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Ella is 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. She thinks Isabelle is selfish and mean and should keep the path chosen for her. 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 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. 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 Con: none I rate it 5 stars! I appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest. View all 9 comments.
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Jun 20, Sara sarawithoutanH rated it it was amazing Shelves: Guys, you can tell I liked this book because I wrote a legit review!! Or don't. Either way, you are right. This seriously might be a new favorite of mine! This takes place after Ella leaves for her happily ever after and follows one of the ugly stepsisters, specifically the one who cut off her toes in an attempt to fit into the glass slipper. After Ella becomes queen, everyone in their town turns against them.
The sisters, Isabelle and Tavi, are harassed relentlessly for their actions. A constant theme in this book is internal and external ugliness. Who is worse: the sisters who acted out of shameful jealousy or the people who judge them on looks alone? It takes more than heartache to kill a girl.
Girls are tough as rocks. She is That Bitch and she Did That!!! The story examines the meaning of beauty and the idea that girls cannot be fit into a singular box. This whole book truly feels like an ode to the strength of women. I love a good complex flawed character and I found Isabelle to be incredibly relatable. She finds a way to be better without changing who she is. It was funny and character driven. I filled this review with quotes because I loved so much of the writing.
Please read this!! I highly recommend the audiobook! Youtube Twitter Instagram Dec 24, Phoebe Jeziel marked it as to-read. Plot still sounds interesting enough tho lol. View all 18 comments. The message is so important, so relevant, and it had me in tears more than once. The author did such a wonderful job making the point that not every girl is the same, and we shouldn't all JUST want to be liked and pretty This sentiment is beaten into our heads from the day we can understand, and it shouldn't be that way.
Not anymore. Not only is it a beloved story we all grew up knowing, it shows a different side from the "ugly" stepsisters and what happened after Cinderella rode off into the sunset with Prince Charming. I'm a huge fan of fairy tale retellings, and this one was awesome. Read this book. If you have a daughter, or granddaughter, have them read it too.
You won't be disappointed. Girl power! Jan 25, Mary S. It's all yours! We meet Isabelle, the younger of Cinderella's two stepsisters.
It’s Live!! Cover Reveal: Refraction by Naomi Hughes + Giveaway (US Only)
Ella is considered beautiful; stepsister Isabelle is not. Isabelle is fearless, brave, and strong-willed. She fences better than any boy, and takes her stallion over jumps that grown men fear to attempt. It doesn't matter, though; these qualities are not valued in a girl. Others have determined what is beautiful, and Isabelle does not fit their definition. Isabelle must face down the demons that drove her cruel treatment of Ella, challenge her own fate and maybe even redefine the very notion of beauty Cinderella is about a girl who was bullied; Stepsister is about the bully.
We all root for the victims, we want to see them triumph. But what about the bullies?
Is there hope for them? Can a mean girl change? Can she find her own happily ever after? Sombre, with piercing grey eyes, they are the three Fates, and every map is a human life May 11, Hollis rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , arc , all-the-feels , fantasy , finished-in-may , hist-fiction , retellings , a-smattering-of-lols , family-focused , seriously-kick-ass-lady-protag.
Holy shit, guys, this book is flying under the radar right now but it shouldn't be!! Don't believe it. Every time we turn away, keep quiet, stay out it, behave ourselves. This book immediately opens up with a warning about how this is a darker take on the well-known tale and it is definitely that. But it's not clo Holy shit, guys, this book is flying under the radar right now but it shouldn't be!!
But it's not close your eyes and hide under the cover scary; it's just hammering home the stark truths and unpleasant realities of societal expectations, a woman's fate in this world and our own , and the bleakness of war. And I mean there's also the fact that the stepsisters lop off pieces of themselves in order to win a prince, which, hey, fun times!
You and I are the ugly stepsister. And so the world reduces us, all three of us, to our lowest common denominator. What befalls the ugly stepsisters and the wicked stepmother. In this case, it's being shunned. It's being ridiculed. It's shame and regret. It's accepting their choices and living with themselves.. It's about a wish to be pretty, thinking it'll solve all your problems, because discovering and facing the truth of oneself is so much harder.
How many times had she cut away parts of herself at her mother's demand? The part that laughed too loudly. That rode too fast and jumped too high. The part that wished for a second helping. Donnelly's writing captivated me. It bowled me over. There were passages that made me want to cheer because of the beautiful feminist observations, parts that made me laugh because wow the second stepsister was freaking hilarious, and also parts that made me cry -- embarrassingly one of them had to do with mice.
