Just finished this little nugget and holy wow is it so freaking good. First of all, I'll point out that this author also wrote one of my fave mermaid series ever (The Waterfire Saga), so obviously I had to read this one immediately. It's a total page-turner that explores the ideas of free will vs. destiny, and what could have happened if Cinderella's stepsisters had been given the opportunity to choose their own fate. The story is told from Isabelle's point of view, and I really enjoyed getting to know her. Since this book stems from the original Grimm fairytale, I will say it's a little dark at times, with some heavy themes in terms of target age range. Also there's cursing so if you don't like your kids reading bad words in their books maybe hold off on this one for a couple years. Other than that, I TOTALLY recommend this book. To anyone and everyone. I think adults will connect with this one too. It's a timeless tale of empowerment that we could all use a reminder of now and then.— Caty Christy - Katy Budget Books
An instant New York Times bestseller!
A Seventeen Best of the Year
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal
A YALSA pick
Isabelle should be blissfully happy-she's about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn't the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe . . . which is now filling with blood.
Isabelle tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.
Evoking the darker, original version of the Cinderella story, Stepsister shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses Jennifer Donnelly's trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption . . . and a new definition of beauty.
About the Author
* "Printz Honor winner Donnelly offers up a stunningly focused story that ripsinto the heart of familiar fairy tale. Isabelle [is] a shattered but not unreedemable girl with a warrior's heart." -- Booklist, starred review
"This is another needed voice exposing cultural myths that suffocate girls in the name of likability and pit them against one another in the name of beauty." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Isabelle's emotional and triumphant journey of self-realization proves that beauty can be found in so much more than just a pretty face . . . A breathlessly exciting and utterly satisfying fairy tale." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Focusing on beauty's many guises, what contributes to hatred and cruelty, and people's power to take charge of their destinies, the retold fairy tale advocates autonomy and empowerment." -- Publishers Weekly
An Amelia Bloomer Project RISE selection