ursula, while the book cover itself shows her as Vanessa. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me.

Additional note: This post reviews the third book of the Villains series. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Fairest of All and The Beast Within, before reading this book. However, these books can be read as stand-alone stories. 

Maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough, but it seems like good retellings of The Little Mermaid are hard to come by. I was pleasantly surprised by this story in the Villains series. This Little Mermaid retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of the Sea Witch and understand her motives a little better. Like the Evil Queen in the first book of this series, you may not like her any more than you did before, but you may never be able to look at her in quite the same way again.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale villain retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

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The Beast Within

 

Title: The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince 
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 2/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows the Beast, while the book cover itself shows him as the selfish prince. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me. 

Additional note: This post reviews the second book of the Villains series. You may like to read the first book in the series, Fairest of All, before reading this book. However, these books can be read as stand-alone stories. 

With all the Beauty and the Beast retellings out there (and there have been a lot), I can confidently state that I haven’t come across one quite like this. The reason being? This one is all about the Beast. This Beauty and the Beast retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of Beauty’s Prince. What was Prince Adam, and the servants of his household, really like before the curse? Brace yourself for a twist on this beloved fairytale that is nothing like the classic. As long as you can accept that – and the fact that Adam and Gaston are friends in this version – this book might win you over.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

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Fairest of All

 

Title: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 1/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: August 18th, 2009

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows the Evil Queen, while the book cover itself shows her as the evil hag. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me. 

How did the Evil Queen become the Evil Queen? What did the King see in her that Snow White did not? Was he merely fooled by her fair face? Did she always hate the young princess and wish her dead? Or is there more to this classic tale we all thought we knew so well? This Snow White retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of the Wicked Queen. You may not like her any more than you did before, but you may never be able to look at her in quite the same way again.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale villain retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

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Crimson Bound

Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe 2/2

Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 5th, 2015

Since she was fifteen, Rachelle was marked as one of the bloodbound – tied to the forest and the evil that infests it – and forced to live in servitude for the past three years. But even though she has been turned into a monster, she wants nothing more than to destroy the Devourer – a legend, supposedly – and prevent an eternal darkness from settling over her world for the rest of time.

Rachelle finds an unlikely ally in the prince of her realm, Armand – the last person she ever thought would help her. Together, they seek a lost sword that might be the only thing with the power to defeat the Devourer and save their world. But defeating the evil of the forest means making one sacrifice after another – sacrifices of both the heart and the flesh.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

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