Review 5 Star
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Cinderella—A Love Story is a cute fairy tale retelling by Gina LoBiondo. Set in the kingdom of Orynx, the story starts with Ella’s parents—her mother Marie, who married very young, and her father Charles. After Marie dies and her father remarries, Ella’s life goes from paradise as a much-loved daughter with a huge doll collection to a slave in rags. Her stepmother, Vera, deeply resents how happy Ella used to be and deliberately sets out to be hard on her, using her two spoiled daughters as puppets. But will a king’s unwelcome edict, which forces his handsome young son to choose a bride, help turn things around for Ella? And she sorely misses her mother—is it possible her mother misses her too?
This gently-paced, humorous little story has a narrative voice that is exactly reminiscent of the way old fairy tales were written, which lends it a great deal of authenticity. It makes a nice quick read for anyone who loves to collect and read fairy tales. Cinderella—A Love Story adds some intriguing touches to a familiar classic, including Cinderella’s father as more of a central character present throughout the story, which I really liked. Gina LoBiondo achieves great success in making this story about an oppressed heroine always feel lighthearted. Even as Ella goes through bad things, the witty conversations and interesting additions to the original tale such as a scheming valet, a ghost, and a genuine change of heart from the stepsisters, make it a worthwhile reading experience. It has just enough familiarity that it never disappoints and just enough originality that it pleasantly surprises at the right times.
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This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.