Promchanted / Morgan Matson / Book Review


Stella Griffin doesn't believe in fairy tales. She used to, but that was before her boyfriend dumped her just weeks before prom. If their love story didn't work out, well, love can't be as real as all the stories promised.

Stella still has big prom plans, of course. Boyfriend or no boyfriend, she and her best friend Nisha are pre-promming at Disneyland. Stella might not believe in fairy tales anymore, but she does feel like a fairytale princess wearing her prom dress at the Happiest Place on Earth. If only Reece, the sole witness to Stella's worst moment ever, hadn't decided to tag along...

When Stella and Reece get separated from the group, they find themselves in Sleeping Beauty's castle looking for his phone. (Because of course Reece lost his phone.) And when they push through a hidden door into what should be the rest of the park, Stella and Reece find themselves, somehow, not in Anaheim anymore. They are, someway and somehow, in the Sleeping Beauty story itself. And Maleficent isn't happy with their meddling...



Sometimes you pick up a book with the hope that it will surprise you. This book did not, unfortunately, surprise me. It's not the worst book I've read this year, but it's more Disney fluff than actual novel. And I'm just not a big enough Disney fan to get over the fact that this book had plot devices, not characters.


Fearsome Fairies While most of this book didn't work for me, I appreciated Matson's decision to give these three bumbling fairy godmothers a bit of an edge. They would have to have an edge, wouldn't they? They're protecting the princess, after all.

Anachronisms I appreciate a book that makes anachronisms make sense, and this book at least touches on that. Stella isn't one to hold her tongue just because she's talking about something nobody in the fairy tale will understand. And it is a world of magic. Cellphones might not make sense in the real Middle Ages, but magic communication devices in a fairy tale? Well, that's believable enough.

Relax and Unplug Stella is a very uptight, rigid, spreadsheet-scheduled character, and I appreciate the messaging in this book. She's not shamed for wanting to have all the details in place, but... Sometimes it is good to relax and unplug--really, truly unplug. There's nothing more refreshing than a complete detox from a super structured life.


If you really like Disney, you might like this book more than me. But it did feel like the point of this book was, maybe, to drum up more business for the California theme park. Which makes the audience here kind of strange, because the audience should be those who really, really love Disney, but because Stella (who, for being a big Disneyland fan, doesn't actually know anything about Disney movies for some reason) needs to constantly have Disney plots explained to her, this doesn't seem like it would be that fun of a read for superfans, either. Disney Propaganda

Why are the characters talking like this? It isn't true to the "time period," and it isn't true to the source material--i.e. Disney's Sleeping Beauty. So... why? And if it is perfectly, totally normal for people to be saying "posthaste" (et cetera, et cetera), why is everybody so normal when interacting with Stella and Reece? Stella and Reece, who speak awkwardly even in a contemporary context, wouldn't really fly under the radar like they do, somehow, in this book. Posthaste

You really only need two elements to write a novel: a cast of characters and a plot. And this book really challenges the notion that you need characters. Sure, there are people with names that do things, but... they're not really characters. They're painful to read, and every action they make is really designed to do something in the plot (not because these characters would, you know, actually do this). In the opening chapters, in the contemporary world, Stella seems pretty normal, but as soon as she's in fairytale land, she's calling everybody "dude," considering "playing chicken" and a big proponent of "putting the kibosh" on things. She doesn't talk like this normally, but she does in fairytale land because, you know, it ups the potential laughs. And Reece is pretty wishy-washy when it comes to whether they should be engaging in the story. When it is convenient, he insists that he and Stella shouldn't be interacting (so they don't mess up the fairytale ending). When it is more interesting, he's definitely fine with interference, though. So... these characters really just serve the plot. Aside from Stella, everyone is pretty much just an archetype (and not in a fun, meta way), and the only reason Stella isn't "just" a stand-in for a character is that she is profoundly annoying on top of being a plot device. So... Not great, yeah. Character-Less



Fans of the a-little-too-in-control protagonist of Jennifer Chen's Artifacts of an Ex will like Stella's spreadsheet-and-conquer attitude. Those who enjoyed Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court will like the anachronistic laughs sparked by these 21st-century teens in days gone by.


Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date: March 5, 2024
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. I do love the idea of getting lost in Sleeping Beauty's castle, so I'm sorry this one didn't end up being better.

  2. unfortunately, the story is not that good....

  3. Sorry to hear this one wasn't better for you.

  4. Ouch! This was such a fun concept. Sorry it didn't pan out for you.

  5. I like the concept, but it does seem to be lacking

  6. The concept sounds great, bummer, it didn't quite work out.

  7. This sounds like a fun concept, but I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out! I am a big Disney fan, but I feel like I'd still have a lot of the same frustrations with the writing as you did.


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