Long Live The Pumpkin Queen is a sequel novel to The Nightmare Before Christmas, telling what happens after Jack and Sally are married – and how Sally handles the transition to Queen. This story was cute, but definitely reads more like a children’s book or low middle grade story rather than a YA story – and there’s nothing wrong with that! It is based off of a Disney movie, after all! Just be aware of that going into this.
Title: Long Live the Pumpkin Queen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling
If you’re a diehard fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas, I think you’ll enjoy this short but sweet story. It tells of Sally’s woes of becoming Pumpkin Queen and the fact she doesn’t know how to be a Queen.
This story focuses a lot on her inner turmoil in becoming Queen and her uncertainty in how to be a good Queen for the town. We start off with Jack and Sally going to Valentines Town for their honeymoon and I thought it was great we got to see another holiday town! It was very cute and made me wish I could visit it myself.
After they return to Halloween Town, Sally wonders off by herself and discovers a long-hidden doorway in the forest which isn’t a holiday she recognizes. Opening this door causes mayhem in Halloween Town and Sally has to figure out how to fix this problem. (I think it’s pretty predictable, but I won’t ruin the surprise for you!)
While this story is cute, I honestly can’t really say that I enjoyed it. I’m not a diehard Nightmare Before Christmas fan – I enjoyed it, but I can’t tell you the last time I watched it. Sally was complaining and moping for the majority of the book and that just didn’t vibe with me. There are also elements in this story I don’t know if i would consider canon and goes against everything the movie tells us. This feels like fun fanfiction, but that’s about it.
The writing also feels like young middle grade – which, seeing as this is a Disney story, is understandable! But it’s marketed as young adult which it is not, in my opinion. The writing itself is fine, nothing against the author, but I feel like I would have enjoyed this more as a graphic novel rather than words on a page. This story about Sally didn’t feel like it needed to be a novel.
Honestly, I would skip over this one – you aren’t missing much and even though it was a quick read, I wished I DNF-ed it around the 30% mark – thats when I was already getting bored – but I pushed through because it was such a quick read.
I thought the audio narration was okay, the narrator had a sweet voice that sounded like Sally’s so the audio is ok if that’s your thing – but you aren’t missing much if you skip it.
I suffered through this one so you don’t have to. Seriously. I can’t give this more than 2 stars sadly. Unless you’re a diehard Nightmare Before Christmas fan, I really wouldn’t waste your time on this. It’s cute, but feels like fanfiction and does not feel canon to the world at all. I think this would have benefited from being a graphic novel rather than a “young adult” novel.