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Long Live the Pumpkin Queen: Disney Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before… (edition 2022)
by Shea Ernshaw (Author)
Long Live the Pumpkin Queen: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas by Shea Ernshaw
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This was a delightful tale about Sally, the newly crowned Pumpkin Queen. It's been months since Jack almost destroyed Christmas. He and Sally have just been married, and there are only two weeks until Halloween.
After spending a romantic honeymoon in Valentine town, the duo is back home, preparing for the most important night for their town. But something is amiss.
Sally feels lost and unsure of her place as the Pumpkin Queen. She doesn't want things as they were when she was Dr. Finklestine's prisoner, but she doesn't want the title or responsibility of queen either.
In a moment of distress, she and Zero take took the woods, only they go deeper than ever before. Together, they uncovered and long hidden ancient door and inadvertently unleashed a power they didn't know existed. Sally makes a mess bigger than Jack. It's up to her to make things right in order to save not only Halloween Town but every holiday town and the human world. Along the way, she finds out who she truly is, both literally and figuratively.
This was a great story full of mystery, adventure, and discovery. I have no idea how anyone didn't enjoy this story. It was fully of whimsy and adventure.
What could have been a very cool exploration of the other towns (even the new one) was hindered by very flat writing with a very morose main character whose motives seem directionless.
LONG LIVE THE PUMPKIN QUEEN by Shea Ernshaw picks up at the end of #thenightmarebeforechristmas, with Jack and Sally getting married and going on their honeymoon. On their return, Sally immediately feels the burden of being Queen of Halloweentown and escapes into the forest to avoid the pressure. While there, she discovers a hidden door, one decorated with a moon, and that has clearly been hidden for some time. When Sally forgets to close the door, she inadvertently lets something into Halloweentown, something that is making everyone fall asleep. Feeling responsible, Sally takes it upon herself to go on a quest to save not only Halloweentown, but all the other holidays as well.
I really enjoyed getting to get a glimpse of some of the other holiday towns and their rulers. Getting a glimpse into some more of Sally‚Äôs background is also a treat; I‚Äôve always thought there was more to her story. For fans of TNBC, this will be a great read. ūüéÉ
*A Note on the Typographic Design*
A few things did bug me about the actual design of the book. While I get where the designers were coming from, giving the text a little bit of flare with a slightly Gothic-flavored font, at the end of the day, this was a poor choice for me. I kept thinking there was some sort of ink flecks in the printing, but it turns out there was a tiny, tiny flourish in the middle of the lower case ‚Äúl‚ÄĚ, and once I saw it, I couldn‚Äôt unsee it. As someone with ADD, this became wildly distracting. The use of a wildly contrasting script font in place of italics was also quite distracting, especially since this script font looked darker than the rest of the type, especially with the shear amount of times that this script font was used. And Ernshaw is quite fond of the em dash, again to an almost distracting degree. Once or twice in a book, maybe per chapter, is sufficient but when there are several per paragraph, that‚Äôs a bit much for me. I think this is a result of a generation who has grown up texting and not using proper punctuation.
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This book is an okay read if you enjoy emotional melodrama, but I found it a bit nauseating. I did not like the way the author reduced Sally to an insecure mess, complete with soap opera origin story.
The Sandman storyline was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end though and the ending was satisfying, but the constant repetition of the words ‚Äúdead leaves‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúseams‚ÄĚ was driving me nuts! I was hoping for a story to match Tim Burton‚Äôs fun misadventure, but was dragged through an overly descriptive slog of Sally‚Äôs insecurities. Still, it was an interesting take on a beloved classic; not what I‚Äôd have done but to each their own. I do recommend sticking to the original Nightmare Before Christmas though. Remember all your favorite characters as they were intended to be, without the added baggage.
Fantasy. Romance. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. Jack and Sally are "truly meant to be" ... or are they? Sally Skellington is the official, newly-minted Pumpkin Queen after a whirlwind courtship with her true love, Jack, who Sally adores with every inch of her fabric seams ‚?? if only she could say the same for her new role as Queen of Halloween Town. Cast into the spotlight and tasked with all sorts of queenly duties, Sally can't help but wonder if all she's done is trade her captivity under Dr. FInkelstein for a different ‚?? albeit gilded ‚?? cage. But when Sally and Zero accidentally uncover a long-hidden doorway to an ancient realm called Dream Town in the forest Hinterlands, she'll unknowingly set into motion a chain of sinister events that put her future as Pumpkin Queen, and the future of Halloween Town itself, into jeopardy. Can Sally discover what it means to be true to herself and save the town she's learned to call home, or will her future turn into her worst... well, n
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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It's an odd experience, reading a book based on a media that is VERY heavily iconic FOR it's unique visual design. It was pretty jarring for me tbh -- I don't have a strong inner eye and could not filter that unique animation style to the story I was reading and that's a very "it's not you, it's me" issue. There's a very brief portion of Sally passing through the human world that broke my brain because I couldn't translate what I know movie Sally looks like to "people world" or even TNBC-looking "humans". Again that's a "me" issue but throwing it out there for others that might similarly find it a hard juggle between an iconic visual and essentially fanfiction.
And this DID read like a fanfiction to me. Nothing wrong with that but worth mentioning as I'm sure there are plenty of AO3 fics that are as or more fulfilling. The looks behind other doors were pretty cool and I think we got to at least peek behind all the ones we saw in the movie. The plot device was interesting but would have been more compelling in an original story rather than a Disney commission. Props for building a better Sally backstory too.
All in all-- decent and entertaining enough read, probably more so if you were a Burton kid. The storyline and writing seemed a bit juvenile for the YA tag, it reads more like an MG.