Book - 2019
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Isabelle is one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters, who cut off their toes in an attempt to fit into the glass slipper; but there is more to her story than a maimed foot, for the Marquis de la Chance is about to offer her a choice and the opportunity to change her fate--there will be blood and danger, but also the possibility of redemption and triumph, and most of all the chance to find her true self.
Publisher: New York, New York : Scholastic Press, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781338268461
Characteristics: 342 pages ;,22 cm.


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Jun 04, 2020

Ever feel like two ancient and powerful immortals are just jerking you around? Well you should, because they probably are.

I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I went in with fairly low expectations and liked this book more and more as I read on. I didn't really care for Fate, which is a shame, but she did sort of take away from the story a bit. I actually preferred to just read about Isabelle, and not think about what Fate and Chance were doing to "force" or "guide" her down a certain path.

Overall, it is a decent tale for one of the Ugly Stepsisters, a little predictable in places but enjoyable.

Mar 28, 2020

I think that this is a wonderful continuation of the Cinderella story. Jennifer Donnelly develops the characters and the world in a thoughtful and entrancing way. I would definitely recommend this book to any fairytale enthusiasts.

IndyPL_LoriO Jan 04, 2020

I loved this continuation of the Cinderella story, which humanizes the “ugly stepsisters” and Cinderella herself. The book does suffer slightly from hitting the reader over the head repeatedly with its themes, but overall I enjoyed the even plotting and strong character development. It was nice to root for all the girls in the story rather than being forced to root for one while demonizing the rest. Highly recommended!

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Oct 07, 2019

A unique "sequel" to Cinderella for difficult, hard-to-pigeonhole women and girls. A reminder that it is our job to define ourselves, not the people around us.

Aug 03, 2019

A Cinderella re-telling from the point of view of the ugly stepsister where the magic, love, danger and adventure were overshadowed by the rather heavy-handed attempts to get certain messages across. The ideas - fate versus agency, being true to oneself, equality - are all great messages for a young adult novel but the lack of subtlety pulled me out of the story.

WoodmontTeens May 06, 2019

Brings dimensions to the "evil stepsisters" of Cinderella and throws in some action. A good addition to the fractured fairy tale genre.


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Jun 04, 2020

It is the magic of a frail and fallible creature, one capable of both unspeakable cruelty and immense kindness. It lives inside every human being ready to redeem us. To transform us. To save us. If we can only find the courage to listen to it.

It is the magic of the human heart.

Jun 04, 2020

Each queen was once a girl like you.
Told who to be and what to do.
Not pretty, not pleasing, far too rough.
Lacking, less than, not enough.

Till wounded subjects, anguished dead,
Mattered more than things that others said.
Then, like a flag, her will unfurled.
Go now, girl. Remake the world.


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Jun 11, 2019

What if everyone planned for a future you choose not to live?

I’ve been a reading jag lately – looking for “Feminist Fantasy” books. Fortunately, this appears to be a growing genre, and “Stepsister” fits the bill perfectly. The story begins where “Cinderella” ends – the beautiful sister gets the Prince, a castle, a happily-ever-after.
But, what happened to the two “ugly stepsisters” of the story.

This is where “Stepsister” takes a different turn, creating an alternative story for the two sisters, Octavia and Isabelle. They pale in comparison to the always kind, sweet, long-suffering and beautiful Ella. They have made themselves into the kind of woman society demands they be, at the cruel command of their over-bearing mother. Yet, that doesn’t fit for Isabelle anymore.

As fate and chance fight over the plight of the “ugly stepsisters” Isabelle tries to save her family, find her way and create a new life. She fights for her dignity inch-by-inch, with no help from anyone, until an old friend returns to the village.

All stories are about change, and “Stepsister” shows us that even when we are judged to be one thing, we can always find a way to honestly access our own power to find our dreams.

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