Mar 28, 2016

DNF ARC Review--Once Upon a Dream by LIz Braswell

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's, 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?

I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sadly, so very, very sadly, I was unable to even finish reading Liz Braswell’s Once Upon a Dream. Much like her first Twisted Tales, this one has a LOT of potential, but somewhere along the line things just didn’t mesh well with me. It opens up with Prince Phillip as the main character and then what I assume is a new chapter starts with Aurora in what’s like the dream world.

This is where I started to slip and lose interest. Things were interesting for awhile, as we are seeing the story of Sleeping Beauty told in a completely different way! Aurora’s parents are selfish and evil people, the three good fairies are actually evil, and Maleficent is the benevolent one come to rescue Aurora from a painful life.

And so Aurora and Maleficent live happily together in the castle, thought the world around them has gone dark and practically dead. It’s a dangerous place, so everyone who remains from the terror her parents enacted on the world, live together in the castle.

And that was likely about 50 pages or so, which can be where I tend to DNF a book, but I like to at least go for one hundred. But this book moved so slowly. And I haven’t even gotten to seeing Phillip as the description described. I assume he would’ve made an appearance. Perhaps he would know more of what’s going on with Aurora, for she thinks she’s living real life. Only the book’s description has me believing we’re in the dream world.

I wanted to like this one. I SO wanted to like this one, but I just couldn’t. It was not at all for me. Yet, this series has so much potential! The idea of it sounds incredible!! But it’s just something about the language or buildup. At least for me. I remember the first one just left me feeling blah. And I really thought I would enjoy this one more because it’s based on one of my favorite Disney movies…but it just didn’t work for me. I think here it all amounts to the pacing. The pacing was just so slow moving and when I saw I was only 10% in, I just couldn’t fathom reading this anymore.

So sadly, I had to DNF Once Upon a Dream, much to my dismay. If you’re at all fan of Disney, fairy tale retellings and don’t mind a slower pace, then this one definitely might be more your cup of tea than mind! Don’t let me review scare you off from reading this one. But as it’s said, not every book is for everyone.



  1. Well, this is disappointing but I guess I'm not shocked after how terrible the other one seemed to be. I haven't read either and I definitely won't bother after this review. I'm sorry it was so terrible that you couldn't even finish it! :/

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  2. I didn't read the first one either. Don't know, something just didn't mesh with me in the descriptions. I've been hearing lots of negative reviews about both books, so I'm sure I won't pick them up.

  3. Awww no, so sorry you couldn't finish this one, Jessica :( I haven't read the first one - I remember seeing quite a few low ratings for it after it was released, and it made me a little hesitant to read it. Seeing as the second one doesn't seem to get any better, it's probably for the best to skip it, unfortunately :( It's such a shame, they really sound like great stories! Oh well, not meant to be, unfortunately. Hope your next read is much better!

  4. That is too bad. I need a book that is not slow paced. Loved the cover though. :/

  5. This books looks fantastic - I'm a sucker for pretty covers and fairytale retellings, but it's sad about the slow pacing. Thanks for the honest review! :)

  6. I actually liked this one a lot more than the first one, but I do agree that it was a little slow toward the beginning. Sorry it didn't work for you!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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