I have always had a huge love for Disney movies. They not only were a huge part of my childhood, but I believe they are a big part of our culture today. The storylines that Disney has brought about or reshaped in their movies are still very influential in other areas of storytelling, specifically novels. Today, I am going to share what novels you should read if you love certain Disney movies! This article was inspired by the lovely Natasha Polis at Tashapolis on YouTube and Instagram!
I have always LOVED the movie Aladdin! It was such a beautiful movie to me as a child, one that had the perfect balance of princesses and thieves. It’s no mystery today why I love characters that are spunky but are also what we can call anti-heroes. I feel that love comes straight from Aladdin. The book that I always recommend to people who love Aladdin is The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. To me, this book holds the same mystical wonder that Aladdin holds. The novel is inspired by the story of A Thousand and One Nights. The story is not only perfectly crafted in my opinion but has amazing characters that will shock you at every twist and turn. The main character, Shazi, reminds me so much of an almost modern Jasmine—a young woman with spunk and grace, who can hold her own against any man. This duology is fantastic, and one that I always recommend to new readers who haven’t yet picked it up!
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
I know that Brave is technically a Pixar film, but I am still going to include it on my list because so many people see this as a Disney Princess film. I remember falling in love with Brave and Merida the moment the film came out. To me, it was a modern princess film that didn’t follow a stereotype where the girl had to fall in love. A book that reminds me of Brave is The Falconer series by Elizabeth May. This series is fantastic and plays with historical fiction and fantasy, which to me was an aspect that Brave touched on as well. The series also has strong female characters that light up the page. I absolutely love these books and really recommend picking them up if you want a series that has fae and is set in Scotland!
One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale
She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.
She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.
She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.
She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.
The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Who doesn’t love pirates, especially the greatest binge session of all, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? I know I do. I also know that it has been hard for me in the past to find a book centered around pirates that I love. I don’t know why exactly, but I have always been super picky when it comes to pirate books. If you love Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew, or pirate movies in general, then I really recommend Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller! This book was incredible and completely took me by surprise! It is a great pirate story, with kick- butt female characters. It had an amazing sense of humor that balanced perfectly with an incredible plot. This is a must read book that has the perfect mix of magic and espionage!
There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
Alice in Wonderland
I think everyone loves a good Alice in Wonderland retelling. And I know that there are SO many out there. But one of my all time favorites is Splintered by A.G. Howard. This is an Alice in Wonderland retelling that you’ve probably heard of but may not have picked up yet. It deserves so much more attention than it gets because it is truly an amazing series. This series has the quirky wonder that comes with Alice in Wonderland, but brings in a dark, gothic turn. The series also plays on the idea of creatures in Wonderland being Fae, which I loved because I always love a great Fae book! I have been a fan of this series for years, and each book just gets better and better, resulting in a series that stays true to the heart and soul of Wonderland but brings a modern twist. It is a great book to pick up if you have always had part of your heart that belongs in the world that Lewis Carroll created.
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
Time to talk about another classic princess story, Cinderella. I have never really connected to the story of Cinderella as others have, but a book I always recommend to people is Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I honestly recommend this book series to anyone who loves retellings, because each book takes inspiration from a fairytale and creates an amazing science-fiction twist to it. Cinder, the first book in the series, is inspired by the tale of Cinderella. This book blew my mind when I first read it. It took everything I thought I knew about Cinderella, turned it upside down, and added an amazing world with space and cyborgs to the mix. I really love this book and recommend it to others who love Cinderella.
A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .
CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.
This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget
One of my favorite Disney movies of all time is Hercules. It was always a favorite of mine as a kid, and still is to this day. It is a fantastic movie that plays off of greek mythology, which is an area of history I have always loved. If you are a teen or adult, and are like me—someone who loves diving into greek mythos and culture—then I really recommend reading Circe by Madeline Miller. This is a novel that expounds on the life of the famous goddess Circe, who is infamous for her roll in The Odyssey. This book is fantastic and beautifully written. It exceeds the expectations I had when I started reading it and is a book for the ages. If you love any sort of mythology, this book is for you!
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
All synopses found on Goodreads.