But I own that. It's called love. But never from this perspective, never in this way, and there was a freshness, a realness, to this retelling that just.. Strength and shame and beauty and wonder and forgiveness. Intelligence and cleverness and agony -- physical and of spirit -- and heartbreak. It seemed to flow effortlessly and honestly the only thing keeping this from being five stars is the big fancy HEA. I don't think it was a wrong choice but maybe it was a little too right, if that makes sense?
I would've liked half a step back, I think.
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I wanted math and science. I got corsets and gowns and high heeled silk slippers. It made me sad [.. And then it made me angry. So no, I can't make myself likeable. I've tried. Over and over. It doesn't work. If I don't like who I am, why should you? And it definitely deserves some. Totally recommend. View all 8 comments.
May 17, Sophia Triad rated it really liked it Shelves: royal , 4fantasy-lovestories. Remake the world. Review pending. Jun 11, Katie. Arc provided in exchange for an honest review. This was another average retelling that has been saturating the market recently. The last 50 pages were better than the rest of the story. I did enjoy the character development but the unnecessary romantic couplings and the writing style just made this novel mediocre overall. It also felt that the author just decided to stick anything into the plot that she felt like.
I remember essences of it from my childhood, but the way this trundled along felt li Arc provided in exchange for an honest review. I remember essences of it from my childhood, but the way this trundled along felt like everything was thrown in just for fun. May 23, ;3 rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobooks. But I handed them the knife. View 2 comments. Apr 23, Nadhira Satria rated it really liked it.
And there's so many quotable passages I lost count! The Fate vs Chance gamble : I wasn't bothered at all by the absurdity of Chance's entourage, even though "slapstick" doesn't usually work so well for me in writing as in visual media, because I was more focused on the larger picture, the high stakes gamble between the Crone and Chance for the future of Isabelle. I think that, without this subplot, St What I liked: The Prose : Jennifer Donnelly definitely knows how to write, her style flows so well.
I think that, without this subplot, Stepsister would be just another "Cinderella" retelling from the stepsister's POV, and, frankly, I've already read that "twist," so for me it'd be utterly dull and unimaginative. Not enough. Add something new and you'll catch me. Otherwise, get lost. I don't count "Cinderella" amongst my favourite tales, so. Neither do I share the opinion that Isabelle is a puppet totally at the mercy of Fate and Chance, with no agency at all.
I think that the very fact that she fights so much against her destiny is precisely the point. Helps that I'm used to Greek tragedy, I suppose, it makes the game a familiar and comfy territory for me. If you want to know what "lack of agency" looks like, read Greek tragedy.
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They're all powerless pawns of Fate in it. Not here, Donnelly subverts it.
The stepsister : I liked her, warts and all. One trick to make a villain or antihero or just a plain ol' unlikable grump is to explain why they became what they are currently, and it worked well for Isabelle: we know her reasons to become the bitter woman we meet. She's relatable in the sense that her motives are things any average person could experience that would sour their character. The redemption arc : The conclusion to the redemptive journey could've been better, but I just can't help be drawn to these kinds of arcs like a bee to flowers.
What I didn't like: The ending : Given the grim atmosphere and tone of the story for most of the book, the ending was jarringly and inappropriately cute. It simply doesn't fit with the rest, in my opinion. Sounded more like the author wanted a Happy Ending no matter the cost. I'd have opted for a bittersweet conclusion, far more fitting to the story than the ". Instead, everyone got their cherished wish, not just Isabelle. Her mother got hers, her sister got hers, her beau got his, her stepsister Ella got hers twice, the king got his, etc.
Even the horse got his! It's forced, and, for me, it singlehandedly stopped the book from being a perfect 5 stars one. Tanaquill : My impression is that the Fairy Queen is present as much because she's a staple of the tale as a need for a powerful third chess player to counter both Fate's and Chance's power over Isabelle.
I didn't like her inclusion, however, as this was the equivalent of the infamous Deus ex machina of the Greeks. The stakes were higher and the gamble more interesting without Tanaquill having to poke her nose in the game between Fate and Chance, and doing so by kicking the chessboard to scatter the pieces for additional annoyance. Isabelle could've got along just fine without the silly magic objects, which she uses in too convenient escapes anyway. She had the guts and the strength. All in all, more in favour than against, so 4. I'm counting this retelling amongst my top retellings not just for Cinderella for which it counts as the 2nd most creative to date but for tale retellings in general.
It was that good a story, my first from this author. View all 7 comments. May 22, TheYALibrarian rated it really liked it Shelves: favorites , arcs-read , strong-female-protagonist. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Rating 4. As a child she was read and told the story of Cinderella many times. But she really could not connect to Cinderella's character. Cinderella was kind, beautiful, and essentially perfect. Donnelly said she was not usually these things even thougd I disagree and I could understand on a deep level as well.
