Review: Reading My Way Through Disney
Who else looks at their Netgalley/Storygraph and is haunted by reviews left unwritten? Not just me? Oh, good. It’s no secret that I am a huge Disnerd and it is no surprise to you all that I frequently read my way through Disney (and Star Wars and Marvel and and and). So here I am to recommend some of my fav recent (how recent…well) and the upcoming Disney titles I can’t wait to read!
Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari
This title is a few years old now but it is a favorite. It is Disney adjacent in the way that it is published by Disney and is Disney themed but is NOT a direct Disney canon novel (like, a Princess story). Some of you may be familiar with the Star Wars Starcruiser, a recent failed venture where guests are participants in a Star Wars story set in a hotel…ahem, ship…called the Starcruiser. Happily Ever Island is like if Storybook Canals came to life and participants could live their best princess lives. And by princess I mean their stories – which include side characters and villains. Sounds pretty cool, right? Except like, Cinderella and Snow White did not exactly have the best times with their stepmothers (shout out to Julie Murphy for writing a cool alt to Cindy’s story where Lady Tremaine is not an entire monster). So YAY you can go lose your shoe at midnight and meet the love of your life (for pretend) but first, you have to live with the abuse from your stepsisters and stepmother and clean a bunch of stuff and maybe even take that cold shower with the birds? Suddenly that sounds a whole lot less fun. I love what Crystal did, exploring the real world vibes of living as a Disney princess. Let this be a warning to Disney…Between this story and the Starcruiser…maybe people are best left to experience the magic in the parks and not directly as participants.
Prince of Song and Sea by Linsey Miller
It’s high time we get some prince stories and I love that Disney chose ONE author to write them all. First up is the story of Prince Eric, who we really don’t know much about. What’s the deal with his family? How much do we really know about any of the princes? This story is not another retelling of The Little Mermaid but a unique exploration of Eric and how his family intersected with Ursula before the events of the movie. I don’t know that I ever thought about why Eric doesn’t have a mother or events involving Ursula prior to the 1989 classic but I was invested in knowing more as the story went on.
I was really excited about the second book in the series, which is focused on Prince Philip. Unfortunately, it is fae related (why I didn’t think about this beforehand…Sleeping Beauty is one of my fav movies and the thought that it might be about FAE, considering Maleficent is a fairy, never crossed my mind. I am humbled by my own lack of awareness all the time) so it wasn’t a fit for me.
Part of Your World: A Twisted Tale Graphic Novel by Liz Braswell, adapted by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Yes, more Ariel. Blame dating a huge Ariel fan (who gifted this to me and also buddy-read the book above with me). It’s nice to see the Twisted Tales, a series dedicated to alternative versions of classic Disney stories (think Marvel What If), get graphic novel editions. In this twisted tale, Ariel/the community doesn’t defeat Ursula. That means Ariel never gets her voice back. She ends up back in the sea sans legs. King Triton is one of those things Ursula keeps. Ariel is forced to lead a kingdom she didn’t ask for. And her prince? Well, you know where this is going. I enjoyed this art and the this alternative tale. I have not read the book version of this story so I can’t speak to how faithful of an adaptation it is but I don’t feel like pieces of the story were missing. I especially love Ariel’s outfits. NGL I totally want to Disneybound or do a race costume in this Ariel outfit (talk about a deep cut).
Check out some of the upcoming titles I can’t wait for!
- Fate Be Changed: A Twisted Tale by Farrah Rochon: As the title implies, this is an alternative Merida story where a different spell impacts Merida. I am interested in this story because I did not fall in love with Merida until Maggie Stiefvater wrote a follow up to the movie which gave Merida more story.
- Promchanted by Morgan Matson: Modern day Sleeping Beauty? I have asked for this for years and I can’t wait!
- Tangled Up in You by Christian Lauren: Punzie by fan favs Christina Lauren? Be still, my heart.