Book Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

Title: A Whole New World
Series: Disney’s Twisted Tales Author: Liz Braswell
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Books
Release Date: September 1, 2015 Format: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★★

Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.


I’ve read some pretty unflattering reviews of this book. All I can say is, I don’t think they were reading the same book I was. I’m not even kidding. Many of the things people complained about didn’t seem to even be a part of the book.

Yes, the beginning of the book gives a recap of events at the beginning of Aladdin. It is not word-for-word as some have claimed and things were added to the story as well. When the story does branch away, which is well before most reviewers claimed it did, it immediately and completely changes. For the better, in my opinion.

Honestly, if Aladdin had gone like A Whole New World, I think it would be one of my favorite movies, even more than it already is. The action scenes are awesome. The feeling of pity for Street Rats, hatred for Jafar, and heartbreak at certain events make this a must read book. Five stars for this magnificent what-if version of Aladdin.

Book Review: Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell

Title: Once Upon a Dream
Series: Disney’s Twisted Tales Author: Liz Braswell
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Books
Release Date: April 05, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 440
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★☆

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dream marks 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’, 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?


If you’re familiar with Sleeping Beauty, then you already know what Once Upon a Dream is going to be about. But trust me, this isn’t your Mom or Grandma’s Sleeping Beauty.

Liz Braswell has woven a tale that asks what if it required more than just true love’s kiss to break the curse on Aurora? What if Maleficent had to be defeated before the curse could be broken?

The world building in this story is top-notch. I didn’t even realize what was actually going on until a good way into the story. In fact, I didn’t figure out what was happening until just before Aurora figured it out.

Fans of Sleeping Beauty who crave a stronger princess will love this book. While I didn’t enjoy Once Upon a Dream as much as I did As Old As Time, this book still gets a solid 4 stars for awesome character use and building of the world.

Book Review: As Old As Time by Liz Braswell

Title: As Old As Time
Series: Disney’s Twisted Tales
Author: Liz Braswell
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Books
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 484
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★★

What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast?

Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father’s reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle’s mother returns—a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern.

But Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, intriguing images flood her mind—images of the mother she believed she would never see again. Stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle, and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast must work together to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is twenty-one years in the making.


Who doesn’t love the tale of Beauty & The Beast? Well, except for a few people who seem to be hell-bent on dragging Disney’s version of the classic tale through the mud, claiming Belle has Stockholm Syndrom (which is actually addressed in this book). But have you ever wondered who the Enchantress was? Why she was so worried about this particular prince? Well, As Old As Time might just give you the “canon” answers you want.

As Old As Time explores the possibility of what would have happened had the Enchantress been Belle’s mother. I know, in the live action version of Beauty & The Beast, we are told that Belle’s mother died of Plague. But honestly, I like this idea much better.

Liz Braswell has done an amazing job of bringing the characters to life – including the ones that she created such as Alaric, Frederic, and Rosalind. She’s given a superb backstory to to the classic tale – even if this version doesn’t end quite like you might be expecting.

This is a 5 star read and if you’re a fan of Beauty & The Beast, you really need to read this.