So that being said she turned her attention to the ugl Rating 4. So that being said she turned her attention to the ugly stepsisters who were neither pretty nor kind. How they were never really given any attention, only being reflected in their cruel actions to Cinderella. So this story was told from the view of one of the ugly stepsisters Isabelle.
How she learned that her previous actions do not define nor and neither does beauty for that is just abject and real beauty comes from within. We begin the story with the conversing of the characters Fate and Chance that are key players to this story. They make a wager to see if Isabelle, the ugly stepsister, can be given a second chance. If Chance loses he can no longer interfere with any other mortals fate. With the game set we are transported to the version of Cinderella rarely told.
How the stepsisters, forced to cut off their heel or toes in order to fit into the glass slipper. Both attempts failed with undeniable bloom of red on their stockings and right before the prince and the grand duke left Ella was able to appear and confirm that she was the girl the prince was looking for. After that the sisters were not just ugly to others, but ostracized for their cruelty.
Left destitute they are forced to work for their neighbor in order to have a place to stay and food to eat. Through this Fate is disguised as an old woman named Tantine that tries to make Isabelle stay on the path that has been paved for her. But Isabelle, fierce and brave, refuses to stay on course. She asks for the fairy queen's help to make her pretty, thinking this will be the way to solve all her problems. But she must find three pieces of her heart then her wish will be granted.
Isabelle struggles to find these three pieces but eventually finds them with difficulty. For there's a war raging and a face from the past that Isabelle thought was long gone. But she finds out what these pieces of her heart are, Felix the man she is in love with, her horse Nero, and Ella. With two down she is about to make a visit to her stepsister, now the Queen when she stumbles upon the enemy camp of the war lord that has been destroying towns all over France and slaughtering all it's citizens.
Determined to thwart the war lord's plans she fins that the grand duke is the traitor and has captured Ella as a bargaining chip to take down the kinds army. Ella and Isabelle escape where Isabelle and her sister Octavia try to apologize for their cruelty only to find out that even beauties like Ella can be cruel and jealous for due to Ella Felix and Isabelle had been separated.
Now with all three pieces of her heart Isabelle makes a different wish to have an army to defeat the war lord, using the small wooden soldiers Felix had carved himself. When they are transformed Isabelle realizes that she is the only one fit for the task of leading the battle to save France.
Adorned in armor from the fairy queen's magic she charges into battle and kills the war lord himself. The story ends with a happily ever after, Isabelle being the confident woman now general she was born to be and her sister the scholar she always wanted to be. The two are now free and no longer destitute with a palace to live in and Isabelle has the love of her life beside her. Overall this story was one I enjoyed immensely. I'm obviously a fan of Donnelly's writing style that is usually heavy with metaphors and similes weaved with beautiful descriptions. But I would say the whole thing with Isabelle being an ugly stepsister and a woman was laid on a little thickly.
Yes woman were not regarded highly in the eighteenth century but we don't need to be constantly reminded about that from almost every man in this book. There's also some repetition of the whole "beauty is found within" and basic "Love yourself" spiel. A great message but I understood it the first few times. Lastly was the ending was a little unrealistic and far fetched. Isabelle has been well trained in horse riding and swordsmanship but I don't think enough to have the strength to lop off the warlords head but that could be misogynistic of me with her nor being strong enough to defeat a man.
Anyway I will read anything this woman writes and I heard there is another fairy tale book in the works and I'm so here for that!!!! There has been a whole load of retellings over the past few years changing and subverting age-old tales and in a time when female empowerment is firmly on the agenda, this is a powerful, meaningful and empowering story. In lush, lyrical prose Donnelly rafts a mesmerising and timely tale which takes place immediately after the original concludes. I loved this as it was well thought out, written in a pacy fashion and has a genius cast of characters - fate and chance, and I particularly enjoyed how There has been a whole load of retellings over the past few years changing and subverting age-old tales and in a time when female empowerment is firmly on the agenda, this is a powerful, meaningful and empowering story.
I loved this as it was well thought out, written in a pacy fashion and has a genius cast of characters - fate and chance, and I particularly enjoyed how strong-minded, independent and intelligent Cinders was compared to the classic version. The characters come alive on the page and you live every single second alongside them.
Some retellings are mediocre, others abysmal but every now and again, once in a Blue Moon I stumble on a thoroughly entertaining twist on the original, and here, Ms Donnelly redefines the much-loved fairytale, Cinderella. She brings it up to date and takes into account what is happening in the world right now including metoo demonstrations and the movement as a whole and the way we women have an innate human right to be in complete control of mind and body.
