Await no princes to save you through their lips touching yours whilst you are in unwilling slumber. Wake each other up instead.
This is a poetry book. It happened to be sitting on the end of an aisle where they promote popular books or ones that fit a genre and I didn’t plan on leaving with a poetry book but am really glad I did.
Fairytale retellings are always something I enjoy but when I turned it around and read the back, which is the quote on the top of the post, needless to say, I was already in.
Once Upon a Time
The book has plenty of stories to tell and the first one called “Universal Truth” sets you up for what this book is going to be about. A good book to compare this to is “the princess saves herself in this one,” which I loved. It’s about self-empowerment and using fairy tales to connect to people whether it be about self-love, surviving abuse, or the world telling men they should hold in their emotions.
So I do recommend this to all genders.
The tales themselves include Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and Rapunzel just to name a few but with a twist, allowing us to see it in a way we didn’t before or it ending in a different way.
One of my favorite parts is everyone is included. There’s a tale about Cinderella, but also about her step-mother and step-sisters and what life is like from their point of view. Many of us hate her step-mother for being an awful, abusive person, but the tale tells of her own misfortunes and losses in life, giving her a side the original tale didn’t. I’m not saying that side is nice or should give us a reason to feel bad for her, it just adds extra depth to the character.
How to Save Yourself
A big theme is telling girls (or the princesses) that they can save themselves. That they don’t need to wait for a prince to wake them up, but to find ways to wake themselves up instead. That’s literally what Sleeping Beauty did in her tale. She spent her life preparing for the curse and rather waiting for a prince, woke herself up instead.
Out there may be monsters, my dear
But in you still lives the dragon
you should always believe in.
One of my favorite tales is “The Moon Dragon” which is about a princess who is supposedly locked in a tower guarded by a dragon and can only be saved by a courageous prince, but in this retelling, the princess turns into a dragon every night and over time the tale was twisted. When a prince does come to save her and sees that she’s the dragon, she tells him she doesn’t need to leave and is happy the way she is.
Another is about Little Red Riding Hood who gets lost in the woods and her mother spent years wondering if she was eaten, talking to wolves each day asking if they ate her. Each day she stepped further into the forest until reaching her daughter who sat on a throne, a queen who protected the wolves and the forest from hunters.
I like the way the stories are set up. Sometimes you aren’t sure where it’s going or who it’s about until you reach the end.
Although it isn’t a long read, you could finish it in a few hours, you still get a lot out it. There are little things within each story that remind us of the original but end up twisting in a different way and it always got me excited for the next one.
Each tale has something for everyone. Even if it doesn’t resonate with you, you can see it resonating with someone else. If you need a bit of encouragement or feel down, I recommend reading this.
Author: Nikita Gill
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