Synopsis from Scholastic:
A startlingly fresh, fiercely feminist reimagining of Cinderella from the bestselling, Printz Honor-winning author Jennifer Donnelly.
Isabelle should be blissfully happy — she’s about to marry a prince. Except that Isabelle isn’t the girl who lost the slipper. And the glass shoe on her foot is filling with blood . . .
Isabelle isn’t the beauty who captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fool him. When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she’s banished. It’s no more than Isabelle deserves. She’s a plain girl in a world that values beauty. A stubborn girl in a world that wants her to be pliant. Her destiny is a life of misery.
That’s what Isabelle believes until she finds herself in the midst of a battle between Fate and Chance. Cruel Fate believes that an “ugly” girl with so much bitterness in her heart can never change her destiny. Roguish Chance believes otherwise. And so, Isabelle is given the opportunity to harness strength she never knew she possessed, and learns that while “pretty” is a noose around your neck, “ugly” is the sword that cuts you free.
About: Stepsister is a young adult fairy tales retelling written by Jennifer Donnelly. It will be published on 5/14/2019 by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc, 352 pages. The genres are young adult, fantasy, and retelling. This book is intended for readers ages 12 and up, grades 7 and up. Another book I read from this author was Poisoned, a Snow White Retelling. According to the publisher’s website, “Scholastic was founded in 1920 as a single classroom magazine. Today, Scholastic books and educational materials are in tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of homes worldwide, helping to Open a World of Possible for children across the globe” and their mission is to “encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Stepsister on 4/19/2019 and finished it on 4/23/2019. This fairy tale retelling is an excellent read! I like that it started out with the Cinderella story and expanded further after Cinderella went off to her happily ever after. I love that this story focus on the stepsister’s perspectives of how it all went. I love that the stepsisters are portrayed as intelligent and brave, more tomboy than girly. There are many types of girls and this book hit straight on the nail’s head by including girls who likes to study and girls who likes to do boys stuffs such as playing with swords and strong willed to speak her mind as compared to girls who wear silk dresses and readily agreeable even when she doesn’t want to. Many readers can easily relate to Isabelle because she often feel unsure of herself when she has more and still feel unhappy than those who has less.
This book is told in the third person point of view following Isabelle, 16 as she does what her mom wants, to cut off a few of her toes so that her foot can fit into the glass slipper that the Prince of France brought. Isabelle’s mom told her she’s ugly and she thinks if the Prince marries her she’ll be a Princess and someday will be Queen and no one will dare to call her ugly again. Unfortunately that plan didn’t turn out in their favor and instead backfired. The two stepsisters are Octavia, 17 and Isabelle, 16. Ella is 17. The second view is of Chance. He believes he can change the path for Isabelle after her failed attempt at stealing the Prince from Ella. But Fate is in the way because she already has Isabelle’s life mapped out. She thinks Isabelle is selfish and mean and should keep the path chosen for her. Then there’s the fairy queen who comes to Isabelle’s rescue when Isabelle’s heart asked for help.
Stepsister is very well written and filled with Fate and Chance that make you think about yourself. Fate tests you with negative feelings of self doubt and Chance gives you the opportunity to think again and try again. I love the humor in this book, especially toward the end with the “sweaty dead dog”. I like when Isabelle is mean to Ella to turn around and experience how it feels when someone else is mean to her. I like that this story is not a smooth ride. There are many ups and downs and opportunities to change the course of life. I like Felix and the bits of romance. It’s cute. This book is definitely a plus and I highly recommend everyone to read it!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, humor, stepsisters, fairy tale retelling, adrenaline rush
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Jennifer Donnelly is the author of a novel for adult readers, “The Tea Rose, “and a picture book, “Humble Pie. “For “A Northern Light,” her first young adult novel, she drew on stories she heard from her grandmother while growing up in upstate New York. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York. https://www.jenniferdonnelly.com/get-in-touch (Photo obtained from the author’s website and info obtained from Scholastic’s website).
More Information about Scholastic
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Scholastic for the amazing and beautiful book mail. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.