Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair...
Tangled Up In You Book Cover Tangled Up In You
Meant to Be
Christina Lauren
Romance, Fantasy Retelling
Hyperion Avenue
June 25, 2024
Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle

A witty and deeply romantic modern reimagining of Disney’s Tangled, by the New York Times bestselling author duo Christina Lauren, part of the acclaimed and bestselling Meant to Be collection. She has a dream. He has a plan. Together they’ll take a leap of faith. Ren has never held an iPhone, googled the answer to a question, or followed a crush on social media. What she has done: Read a book or two, or three (okay, hundreds). Taught herself to paint. Built a working wind power system from scratch. But for all the books she’s read, Ren has never found one that’s taught a woman raised on a homestead and off the grid for most of her twenty-two years how to live in the real world. So when she finally achieves her lifelong dream of attending Corona College, it feels like her life is finally beginning. Fitz has the rest of his life mapped out: Graduate from Corona at the top of his class, get his criminal record wiped clean, and pass himself off as the rich, handsome player everyone thinks he is. He’s a few short months from checking off step one of his plans when Ren Gylden, with her cascading blonde hair and encyclopedic brain, crashes into his life, and for the first time Fitz’s plan is in jeopardy. But a simple assignment in their immunology seminar changes the course of both their lives, and suddenly they’re thrown out of the frying pan and into the fireon a road trip that will lead them in the most unexpected directions. Out on the open road, the world somehow shifts, and the unlikely pair realize that, maybe, the key to the dreams they've both been chasing have been sitting next to them the whole time.

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

2024 is the year of the fairytale retellings, and I’m here for it.

Tangled is one of my favorite animated movies. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Pascal and Max. They are exceptional and severely underrated as far as I’m concerned.

My heart exploded into fireworks and confetti when hearing that Christina Lauren wrote a Tangled retelling, and I have no doubt they would rival the spectacle that was the ‘lights’ from the movie. This novel has it all: mystery and intrigue, incredulity (who hasn’t Googled something in 2024?! Even my dad is familiar with Alexa), road trip adventure, and romance.

Manage Those Expectations, Folks

“Tangled Up In You” is definitely based on the animated movie of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, of that there is no doubt. I would be remiss, though, if I didn’t warn die-hard Tangled fans to manage your expectations. Like any other adaptation or remake, there is always going to be changes that deviate from the original and this novel is no different. The characters’ names, setting, and heck, even the plot are variations of the initial story. Try not to get too hung up on the differences. If you’re able to take the general theme of the movie and apply it to this story, I believe you’ll find it altogether more enjoyable.

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

Two people who barely know each other.

Let’s talk romance.

Ren and Fitz don’t have that initial passionate dynamic at the beginning of the story, but their relationship grows during their forced proximity.

“She was completely irresistible as long as she wasn’t speaking, which, unfortunately was never.”

They learn to appreciate each other on their adventure and show readers that you can be very, very different people and still find things in common. Fitz learns to trust Ren and open up to her more than he’s ever opened up to anymore before. Ren, trusting and innocent, learns that there will be someone to have her back in the end. Sometimes building that respect and admiration for another person means more than just an initial attraction. Sometimes that relationship built on mutual shared experience just hits different.

“Even though Ren wasn’t patient – grabbing at life with both fists was more her style – Fitz wouldn’t expect her to know how to navigate everything on the first try either, and was amazed how fast she was learning. Whereas he’d spent his first year in his new world quietly observing, Ren was running forward, arms outstretched. He wanted to tell her how impressed he was, how hard and disorienting and intimidating he knew it must be. Most of all he wanted to tell her just how desperately he wanted to hold her hand – and much, much more.”

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading “Tangled Up In You” and thought that Christina Lauren did a great job of taking the themes we all love from the movie and incorporating them into a brand new story. These two dynamic authors take the time to flesh out their characters and their stories, and ensure that readers are treated to a unique and fun experience with every new novel. I appreciate that while I know what I’m in for when I pick up a Christina Lauren novel, I never truly know what I’m going to get until I’m in the thick of it, right along side our main characters.