2022 Book Review: Long Live the Pumpkin Queen

Long Live the Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw

YA Fantasy, 2022 by Disney Press, 315 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • There’s no real world building, there’s world borrowing. Characters are used in the exact ways as the movie with no additional depth or creativity. I kept finding myself getting annoyed when the mayor or Oogie’s boys were presented in exactly the manner they were in the movie with nothing changed. I think I’d prefer that to be used as a jumping off point and then find something new or interesting. 
  • The big twist felt lazy. I can’t explain why it bothered me without treading into spoiler territory but let’s say I wanted something better and less cliche.
  • Jack felt different and not in an “I learned from my mistakes” sort of way. He felt distracted and inattentive, which isn’t what I expected. 

What I Did Like:

  • Sally. Her depth is explored and her insecurities are addressed. We get to see her learn who she is and that’s pretty cool.
  • The sandman is a great character with a great arc. In a world where misunderstood creatures are sort of the norm, he fits right in. 
  • It is cool to revisit the world of Halloween Town. Also, like everyone else who loves the movie, I often wondered what was beyond some of those other doors. This book does explore that a bit and I enjoyed that part. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Fans of the original who want a little more Sally and another visit to Halloween Town.

My Rating: 3 Stars

  • This book is cute and does honor most of the characters we know and love from the original movie. 

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