The latest entry in Disney Hyperion’s Twisted Tale series puts a spin on the story of Frozen just in time for the highly anticipated sequel. Conceal, Don’t Feel by Jen Calonita retells the story of Anna and Elsa on an alternate timeline where the sisters don’t know each other. In this version of the story, a curse has caused the entire kingdom to forget about Anna.
Much of the story is the same this time around, unlike some of the Twisted Tales that take deep departures from the source material. The big difference here is that after the icy accident while young Anna and Elsa play, Grand Pabbie realizes that Anna’s heart is at risk of freezing if she remains close to Elsa. He enacts a curse that will keep the girls apart and cause the kingdom to lose their memories of Anna until a time when Elsa’s powers are under control. Anna is raised in the mountains by the queen’s best friend, who comes to visit once a month. Elsa grows up not knowing she even has powers, which manifest after her parents are lost at sea.
Coming to grips with her powers on her own keep Elsa in isolation as she approaches the day she will take the crown. Without Anna to intercept his advances, Hans begins to court the future queen, whose only confidant is Olaf who must stay hidden in her room. As Elsa’s powers get more out of control, she begins to have memories of a red-haired girl she used to play with. At the same time, Anna begins to feel drawn towards Arrendelle and the princess without knowing why. When Elsa’s powers accidentally set off an eternal winter on coronation day, Anna and her friend Kristoff feel compelled to find Elsa to see if they can help.
It’s fun to watch the story progress in a different way than the film. As I said before, this version remains faithful to the events of the film, just placing them in a different order or having characters reach their final destination in altered ways. This is refreshing for the Twisted Tale series, which sometimes veers too far off course or even goes as far as to kill off main characters. You could read Conceal, Don’t Feel without having even seen Frozen and still go into Frozen II without feeling lost or confused.
If you love all things Frozen and want to experience the story in a fresh way, then Conceal, Don’t Feel is for you. Two more books in the Twisted Tale series are on the horizon, with Liz Brasswell’s Straight On ‘Til Morning due in February inspired by Peter Pan and Elizabeth Lim’s So This is Love in April inspired by Cinderella. With so many books from Disney Hyperion, Disney fans always have new ways to explore their fandom.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.