Sally Skellington finally marries Jack, which in turns make her the Pumpkin Queen in Halloween Town. Not used to the attention or pressures of being a queen, Sally is completely out of her element, and it shows in her nerves and insecurities. With all that pressure of her queenly duties, Sally unknowingly releases a creature into Halloween Town, putting everyone but her to sleep. Unable to wake them and fearing what will happen to them, Sally sets out visiting every town to find a way to not only wake her town, but her beloved Jack. In this journey, Sally learns more about herself than she ever thought she would need to learn. All the town and the human world need her to get through this new epidemic.
Reviews can be hard, or they can easy. To start this one off, I feel I might need to give you all some background on how I write these. First Post It notes. I write notes and stick them in the book as I read. Just to have something on hand to remind me of things while I write the reviews. The reason I am telling you this is because this book made me feel all kinds of things, questioning different plot lines and adding my own thoughts and summaries to the book so I don’t forget anything. In the case of Long Live the Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw, I had Post It notes all over the place. Totaling at least twenty. The book is not very long, with a total of three hundred eleven pages, but it was amazing. I will say that even as I write this review, I am tearing up just thinking about everything. So, let’s get into the review, shall we?
Long Live the Pumpkin Queen takes place roughly a year after The Nightmare Before Christmas ends and is from Sally’s perspective, as she just married Jack and became the Pumpkin Queen. The Prologue does include that wedding for anyone like me, who is obsessed with The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is beautifully written and in such a way that one can feel and understand Sally at a fundamental way. I think the best part is, the author did not change anything to the story, but added to it. Sally is a ragdoll, so when describing how she feels and how her body reacts, I was a little worried they might say heart or bones and what not. However, Ernshaw kept to the original idea of Sally being a rag doll filled with dead leaves.
Its not just the accuracy of Sally, but all the things Sally goes through in the book that makes it amazing. Like Jack in the movie, Sally has an adventure that helps her really find herself, even while trying to save her town. Throughout the whole novel, we experience ups and downs along with Sally and even get to explore the doorways to other towns, even learning of some ancient ones that haven’t been opened in a very long time. With each page, I was not only engrossed in the plot, but in Sally’s development and growth. It was extremely hard to put down.
One thing that stands out from this book is the underlying message that no matter what or who you are, even you are needed by someone. Whether it’s a town you need to save or family and friend who love you. Your anxieties and fears are not tangible. When you set your mind to something you can accomplish it. It was not only something I personally needed to get, but it was a compelling story to show that sometimes, its not others you need, but yourself that you need. It was heart warming and just amazing to read.
With all that in mind, I rate this novel five out of five stars. I have been giving that out a lot lately. Just shows how much I am loving my current books, I guess. This is a book for all ages. You should watch The Nightmare before Christmas first, but it isn’t needed if you really don’t want to. I know I would happily read this book to my four-year-old when we get the chance. Like me she is in love with Sally and Jack. The book is easy to follow, and you won’t have to explain or look up any words. I feel this is safe to read to those of all ages. It was descriptive, when need be, as well. You could almost feel like you were there. Its short and took me a day to read, so all my readers who like to pick up a quick read, this is one I recommend. In fact, I recommend it to everyone. I know I am trying to convince my non-reader family members to read it! So, pick it up and let me know what you think! And a huge thank you to Shea Ernshaw for Long Live the Pumpkin Queen.