never ever make a deal with the shadow man!

Disney Chills: Fiends on the Other Side (Book 2) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange 

Disney, children’s literature, villains, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Jamal always felt like a shadow, more like in his brother’s shadow. He felt very invisible. One day he receives stuff from his grandma which was just a skull necklace. A man appears and introduces himself as Dr. Facilier. Dr. Facilier wants the necklace but Jamal doesn’t want to trade that but he was willing to trade another item. Little does Jamal know that he must never make deals with the shadow man. 

This was exceptionally different and very dark for a children’s book. Like the other one there were a lot of dark themes but not too dark. I wasn’t expecting the author to continue with the same level of horror as the other one but with this one. I loved that there was a reference to the movie. The other book also has references to the movie but it was more evident in this one than the other. Altogether I enjoyed this and can’t wait to find more.

very spooky…

Disney Chills: Part of Your World (Book 1) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange 

Children’s literature, Disney, villains, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Shelly wants to be popular for once and be a faster swimmer. Unfortunately when her parents split she had to go to a new school and join a new swim team. Just wanting to fit in and not be called ‘fish girl’. Her wish is to swim faster so that she can prove to her peers that she can be popular. Shelly finds a nautilus that takes her to this lair where an entity shows itself. Ursula, the sea witch, proposes a deal with Shelly. Shelly could become the fastest swimmer if she signs the contract and allows Ursula to call in a favor at any time. After twenty-four hours of contemplation, Shelly signs the deal. Unaware of the ramifications of her wish and the favor. It is too late to back out now… 

One of my favorite Disney Villains is Ursula. She is clever and very smart with her deals as well as executing her plans. In this book, she knows what she wants and knows what Shelly wants. The deal that was made was ultimately evil and brilliant. Not only that but to make deals with Ursula one has to be hyper-specific in which Shelly wasn’t. The writing of this novel was so immersive and vivid. This novel is perfect for young readers who want to read a spooky story and are Disney fans. This is also great for all ages really but the demographic for this was geared towards children. I believe this book can be found at local Targets in the children’s section or the Halloween part of the book section. There are more books in the series that have different Disney villains incorporated.

to Hell and back

Reflection – Elizabeth Lim

Disney, Mulan, underworld, war, young adult, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Ping, Mulan disguised as a man, tried to save Shang and their army from the attack from Shen-Yu, goes wrong. Shang gets slashed and Shang tells Ping to leave him behind. Ping doesn’t want to follow orders and brings him along. Slowly taking care of him. Shang’s father comes to visit her to tell her to go rescue Shang because his time on Earth isn’t done. Shang is needed to save all of China. Mulan must go to Diyu to find Shang’s soul and bring him back alive. Throughout the journey, both were tested by the obstacles they face. Mulan reveals her true form to Shang and at first when all feels bleak, she gets left behind but Shang comes back to rescue her. Shang tells Mulan that they’re in this together. They must make their way out together[KS1]  and save China.

My best friend’s aunt saw this on the shelf of a Target and recommended me to read this to see if its worth reading. After binge reading through the book, I was relieved of the ending. I love how the author kept some dialogue from the movie in and the elements of the movie within the book along with Chinese mythology. I wish that this was in the actual movie, but this version was a bit dark and wouldn’t be suitable for children. I am nearly tempted in rereading this one because the narrative flows satisfactorily. I wish the novel was longer, but this was just enough for me. After reading this I watched the movie and found myself wanting to reread the book but maybe in the future I can do a movie to book comparison. I do recommend this one but not to read to children though. There are unsettling elements that might give children nightmares but mature enough for young adults and above to read.


returning to land

Part of Your World – Liz Braswell

Disney, The Little Mermaid, witches, mermaids, retelling, mystery, young adult, fiction.

Rating 9.5/10

Five years gone since Ariel lost against Ursula. Both her voice and her father, King Triton, are in possession of Ursula due to the contact that Ariel had signed that allowed her three days to be on land but the catch was for that Prince Eric would have to kiss her before the sun sets on the third day and the payment for Ursula’s service was Ariel’s voice. When Ariel returned to the Sea, expecting to be punished, her sisters allowed her to be Queen of the Ocean. Her trusty sidekicks and confidants, Sebastian and Flounder, help Ariel speak to the people of Atlantica. When Ariel receives some news of a bird wanting to speak to Ariel, she investigates this. She finds out that after all this time, her father is in fact alive after all. Ariel must use whatever materials she has to try to save him and get her voice back.

I had put a hold on this book as well as the few others of these twisted tales because I wanted to see how this author really can use these Disney stories and add the twists to them. My thoughts on this book is that I felt that the author did a good job with this one as well as the other two I’ve read so far. I can’t wait to possible find more by this author or just the twisted tale series. I loved this book and this one is my second favorite. The first being Straight On Till Morning. The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite Disney stories and reading this twisted tale was enlightening and gave me thoughts about how if it went that way, would there be more movies, or a television stemmed from this concept? Either way I appreciate and love this novel a lot.

unsuspecting villains

As Old as Time – Liz Braswell

Disney, Beauty and the Beast, magic, mystery, retelling, Young adult, fiction.

