Hello, my name is Sophie and I am a Disney Villains convert.
I will be entirely straight with you here: throughout my 27 years on this earth I have never quite GOT the Villains thing. If someone is obsessed with Cruella De Vil, all I can really think is “…but she wants to kill puppies and turn them into coats?!” When my friends are like “Wooo, my gal Maleficent” I am like “How is she your gal? SERIOUSLY HOW IS MAL YOUR GAL? SHE IS THE MISTRESS OF ALL EVIL, DOES THAT NOT CONCERN YOU?? DOES THAT NOT CONCERN YOU BECKY???”
It does not concern Becky, or anyone else. They embrace the villainy, they REVEL in it, like Gaston revels in misogyny and not reading, and I have started to realise that this is because some Disney Villains are kinda fun.
And because most of us are not remotely villainous. We say “thank you” when people hold the door open for us and we have a bird feeder in the garden (okay maybe that’s just me) and that sort of thing – we are gen-you-ine GOOD EGGS, 99% of the time. But being a good egg can get dull. Sometimes we wish we could just BE HADES FOR THE DAY and be done with it, you know? MAYBE WE WANT SOME DENSE-BUT-DEVOTED MINIONS IN OUR LIVES! MAYBE WE WANT TO HATCH SOME EVIL PLANS AND LAUGH AS THE SUN SETS! SO… TAKE… T-TAKE THAT!
Disney’s Descendants has done nothing but strengthen my newfound love of villainy, to be honest. Thanks to the godsend that is DisneyLife, I watched the original movie a few months ago and decided I would like to start a new existence as a professional dancer so that I can join Dove and the gang on their brilliantly-choreographed escapades. I bloody LOVE a good DCOM (that’s Disney Channel Original Movie, for those who aren’t in the know), and Descendants ticks all the boxes.
If you are also a fan of DCOMs – and Disney in general – you need to check out Parragon. They publish a magical selection of books – from those gorgeous Disney Movie Collection covers we all pined over a few months ago right through to the Twisted Tales series – and earlier this month they kindly sent me and some other bloggers a very special Descendants 2 book-box, stuffed full of goodies.
When I say “book-box,” I MEAN “book-box” – it was HUGE. They could frankly have sent me the BOX ALONE and I would’ve been a happy lady.
Rise of the Isle of the Lost
The very first book that caught my eye was Rise of the Isle of the Lost, by Melissa de la Cruz. I was lucky enough to have had my copy signed by Dove Cameron AND Cameron Boyce (Camerons abound!) which made me an even happier lady – and when I opened the book and saw that it started with a quote from Ursula, I knew it was my kinda thing.
No spoilers, but from my perspective you’re in for a treat with Rise of the Isle of the Lost. As a Disney fanatic, I am HERE for the fact that this prequel takes existing characters and concepts and bits of trivia and gives them a massive nod while still managing to turn the whole thing on its head. I know it’s technically written for children – and don’t get me wrong, kids will adore it – but I’d also recommend it for more reluctant adult readers. If you’re someone who loves Disney but isn’t so keen on the idea of picking up a book or feels nervous after years of not reading, this might be the perfect middle ground for you – it’s challenging enough that you’ll never be bored, but you won’t end up overwhelmed with super-long chapters or anything, either.
Descendants 2: Book of the film
I’m SO excited to read the book of the film. This is the week I’m going to get to watch Descendants 2 (FINALLY!) and afterwards (well, as soon as I’ve finished pretending to be Mal and perfecting my dance moves AHEM WHAT) I know I’m gonna be delving straight into the book. It has the CUTEST summary at the start for anyone who hasn’t already read or watched the original Descendants, so if you’d like to pick up your own copy please don’t let the fact that it’s a sequel put you off.
Write, Conjure, Create
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid I would ALWAYS ask for journals and fill-in-the-blank books and that sort of thing for Christmas. I was oddly obsessed with those ’90s filofax books – the mini ringbinders with ‘about me’ pages and ‘my favourite things’ sections you could fill in. In retrospect it was probably all a precursor for my future social media obsession, but I loved it all the same. That’s why I am SUCH a fan of the Write, Conjure, Create book – honestly, I don’t even know where to begin with this. I LOVE IT.
One page asks you to jot down notes for a party you’re planning for Mal. Another wants you to review Evie’s fashion line. You can write a week’s worth of Mal’s diary entries, describe your dream pet, and create your own villainous characters. I won’t lie to you, I am enjoying filling it all out perhaps more than a 27 year-old should. Yes, I do have clothes to wash and a living room to vacuum, but I’LL BE DAMNED if I let that eat into my Write, Conjure, Create time.
In all seriousness, though, books like this help me a lot because they take my mind off the everyday. If you have a tendency to feel anxious or focus on things that you can’t control, I would genuinely recommend Write, Conjure, Create as a way to get your brain focusing on something else – a little bit like a colouring book that requires some thinkin’.
The Happy Tin (aw!)
Last but NEVER least is the Happy Tin, which, I am pleased to report, does what it says on the tin (and in other news, I am the least funny person ever). I was very chuffed to learn that the Happy Tin came full of stickers, because I have an odd penchant for a good sticker or two – although I also have a very real fear of actually sticking them anywhere, just in case I regret my decision a few days afterwards and realise it’s too late. But you know what? Even if that was to occur in this particular situation, I would just rummage through the rest of the tin and get excited about THAT, because it’s a little treasure trove of magic – it includes three more books (three!), a poster, and a pencil + toppers ready to decorate. Plus there’s the tin itself, which I instantly decided I am going to use to store my impressive sticker collection in. FATE!
If my newfound adoration of Disney Villains wasn’t obvious before, I reckon it is now. I’m off to finish Rise of the Isle of the Lost (RotIotL, if ya like) and get excited for Halloween LIKE ANY SELF-RESPECTING EVIL QUEEN SHOULD. *waves magic wand* I will be chillin’… like a villain… and I’m willin’… to stop writing now. Yes I really should. HAPPY DESCENDANTS 2 UK RELEASE EVERYBODY!
- All of the items I’ve discussed in this post are available from Amazon and WH Smith – so be sure to look out for ’em!
- Want to find out more about any of these titles? Check out the Parragon Descendants webpage – it explains everything you need to know about the new Descendants 2 range and sends you straight through to Amazon to buy.
- Fancy winning all this? That is a rhetorical Q! Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find out how.
Note: The Descendants book-box and its contents were sent to me as a blogger gift by Parragon – I wasn’t paid for this review and all views jotted down (read: rambled about) above are entirely my own. Thanks for stoppin’ by!