Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

The Ugly Stepsister

Aya Ling

YA Fairy Tale Retelling
June 12, 2015

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?

Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

There were so many things I really liked about this retelling. It's different with well-developed characters and an interesting story line. But about 1/3 of the way through I realized I wouldn't like the ending no matter what happened-- the author put herself between a rock and a hard place. What did I want to happen? Honestly, I'm not sure. The author ended the book in a way I didn't expect, but I think it was the right way. That doesn't mean I liked the ending...

I loved the characters in this novel. So many interesting people, with diverse personalities. It really made for interesting reading. The plot was different from other retellings which was a nice change. The twist toward the end was well-executed, as well as intriguing. Ms. Ling does a fine job immersing the reader in her fantasy world.

For the most part, the story is fast-paced, though there were lulls from time to time. Truth be told, I almost didn't finish reading once I realized where the author was taking the story. But I couldn't put it down and am glad I finished the story. I know a lot of readers will like the realistic ending, but I guess I just have enough realism in my life.

Overall: great characters, wonderful immersive descriptions, intriguing story line with a fun twist.


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