Author: Jen Calonita
Narrator: Rachel Matthews
Audiobook Length: 6 hours 46 minutes
What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other?
When a magical accident erases Anna and Elsa’s memories not only of magic, but of each other the sisters are separated for protection. But when Elsa unexpectedly finds herself as a young queen mysterious magic begins to happen and questions of her past start to form. Will the sisters ever be reunited?
Conceal, Don’t Feel is the seventh addition to the Twisted Tales standalone series that gives a new take on Disney’s Frozen. It is my third novel that I have completed from the series, and I plan on reading the remaining nine (as of now) sometime in the near future. This story does an alternate take on the moment Elsa’s magic accidentally affects Anna. Instead of the two characters being isolated in the same castle, they are separated further with Elsa staying at the palace in Arendelle and Anna going to live with another family. The two characters are separated for ten years before the main story begins. For me, the tagline “What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other?” does not fit with this story. The two characters knew each other when they were kids, but their memories of each other are erased and they grew up away from the other. The tagline makes it seem that they had zero prior knowledge of each other, which is not the case as they only have it erased. It’s a smaller detail in the big picture, but it did alter my expectations going into the story.
The novel is written as a dual perspective with the chapters switching from Anna and Elsa, so the reader follows each sister in their individual quests. For Elsa, she is still preparing to become queen, and she is feeling lonely. When she gets word that her parents have passed away (similar to the movie), she now must take on the new role. This story did a new take on Elsa’s magic as it disappeared when Anna and Elsa were separated, but it began returning when their parents passed. The aftermath is similar to the movie, so there are not many surprises for the reader in this element. There is a fun twist for Hans, Olaf, and Kristoff as each of them are still included in the story, but in slightly different ways. As for Anna, she was raised by a family of bakers in a nearby village where she feels a pull to go to Arendelle. Both Anna and Elsa begin to have small flashes of the connection they share as sisters, which set them on a journey to try and figure out the meaning behind it.
The pacing in this story starts off slower and then picks up towards the end. It follows a very similar path to the movie and does not stray far from the source material. There are some fun lines that make their way into the story, which was a nice nostalgia factor for the Disney-lover in me. There are some twists and turns, but it keeps fairly true to the original story. Due to this style, a reader’s enjoyment will greatly depend on their expectations. If you love the original with some slight changes, then this is a great story; however, if you want a bigger twist on the original, then maybe another novel in the series will be a better fit. The writing itself does a nice job of capturing the original characters, so it did feel connected to Frozen. Overall, I enjoyed this story a lot as I like the twists made from the original story and the additional background it gave as the characters continue on their journey. While there could have been more twists to make it a little more unique, it still was enjoyable and a nice fun read between my other novels. I am not sure which Twisted Tale I will try next, but I look forward to eventually trying them all!