Publisher: Entangled Teen, HarlequinTeen
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Historical, Romance
I’ve decided to do two mini reviews today, and because they’re both Cinderella retellings it only makes sense that they’d be in the same post (: I also sadly had to DNF both of them.
Release Date: June 24th, 2014
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 one was just simply boring to me. I made it through forty nine percent of The Stepsister’s Tale before I called it quits. I just felt like I was reading nothing but empty words. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters on any sort of level. I just found myself in a observer sort of role. The issue came in through when I was observing….nothing. Just the constant monotony of Jane doing farming chores. Milking the cow, gathering food…it was just a detached cycle for me.
I do appreciate that this Tracy tried to put a spin on the original tale and I feel like it could have worked out as the story went on. At forty percent though we still hadn’t met the fairy godmother, see any hint of romance or even got the invitation of the ball. In a way it felt like The Stepsister’s Tale was just a overwrought tale that was frankly unnecessary. I sadly couldn’t force myself through the heavy descriptions and the slow pace. I also found the majority of the characters to be quite juvenile, which made it even harder for myself to truly connect with them. I found reading this one to be a chore in itself, and at forty percent I just didn’t see the point of continuing onward when I felt like nothing of particular interest was happening.
Even as I type this I find myself reaching for something that wasn’t there. It’s been around three days since I DNF’ed this one however I find myself forgetting what occurred and having nothing to report on. I feel that exemplifies the reason I couldn’t finish this one. It was truly unmemorable, slowly paced, had bland characters and I didn’t find myself invested in the least.
Release Date: June 3rd, 2014
Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dresses is even tougher.
Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she’s working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dresses, life gets complicated.
Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart, Johnny, stuck in the middle of battle, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.
After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve.
This one had a crazy amount of potential, WWII time period with a fairytale retelling twist? Count me in. However, at 70 percent I had to DNF Cinderella’s Dress. I just felt no drive to continue it whatsoever.
The historical elements that are included do seem to be quite well done. They appear to be well researched and are described quite clearly. There was also some great evocative letters that Kate would send to her father, brother and love interest Johnny. However the issue arises in the fact that the letters are the only parts where I felt like WWII was actually going on. In Kate’s day to day life I feel like there wasn’t much focus on the war, even though its clear to me that if would be quite impactful. Instead there appeared to be more focus on boys and dresses, which could be quite annoying at times. It also seemed like the war felt included just because it fit the time frame, there wasn’t a purpose for it. The war gets introduced only to end after like seventy five pages. Literally, there’s a bunch of letters one after the other and boom. Extreme jump forward in terms of time with little description of what Kate’s been up to during that huge amount of time. These time jumps made me feel quite disjointed It’s because of all of these reasons that the war just felt like a plot device, a way to introduce some characters that would later shape the plot.
Speaking of the plot, it was sadly very slow paced. At 70 percent in we have accomplished…nothing. Yes, we’ve learned a lot, however I feel like Kate has done nothing but sit around writing letters and dreaming. I feel like there’s truly a issue if the book is 70 percent in and you got hardly any movement plot wise. It makes me think that the ending would be quite rushed and come from nowhere. Overall I felt cheated, you kept getting hints of a totally awesome plot while just getting nowhere. I never saw any conflict before I DNF’ed other than petty stuff between Kate and her mother and a little bit of emotional trauma. The dress and its powers weren’t explained further than the fact it existed. I found myself uncaring and disengaged from the plot.
Kate was a character who I again didn’t find myself connected to. I didn’t hate her though, but nor did I love her. I felt quite apathetic towards her and whatever was going on with Kate in the plot. I actually found her love interest to be way more interesting. I found that he brought out a different side in Kate and that they worked together quite well. In the first 70 percent of the novel it’s their romance that was focused on, however you don’t really see Johnny because he’s out in the war. So, you really just get Kate moping about and having spats with her mother.
Overall I feel like Cinderella’s Dress held a lot of potential, that was unfortunately unmet. Poor pacing, odd time jumping, lack of connection and the fact WWII seemed like a plot device were reasons I DNF’ed.
~Thank you Harlequin Teen and Entangled Teen for sending me these copies~
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