Like most human beings are, I’m a huge fan of Disney. Not many have the honor of being able to say that they were named after a Disney Princess! (It’s true – Aladdin was my sister’s favorite movie at the time I was born, so she told my mom she wanted to name me ‘Jasmine’).
When I saw on Goodreads that someone was writing up some YA Disney retellings, I was super excited, especially since the ‘first’ in the series was inspired by Disney’s Aladdin! I had marked all three in the series as TBR and couldn’t wait to get my hands on them once they came in at work.
Not so surprisingly, all the books had holds on them once they came in, so I decided to read which ever one I could get a hold of first. As Old As Time tries to draw you in with its tagline “What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast?” You know things are going down when you decide to bring in the “absent” parent that doesn’t show up in the Disney movie.
If it wasn’t Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast would be my all-time favorite movie. I love Beauty and the Beast re-tellings and I love Disney’s take on the classic. Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t for me.
I guess the fact that the books are “retellings of Disney retellings” should’ve been a red flag. I do take average ratings on GR highly into consideration, and I was bummed how low they were. But this particular book in the series had the highest of the three (around 3.8 stars) and I so desperately wanted this to be great!
Braswell made these characters more two-dimensional than they were in the animated film. Maurice seemed to be drastically dumbed down, Belle’s Enchantress mother was nothing special (b*tchy to be honest – cursing an 11-year-old?…really?), Gaston was useless (she might as well have taken him out of the story), and Belle was nowhere near as classy as she was in the movie.
Braswell’s writing was kind of awkward and her attempts at comic relief throughout the story were unsuccessful. The story didn’t really flow well, she took the characters out of their characters, and this book completely dragged (If it wasn’t for my reading goal of 150 books, I would’ve dropped this halfway through). It’s basically a fanfiction of a Disney movie…and not a very good one at that. It’s not likely that I’ll read the other stories in this series.
What do you think about authors trying to re-imagine Disney movies which are already re-imaginings in their nature?
Verdict: I would not recommend this book.