Today has been a Monday-like Tuesday. Flat tire, lost phone, lost dog…I was just glad to make it to the end of the day with my three children still around! The reason I’m telling you this is so that you’ll understand if this post makes absolutely no sense, or I get lost in my thoughts (see what I just did there?”). Yeah, I need some sleep.
But first, a review. I have a dystopian I wanted to review, but haven’t quite finished it yet, so today I’m going to go for a fairy-tale retelling instead. The book is called The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling.
Ling has written some other fun stories, but this is my favorite. I will warn you right now, this is a longer book. I didn’t mind because I really enjoyed the story, but I thought I should give you fair warning. The main character of our story is Kat and she is transported back in time into the story of Cinderella as one of the stepsister. The story follows her attempts to finish the story so she can return to her world.
I loved the character of Kat. She’s smart and not a gorgeous, vain type. She grows a ton in the book and cares about the people in the book even though a part of her knows they aren’t ‘real’.
The kingdom and political decisions of the prince are a big part of the story. Kat fights to protect worker rights and works against child labor and other problems. This gives this retelling a depth that a lot of other ones lack. The romantic relationship is handled well and develops in a very believable way.
The variety of characters in the book is amazing and each seem very individual and unique. I loved combination of down-to-earth characters and the fairy tale ones.
If you like fairy tale retellings, I would definitely recommend this one. If you have read any of Ling’s other books and didn’t love them, give this one a try. The characters and the story are so much deeper and more fleshed out. This is one is on my recommended list for sure!