Jun 15, 2015
Title:The Ugly Stepsister
Release Date:June 12 2015
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?
An ARC was provided by the author in exchange of a honest review
When Aya Ling approached me with a request to review The Ugly Stepsister, I was immediately hooked by how original the concept sounded. Well, maybe not totally, as it's a new trend in Cinderella retellings to make the "ugly stepsister" fall in love with the prince charming, but the fact that this story features a modern day MC transported into the fairy tale universe intrigued me greatly.
Kat is an awkward bookworm, who accidentally rips off an old collector's edition of Cinderella, while clearing her old books collection, and finds herself transported into the Victorian world of Cinderella as one of the ugly stepsister. Totally confused at first, she gradually realizes that she has been dragged into a game of goblin magic, and she can't be taken back to the world where she belongs in, until she makes sure the story ends with a happily ever after, with Cinderella marrying the prince. But it isn't an easy task, when the other stepsister is gorgeous, Cinderella has more problems with her life than caring about a stupid ball and the prince charming ends up falling for Kat.
I really liked The Ugly Stepsister. I personally think that it's more of a rendition of Cinderella rather than a retelling as the book doesn't follow the exact storyline. At all. In fact, the only features of the classic tale of Cinderella that can be seen in the book were the characters and the world. Otherwise, The Ugly Stepsister takes a fresh take on the good old tale, and also addresses some pretty important issues of the Victorian society.
Kat was amazing. She is the best part of the book. She is a typical bookworm - a clumsy, quirky and straightforward girl who wasn't afraid to speak her mind and voice her opinions. She is so relatable, and at times she can be so hilarious that her antics made me laugh a lot.
The rest of the characters were pretty great as well. We have Elle - our Cinderella - who was a sweet, caring girl and a loyal friend. Henry, the cute and nice best friend of the prince charming, the adorable little brothers of Elle and of course, the Prince.
Edward - the prince- was a wonderful character as well. He is described as a silent and moody person who keeps to himself, his best friend and garden- which is his passion. He was a sweet guy, and the romance between him and Kat was beautiful. It was gradual, slow and incredibly sweet. They bantered a lot, had a couple of sweet moments and most of all, had a steady and incredible bond that I adored.
Another thing that I loved in this story is the fact that it addressed some serious issues that existed in that era, The story stressed a lot on feminism, as it's a period where women were only expected to dress up prettily and show up at events and dances, Kat- being a modern day teen- refused to go by that and rebels. She also firmly puts her foot down on the issue of child labour- and I also loved how Edward supported her with her revolution.
Overall, The ugly stepsister was a light and cute fairytale retelling with wonderful characters and a sweet romance. The ending of the story was bittersweet, but also realistic, and I really enjoyed this quirky rendition of the fairy tale. I'll recommend this to fairytale retelling fans, and those who like historical romance stories with unconventional heroines.