Before Midnight: A Retelling Of Cinderella

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Once is a bind-up of three retellings. Since there are basically three novels and there’s no connection between the characters, I’ll write separate reviews for each of them.
Before Midnight (3 stars)
Before Midnight is a retelling of Cinderella. This retelling is more of a new take on Cinderella in a way that the author kind of twists the plot. So I will not talk about the plot to avoid spoiler. For a fairytale, Before Midnight has no magic per se, like magic in a traditional sense. There’s no fairy godmother or magic pumpkin carriage. Instead, there are coincidences which the characters interpret as miracles. Wish plays important part in this story. It seems like the story revolves around wish, for example Cendrillon wishes for her father’s
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Wild Orchid is my favorite of the three retelling in this bind-up. Maybe I’m biased since Mulan is actually one of my favorite princesses from Disney princesses. Wild Orchid opens up with Mulan’s childhood, which I appreciate because the Disney version doesn’t really show that side of her. Her childhood is an important addition to the story because that’s where we learn how she became this brave warrior. I just love Mulan so much, I love her personality. I love it that she’s so curious and willing to learn new things even though it deviates from the societal customs at that time. For example, it was unusual for women to learn how to read and write but Mulan wanted to learn those skills from her best friend Li Po. I also love Mulan and Li Po’s friendship. They got each other’s back and there’s no will they or won’t they situation with them. I feel like the romance is kind of rashly added in the end. So there’s only a small portion of it in the story, which is fine by me anyway because I was interested more in Mulan. Wild Orchid is action packed so it was a rather quick read. I enjoyed reading it.

Overall, Once is a fun retelling of two famous fairy tales and one famous legend. The writing is not the best, but the premise of each retelling is intriguing. If you’re familiar with Disney’s version of these three stories, this book will give you a refreshing view of
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