BOOK REVIEW: Frozen: Conceal, Don't Feel {A Twisted Tale} by Jen Calonita

"You two will find your way back to each other, I’m sure of it. You are, and always have been, each other’s light in the darkness."

I am, admittedly, late to the Frozen party. So late, in fact, that my first viewing of the film took place during Thanksgiving Week 2022, a full nine years after its release. I know, I know...for shame. Regardless of my late introduction to the phenomena, my love for the film {and the title track Let It Go} was instantaneous {my mom even used Frozen decorations for my birthday in December!}, so I immediately began seeking out a literary offering that would place the tale in my fingertips - precisely how I discovered Jen Calonita's Frozen: Conceal Don't Feel {A Twisted Tale}. There was a time when fractured fairytales were a favorite of mine; but the recent additions to the Disney Princess world have left much to be desired, so I have overall turned my back on them - until now. Though I can't say this tome changed much from the original Frozen; it did keep my interest from start to finish, and gave me something new to ponder in the Frozen-verse...what would things have been like had Anna ceased to exist?

As Arendelle's future Queen, much of eighteen-year-old Princess Elsa's life seems already written - mapped, so to speak, with the one variable being her. At what point in time will she be required to select a suitor to stand by her as she rules? And, for that matter, what type of ruler will she be? But there is one other thing that has plagued Elsa for what feels like eons...why does she feel that a core part of her is missing? The former, only time will tell; the latter, on the other hand, seems open-ended, and something she will need to identify for herself in time. But time is cut short with the unexpected death of her beloved parents. Kept within the palatial palace since her youth; Elsa has had only her parents to keep her from going mad from loneliness, but with the both of them gone, Elsa begins to question how she'll be able to survive.

Locking herself away until she comes of age to undergo the coronation ceremony that will name her the sole ruler of Arendelle, loneliness sets in strongly - only dissipating slightly when she is visited by the charming Prince Hans {oh yeah, he's courting Elsa in this version of the story, and let me tell you, he is every bit as loathsome on the page as he is on the big screen}. But the longer Elsa stays behind closed doors the more strange occurrences begin to take place - incidents that begin to reveal long dormant mysterious powers involving ice and frost that give way to fragments of Elsa's childhood. Memories that have been forgotten, starring her, a familiar-looking girl in braids, and an enchanting snowman brought to life known as Olaf {who, it just so happens, she was able to bring to life with said powers}.

Knowing that the end of her loneliness is dependent upon reaching deeper into her memories, and uncovering who this mysterious girl is, Elsa sets her mind on accomplishing just this prior to her coronation. But when the big day comes, and she is still no closer to unlocking her past and memories, she accidentally unleashes a blizzard that halts life for Arendelle as citizens know it. Now, with Olaf by her side, Elsa escapes the palace and heads to the North Mountain, hoping to uncover the truth about her past in order to move forward with leading her Kingdom to happiness in the future - undoing a terrible curse, and locating the missing Princess of Arendelle.

Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Harmon, a fifteen-year-old girl named Anna, the adopted daughter of the village baker, lives a restless existence. Energetic, talkative, and determined to someday open up a bakeshop of her own in the heart of Arendelle where she will whip up daily batches of her specialty: snowman cookies! Anna lives for the occasional visit from Freya, a friend of her adoptive mother, who loves to share tales of life in Arendelle. When Freya's life is cut short {coincidentally right as the King and Queen are announced dead}, Anna knows that the pull she has always felt towards Arendelle must finally be fulfilled. Enlisting the help of her crush, Kristoff, and his carrot-loving reindeer, Sven, Anna abandons her bakery duties and sets off to Arendelle. But the closer she gets to the palace, the more she is tormented by nonsensical memories starring her as a child, Princess Elsa, and a talking snowman - echoes of a past long-forgotten that require a key to restore them once and for all.

As you've probably surmised, the storyline within Frozen: Conceal Don't Feel {A Twisted Tale} is nearly identical to the one seen in the film itself. That said, it provides enough twists to keep you on your toes. After all, how many of us expected to see Prince Hans courting Elsa as opposed to Anna? Twists aside, true Frozen fans will be quite tickled merely to see a few of their favorite characters highlighted in a like-new tale. The way that the romance builds between Kristoff and Anna, though similar to the one from the film, is quite sweet; while the strong bond between Elsa and Olaf is something that, quite literally, made me feel whole, because I adore the both of them! Fans young and old will find something special between these pages - even if it's simply an urge to rewatch the film that became a phenomenon!

Star Rating: ****



ellie said...

Oh, the perfect time to read it with all the snow we have here. Great review!

Caitlin'nMegan said...

Wonderful to see your review! Perfect for January!

Ivy's Closet said...

So glad to see that you enjoyed this one(✿◡‿◡)

Better Left Unsaid said...

Awesome to see your review! Thanks so much!

Hollyn'Stevie said...

Great to know about this one. Thanks ❤️

The Book Group said...

It looks like a fantastic winter read & more!

R's Rue said...

Thank you for sharing. Love you.

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