Updated: Dec 5, 2020
So... It's December. My Fairy Tale Book Club had a Cinderella theme in October... and I didn't post one single review. Oops. One of my goals for the month of December is that I am going to read more, and remember to post about what I've read. I thought I would start by writing a recap review of the Cinderella books I read in October. And also share some cute pictures of my Cinderella Halloween.
So the Middle Grade Cinderella book I read was Ella Enchanted.
I was about 1/3 of the way into the book when I realized I was 90% sure I had read it before. But I plugged through and finished it and it is a super cute book. I love the premise of Ella who is cursed to always obey whatever anyone tells her to do, including when her mother made her swear to never tell anyone about the curse. It has all the usual Cinderella beats with a wicked step-family, and a fairy god-mother. Definitely a cute book for kids/younger teenagers who like fairytales. I will say with the trend in fairytale retellings focusing on the bad guys or making the story darker (Think Descendants, or The Disney's Twisted Tales Series) some more modern kids might find it a little boring. Though there is a bunch of kid humor in it, so that could help. I would give it four stars.
I actually read two different YA Cinderella books. The book club voted for Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron but I was also dying to start the Lunar Chronicles (because apparently I've been living under a rock and haven't read them). I am almost done with the whole Lunar Chronicles series though, so I am going to save talking about Cinder for another post.
Anyway, Cinderella is Dead.
I wanted to love this book. I love the premise. It sounded amazing. What is not to love about throwing Cinderella sterotypes on their head, feminism, POC rep, and Queer rep all in one book? Well, even though this book sounded amazing. I just couldn't love it. I was sucked in right away to a really interesting world but the book fell flat. The main character, Sophia, was just not a very interesting character. I was rooting for her, but only half heartedly. I really liked the love interest, Constance. She was much more interesting. She had a bit of fire to her personality, picking fights with the fairy godmother and such. I also felt like the pacing of the book was strange. Certain things were rushed through that were actually really exciting parts of the story, while other parts felt super slow and dragged on and on. I actually wonder if a certain part of it was that it felt more like a Middle Grade book than YA. I wonder if the reason it was classified up an age level was only because of the lgbtq+ relationship, which makes me sad because Love is Love and all ages should be able to see that representation. Anyway, despite the amazing premise, I can only really give this book three stars.
The other Cinderella Book I read was A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James.
This book was exactly what I expected it to be. This was classic regency romance with Cinderella trappings. Eloisa James was very clear though in her preface that the book took lots of liberties to lean into the fairytale and was therefore not a true regency romance. But the feel was all there. The main character is the daughter of a noble man, living with her step family. The fun twist you don't usually see in a Cinderella story was that she was actually made to go to the ball on purpose, disguised as her step-sister. Her step-sister is with child, and needs the prince's approval to marry her fiancé because he is the Prince's nephew and for some reason needs his approval. (Kinda of a stretch, but whatever, it worked.) The prince is engaged to another foreign princess because he is in desperate need of money. Of course he and the main character meet and fall in love and agree to a strictly physical relationship because he is set to marry someone else. For a steamy bodice ripper, my one complaint was how long it took to get into the smut. I will say though, once it got there, the reward was worth it. It was very sexy and very fun. If you like steamy regency romances and are ok with some historical inaccuracy, you will like this book. I would give this book four stars.
One other YA Cinderella retelling I read was Geekerella by Ashley Poston.
This one wasn't part of the book club but I had been wanting to read this series. I think it was actually my favorite of all the Retellings I read!
If you don't know, the premise was a contemporary YA romance between a cinderella type girl who's father was the creator of the biggest Sci-Fi convention in the area and the boy playing the lead character in the new movie version of a popular sci-fi series. She is a blogger who blogs about the series (it's a fictional series just for the book, but so obviously a Star Trek substitute) who thinks he is a terrible choice for the role because he is a teen heartthrob from a Dawson's Creek-esque show and obviously knows nothing about the series. Little does she know he's a huge fan. They accidentally wind up texting each other due to a wrong number scenario before they know who each other is. If you like YA romance and know anything about Geek Con couture this book is amazing! Anyway, there is also amazing lgbtq+ and POC rep throughout the entire series including a f/f romance plot for the MC in book 2. I have not read book 3 yet, but I'm really excited to start it soon.
Speaking of Cinderella retellings, I also have some exciting news. I will have a Cinderella retelling coming out some time this summer most likely. I managed to win nanowrimo! (Part of why I haven't been blogging) I wrote a 50,000 word novel in 30 days! And I am so excited for it. I will defintely be finishing Eagle's Embrace first before I even start editing it or preparing it for publication though. I'm just so excited about it. I will share more info on that soon. And Sign up for my newsletter for updates on all of my writing!
And now let me share some fun pictures from my Cinderella Halloween. You can check out more on my instagram account.