Ratings 8/10

Maurice, father of Belle, has a story of how he came to meet Belle’s mother who was the Enchantress. They fled this one kingdom to protect their baby girl. The Enchantress has found out that the previous king and queen died, and she goes to see if their son is better than his parents. Disguised and ready to test the young prince, the Enchantress casts a spell so that her family doesn’t remember her and that she can flee without putting them in danger. The Enchantress tests the young boy and finds out he is just as despicable as his parents, casts a spell on him that he has until his twenty-first birthday to find someone who can love him as the monster he is or face an eternity stuck as a beast. Continuing the story through Belle’s narrative, she has come across this castle and strikes a deal with the Beast so that her father can be free, and she would be the prisoner of the Beast. Belle finds the rose and touches it, a flood of a memory surges through her. She remembers who her mother was as well as that she is alive. Belle and the Beast work together to figure this mystery out and how to break the curse of the Beast.

This dark retelling of the classic with the twist made me question a lot. At first, I was disappointed until I read the final third of the book. I was surprised by the dark turn it took but made sense with the plot. I was intrigued by the whole line of Disney’s Twisted Tales and one of my close friend’s family member wanted to know if they were any good and I thought this one would be a good one to start to read. I don’t regret picking this book up at all. However, I do not recommend to read these tales for anyone who is under the age of twelve years old. There is some adult situations that the little ones wouldn’t handle some of the scenes and descriptions. Overall, a great story and I would want to read more of these retellings.

never make a deal with a pirate

Straight on Till Morning – Liz Braswell

Disney, Peter Pan, retelling, lost boys, young adult, fiction.

Rating 12/10

Wendy has found Peter Pan’s shadow and decided to keep it for safety reasons. Four years later, she finds out that her parents found her notebook containing all the stories of Peter Pan. They decide to plan to send her off to Ireland to rethink her crazy ideas. Not wanting this ending, she decides to run away and make a deal. She contacts Captain hook, the archnemesis of Peter Pan. In exchange of Pan’s shadow, Hook would give Wendy a safe passage to Neverland. To much her horror, she should’ve made a specific and indepth deal with Hook. A stroke of luck, she finds herself an exit from the nefarious pirates and made it to shore of Neverland. While she is traversing on the island, she comes across Tinkerbell. She confesses to Tink that she made a horrible mistake and vows to rectify the wrong. Both her and Tinkerbell will have to work together to save not only Peter Pan, but Neverland as well.

I’m unsure of how to start to write this at all because this book was beyond what I expected it to be. When I saw it on the Young Adult self at Barnes & Nobles, beckoning me to open and read, I knew I absolutely had to read this novel. This insane retelling of Peter Pan really affected me on a deep level. The whole idea of Wendy going to Neverland with pirates might sound weird, but Braswell really made this work. I found myself getting lost in this book on all hours of the night because I didn’t want to put the book down. I do recommend this novel for sure. Reading this was so fun and very enjoyable as a novel should be as well as do.

Teens Return to Save Disney AGAIN!

Kingdom Keepers 2: Disney at Dawn – Ridley Pearson

Disney, Disney World, children, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Just as Finn and the other teens thought that after rescuing Disney World and the saved the world, they can relax a little. When Chernabog/Lucifer doesn’t appear on the celebration float. The park attendant, Wayne, tells them the evil returned into a new form. This brings on panic and the five teenagers urge to fight the evil from overtaking the park and the world. Everything is at stake, once again.

As I had finished the first book, I immediately began this sequel to the novel and fell more in love with the idea of teenagers fighting Disney villains and saving the world from evil. I simply couldn’t stop reading this novel and eventually finished the novel in no time. I do recommend the first book of this series and this one as well.

Teens Saving Disney

Kingdom Keepers 1: Disney After Dark – Ridley Pearson

Disney, Disney World, children, fiction.

Rating 10/10

There is a darkness that threatens both the Disney World park and the world. An old park attendant, Wayne, warns Finn of this news and warns him to gather the other teenagers in this fight. At first, Finn thought that the encounter was false and only a dream, but the truth revealed and Finn wants to act immediately. Finn gathers four other teenagers must use certain technology to go up against Disney Villains as well as witches. This is all good versus evil to save the park and the world. Finn and the other teenagers must save the world.

I had grabbed this children’s novel while at California Adventure because the idea of being trapped at a theme park battling Disney Villains had deeply intrigued me. I did not care that this novel was short or meant for a younger (children) audience. I enjoyed reading this so much that I couldn’t put the book down. Later I found out this was a continuing series and I intend on reading the rest soon. I recommend this novel for sure for anyone young at heart and are a Disney fanatic.