Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Early Review: The Stepsister's Tale by Tracy Barrett


Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads



What really happened after the clock struck midnight?
Jane Montjoy is tired of being a lady. She's tired of pretending to live up to the standards of her mother's noble family-especially now that the family's wealth is gone and their stately mansion has fallen to ruin. It's hard enough that she must tend to the animals and find a way to feed her mother and her little sister each day. Jane's burden only gets worse after her mother returns from a trip to town with a new stepfather and stepsister in tow. Despite the family's struggle to prepare for the long winter ahead, Jane's stepfather remains determined to give his beautiful but spoiled child her every desire.

When her stepfather suddenly dies, leaving nothing but debts and a bereaved daughter behind, it seems to Jane that her family is destined for eternal unhappiness. But a mysterious boy from the woods and an invitation to a royal ball are certain to change her fate...
From the handsome prince to the evil stepsister, nothing is quite as it seems in Tracy Barrett's stunning retelling of the classic Cinderella tale.



This isn't the first time I've read a retelling of Cinderella from the POV of the wicked stepsister, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I'm addicted to retellings, and if I don't get my fix I start shaking like a crack addict. The good thing about my kind of addiction is that you get to keep all of your teeth.
Just somthin' to keep in mind, if you're weighing your options.
Crack...living in a cardboard box beside a Waffle House dumpster.
Retellings...too much time spent wandering around local Barnes and Noble.
I mean, they both have their drawbacks, but...

So.
The Stepsister's Tale was really good. It's nothing like I thought it would be, but I still enjoyed every minute of it. I thought it was going to explain, from Jane's point of view, why she ended up being mean to Ella. As in, maybe Ella was pulling some iffy shit, and Jane got sick of it. And it was sort of like that...but not really.
Turns out, neither Jane nor her mother and sister, were ever cruel to Ella. She just made that shit up so people would feel sorry for her.
I know she was just a kid, but I really wanted to pop her head off by the end of the book!
But it's not exactly cut and dried when it comes to Ella, either. The main problem with her? Her idiotically doting father managed to thoroughly spoil her.
Letting your kid know you love them more than anything in the world...won't spoil them.
Letting them have, say, and do whatever they want...will ruin their life.
And while it was obvious that he truly loved his daughter, it also became painfully obvious that he wasn't quite the man he said he was. When he dies, all of his shady secrets start to come to light, and Jane is left to pick up the pieces. His death turns into a tipping point for everyone involved, and it all culminates at the ball. However, much like the rest of this story, the events do not play out the way you might expect.

So, who was the real Fairy Godmother?
How Charming was the Prince?
Why was Ella covered in cinders?
And finally, what got lost in translation when the story was retold?
The answers to these question might surprise you...

I'm not say it blew my mind, but it's certainly worth reading if you're looking for a good twist on a classic fairlytale!


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