another great disney twisted tales novel

What Once Was Mine – Liz Braswell 

Rapunzel, retelling, young adult, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Rapunzel’s mother drank a potion to save her life and it was what they thought was the sundrop flower. When Rapunzel was born she had silver hair that was proven deadly. The King and Queen had to face a decision that all new parents would fear is giving up their child or sending their child away. The Queen made it her quest to find a caregiver for Rapunzel and found Mother Gothel who promised to care for Rapunzel. Mother Gothel had other plans that led to Rapunzel being afraid of her hair’s powers. Rapunzel asked Mother Gothel if she could leave the tower to see the floating lanterns that happen every year on a specific date that correlated to her birthday and was told a firm no. She can’t have Rapunzel kill another person like what she had done to her parents long ago. She asks her mother to go get her something and when the coast is clear Rapunzel leaves the tower out of curiosity of what this strange man left behind to find a crown of some sort. Rapunzel goes on a quest to find someone to take her to the floating lights and has a prize for whomever. She finds Flynn Rider and Gina, both outlaws in trouble, and agrees to help Rapunzel. Along the way Rapunzel finds out the truth about her origin and the reality of her origin. 

I’m a huge fan of Tangled and this twisted tale was by far the best presentation of the story being twisted. Rapunzel has magical hair that destroys or rather takes the life of whoever touches it. This blew my mind because I wasn’t expecting Gina to be included into the mix. Overall I enjoyed the characters in this form too. The plot was intriguing and kept me always on my toes. What I loved a lot about this novel was the way that it felt like The Princess Bride storytelling of someone sitting down and telling this story to someone young and in need of a good story. This story was being told by a man named Brendan to his twin sister Daniella who loves Tangled a lot and often requested to rewatch the movie. I nearly cried throughout this novel as well as laughing and going ‘aw’ a lot. This was utterly sweet and I highly recommend that one go get this novel to read. I couldn’t help but to savor this novel so I finished it within a week. I didn’t want to rush reading it because of how well it was written.

Hidden Evil

Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

Contemporary women, suspense, family life, fiction

Rating 8/10

Laurel Mack loved her daughter, Ellie, who was bright and smart. Suddenly one day, she becomes missing. Laurel had the police keep an ongoing investigation to look for any evidence to see if Ellie was alive. Numerous incidences give hints to her daughter being alive and or presumed dead. The police contact Laurel and tell her that they found remains of her daughter, signs of a horrific death. This news puts Laurel into shock and depression of the worst kind. Laurel slowly moves on by dating this guy she met, Floyd, at the coffee shop. Both chat and he told her about his kids, and she tells him about her kids. When she comes over to his house, Laurel sees Poppy, who looks like her daughter who was gone. After some consideration and sudden realization, she sees the dark and ugly truth.

I grabbed this book from the shelf because I saw online that this novel was popular. I see a little why this novel was popular or is popular. Horror and suspense are always a good read but throw in some mad women and kidnapping, it’s a bestseller. Not that I hated this book, I enjoyed the novel. I personally thought the novel’s length could be longer and more in-depth with each character’s backgrounds. Yes, this was Laurel’s tale, but the author included other points of view that, at first, didn’t make sense of whom was telling the story until there was contextual clues that the perspective changed. Otherwise, this was a great book and I would recommend to anyone who is interested in the suspense fiction genre.