Review: When You Wish Upon a Star (A Twisted Tale #14) by Elizabeth Lim

When You Wish Upon a Star: A Twisted TaleWhen You Wish Upon a Star: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Lim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When You Wish Upon a Star is the 14th-installment to Disney’s A Twisted Tale collection.

If you are unaware, these books take our favorite Disney tales, twist one element and then explore what would have happened if that twist actually occurred.

They’re like Disney’s version of alternate history stories and I’m low-key obsessed with them. Also, important to keep in mind, these books can be read in any order.

They are completely distinct stories, each following a different set of characters, so you can start anywhere you want, with which ever story sounds most appealing to you.

In this story, we explore the question: What if the Blue Fairy wasn’t supposed to help Pinocchio?

I have never read the source material, The Adventures Of Pinocchio, that the 1940-animated Disney film Pinocchio is inspired by. Additionally, I have only watched Pinocchio a handful of times. It actually scared me as a kid, so it wasn’t one I necessarily gravitated towards.

However, when I heard the pitch for this story and saw that it was being written by Elizabeth Lim, I knew I had to pick it up as soon as I could.

This is based on Pinocchio’s story, yes, but this is really the story of the Blue Fairy. Who was she before? Had she always been a fairy? If not, how did she become one and who did she leave behind?

It turns out, the Blue Fairy was once a girl named Chiara, who lived in the village of Pariva, the very same small village that Pinocchio’s father, Geppetto, is from.

I loved the direction that Lim took this story. I found it fascinating learning about Chiara, her complicated relationship with her little sister, Ilaria, and the process that Chiara underwent to become the Blue Fairy we all know and love. Even the village was fun to learn about.

I was immediately swept up into this. I feel like Lim’s writing is completely immersive. Everything about it, from the descriptions, the setting of the scenes, the drama, the character work, it’s all top notch. If you’ve never read anything from Elizabeth Lim, I actually feel like this one is a great example of her style.

The fairy aspects were really fun. There was a school where Chiara went to train and she had a mentor. I love those relationship dynamics, so was happy to see it.

It was also interesting to see the choices, or should I say sacrifices, that individuals had to make to even become fairies. Chiara struggled a bit making her decisions in that regard, but they were important decisions, so it all made sense. It never felt angsty, or overdone, in my opinion.

Ilaria, Chiara’s sister, on the other hand, she was bringing all the drama. With dreams of being a world-famous opera singer, Ilaria’s personality could be a bit grating.

However, with this being said, it did make perfect sense in context with the greater story. We needed that push-and-pull, that vast difference between the two girls’ personalities in order for this story to have maximum impact.

The best part of this for me though, was seeing those connections to Pinocchio. Meeting younger versions of characters we know, for example, like Monstro, Stromboli and even a cricket.

Don’t be alarmed though, long-time Pinocchio fans, he is in the story too! So that was fun, seeing him and the interactions between Pinocchio, Geppetto and the Blue Fairy.

Overall, I had a really good time reading this. It’s a fantastic addition to The Twisted Tales collection. If you are curious about my rankings for all the books that I have read in this series, I will list them below at the bottom of this review.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney-Hyperion and Disney Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. It was nice to see a lesser known Disney character finally getting her time shine!!

My current ratings for the Twisted Tales series:

1. What Once Was Mine (Tangled): 4.5-stars rounded up
2. Reflection (Mulan): 4-stars
3. Almost There (The Princess and the Frog): 4-stars
4. When You Wish Upon a Star: 4-stars
5. Go the Distance (Hercules): 3.5-stars rounded up
6. As Old As Time (Beauty & the Beast): 3.5-stars rounded up
7. Straight On Til Morning (Peter Pan): 3.5-stars rounded up
8. Mirror, Mirror (Snow White): 3.5-stars rounded up
9. Unbirthday (Alice): 3.5-stars
10. Conceal, Don’t Feel (Frozen): 3.5-stars
11. A Whole New World (Aladdin): 3-stars
12. Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid): 2-stars

View all my reviews