The stereotypes from the classic version are gone and replaced with updated characters. I don't want to give too much away, but this is fantastic retelling and is certainly up there with the best I've read. Was she ugly? Was she mean? Did she deserve what happened to her? Step Sister started out from where the Cinderella story left off. With Ella riding the royal Carriage with her Prince, leaving behind her step sisters, one bleeding at her heel, Tavi, and another one bleeding at where her toes had been, Isabelle.
They're left behind to suffer the consequences, with the " They're left behind to suffer the consequences, with the whole village finding out about what happened. In desperation, Isabelle had unintentionally called out for Tanaquill, the fairy queen. When asked what she most desired, she had said she wanted to be pretty. Despising her on her actions to Ella, Tanaquill said she'd grant her her wish but only if she could find the missing pieces of her heart. She handed her 3 items, saying that those would help Isabelle.
Well of course I'm not telling you what the three things were, as it'd spoil the whole plot, but Isabelle's life was meddled by Fate, who was detemined that humans should not be given a choice in life and should only follow what they're fated to do, and by Chance, who was determined that everyone deserved a chance or two in life to change their fates. The plot was okay, it started out fast, then got a little draggy with details that seemed unnecessary to me, but once Isabelle had gotten the hang of what she ought to look for in order to find the lost pieces of her heart, the story picked up its paced again.
It was a rather moving story, not quite emotional but still managed to touch my heart. The writing style was good but maybe the author could slow down with the metaphors. Sometimes it could be confusing. The main character, Isabelle, was fierce, strong and brave. I'm not going to justify her behaviours towards Ella, but it was somehow redeemed, given the circumstances. Tavi, on the other hand, was not quite evil. She just despised life so much for being born as a girl who had to conform to society's norms, to dress pretty and entertain men, when all she wanted was proper education and to voice out her opinions without people telling her that she's a girl and she shouldn't have opinions.
They're not the usual kind of girls. They have courage and they were bold, and they're ugly not exactly because of their looks, but simply because they're not to be tamed by men. Having sweet, beautiful Ella as a step sister wasn't helping. Perfect Ella who could charm anyone she talked to without causing anger or trouble.
But Ella, despite her perfect demeanour, had her ugly side too. One's actions have consequences and this story showed the domino effect of all the choices they made in their lives. This was my first fairy tale retelling so I'm not quite sure if it's the best one out there, but it's good. I enjoyed reading it and I particularly liked the last 50 pages or so of the book. I really thought my heart would be broken but thank God not much damage was inflicted.
To all the insecure girls out there, perhaps you can try to read this book and pick up some of the advices in it. Be strong.
Be bold. Live bravely. Beauty isn't always pretty. I would like to thank Pansing for this lovely ARC in exchange for my honest review. Step Sister is set to be published in May , and it will be available at all good bookstores.
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A beautiful cover saying read me. When I was younger being very girly I loved reading the Cinderella story and I'm sure that many women now will remember that excitement. Even seeing Cinderella in pantomime is so magical and enjoyable. I found it thrilling for a change to read this fantasy magical powerful fairytale retelling of Cinderella in Stepsister. Just like in Cinderella in the Stepsister the prince searched for the girl who had worn a glass slipper.
He had danced all night with a beautif A beautiful cover saying read me. He had danced all night with a beautiful girl at a masquerade ball and fallen in love with her, but as we know by the stoke of midnight, the girl had to run away, but a glass slipper had been left behind. And the prince vowed that he would marry the girl who had worn it. Isabelle had a pretty face and dainty feet, if she marrys a prince she will be a princess and then one day a queen.
I didn't know that Jennifer Donnelly is the author of thirteen novels and a picture book for children. May 31, Lizzy Bent Bookworm rated it really liked it Shelves: releases , read-in , fantasy. I am the newborn lamb and the wolf that rips out its throat.
I am the bloodsong, crone. Baby Ruby is crying her eyes out — and the whole family will do anything to try and help her stop! A soothing bath with dad, a comforting feed from mum, a drive with Nana and a garden stroll with Grandad… but nothing works and Ruby is still bawling.
Finally, her brother Theo makes up a special song for his screaming little sister. You look… I dunno, Chinese, or Japanese, or something. Made to feel like an outsider at Clyde Academy, Cherry Costello now faces a different life in Somerset with dad, where her new mum and a bunch of brand-new sisters await. Cherry knows her crush could jeopardise everything.
Up there, coloured folks could go anywhere they wanted. In , growing up in a small, segregated town in South Carolina is tough.
Especially for year-old Ella. Bullied for her skin tone, Ella misses her mother who moved away to pursue a jazz singing career. But then she receives an invitation to visit her mother in Boston and jumps at the chance. The trip proves to be life-changing. Ella learns about the father she never knew and experiences what life outside segregation could be like. Julius Kane. The siblings have drifted apart, but one night at the British Museum, they are drawn together by a terrifying chain of events.
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