Since I didn’t get to read many books in June, this post will serve as both a book review post and my June wrap-up. I did thoroughly enjoy All the Stars in the Heavens, and I did get to my book bucket list pick for June, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I can’t wait to write my review of that book, though nothing I write will ever do it justice. If you missed All the Stars in the Heavens, you can go back and read my review here. My review of Diary of a Young Girl will be my next post so watch for that in the coming days.
Moving on to today’s reviews, I’m excited to talk about the first two novels in Disney’s Tangled series. Anyone who knows me knows about my love of all things Disney. Disney’s Tangled was a big hit with me. It was the first animated movie in a long time that had created such a buzz amongst both the kids and adults in my life. The movie was entertaining and funny, even earning a chuckle or two from my hubby who’s not exactly a Disney fan but watched it to humor me. 🙂
I’ve been a fan of Leila Howland’s work since Disney kindly gave me an advanced reader copy of her young adult book Hello Sunshine last year. I loved that book about an eighteen year old heading to Hollywood in pursuit of her dream, and I’ve been watching for Ms. Howland’s writing ever since. So you can imagine how excited I was when an author I love started a book series for Disney!
Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon
“I used to think there were only three books in the entire world: one about cooking, one about geology, and one about botany. I read them over and over again until I’d pretty much memorized them. I was ready for more, but I hadn’t expected this. To be surrounded by this many books was like discovering there were hundreds of other moons just hiding somewhere else in the sky.” – Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon
Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon is the first book in the Tangled novel series by Leila Howland. This book picks up right where the Disney film leaves off. Rapunzel is newly returned to her parents, home in the castle, and learning all about the responsibilities of being a princess. Even though she now wears gowns, she still has trouble keeping shoes on her feet, still loves art, and still loves adventure!
Enter Cassandra, the daughter of the captain of the guard, who is pretty much the complete opposite of Rapunzel. She’s not interested in dresses or princess things or learning to be a lady-in-waiting. However, she is interested in adventure, and that’s where she and Rapunzel find a common ground. Together these two strong, determined, brave, and intelligent young ladies have an adventure that neither of them expected or will ever forget.
The Lost Lagoon is told from alternating points of view. We hear from Rapunzel and Cassandra, which I liked. It was nice to spend some time really getting to know each character personally. This book was filled with imagination, excitement, mystery, and a touch of love/ romance between Rapunzel and Eugene, though given the age group I would really describe their interactions more as sweet feelings for one another than romance.
I love that the central characters in this book were strong, empowered young women. Rapunzel survived in the tower for all those years and was brave enough to venture off on her own. Cassandra is bold enough to pursue what she feels is her passion and true place in life rather than simply following the path that has been pre-selected for her. I think this book is a great choice for young readers who love princess stories, adventure stories, imaginative stories, and Disney.
Rapunzel and the Vanishing Village
“’Life is a journey, and no matter where we wander, the path we make is home.’’’ – Rapunzel and the Vanishing Village
Rapunzel and the Vanishing Village is the second book in Disney’s Tangled series by Leila Howland. I say second and not simply a sequel because the book ends as though a third book could pick up right where this book left off. It’s not a cliff-hanger, there is a conclusion to this story. But there is definitely room to keep the stories coming (and I hope they do!)
In this book, Rapunzel and Cassandra are off on a new adventure. They hit the road on a royal mission with Rapunzel expected to represent the kingdom. But this time, they’re not alone. They bring along some friends including Eugene, Rapunzel’s sweetheart. In fact, Eugene plays quite a big role in this new story. Once again, we get multiple points of view from Rapunzel, Cassandra, and even Eugene this time! I enjoyed reading Eugene’s point of view. It was very interesting to get his take on things and read about his love for and admiration of Rapunzel.
I think there are some very good messages written into this story – messages about being yourself, discovering your talents and passions, and being kind and considerate to one another and not being selfish or greedy. This book features strong characters who learn to stand up for themselves and fight for what is right, with a little guidance from Rapunzel and Cassandra of course! I think anyone who enjoyed the first book would enjoy this new adventure as well.
Both books are available now!
Up Next: My review of Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out!