Title: The Ugly Stepsister
Author: Aya Ling
Genre: YA Fairytale Retelling
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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?
This was an interesting story. I thought this was a very interesting concept. I love my fairytale retelling, but this one was different, as we have a modern girl who gets transported into the world of Cinderella as one of the stepsisters. And the only way back is to make sure the story ends how it is supposed to.
I am quite mixed on this story. I actually almost DNF'd it at 50%. I wavered for a while, because I was curious as to what happened. So, I skipped to the end to see if all was made right, and read something that made me to go back and read the whole story. I don't think I've ever done that. While normally I would dock a star for the near-DNF, I felt that this was a solid three-star book and left it.
Kat was an interesting character. There were times when she was complex and likeable and I enjoyed reading about her. But other times, she just felt flat and shallow. However, she did take being transported into a Story World and having to find Cinderella, a fairy godmother, convince the prince to host a ball, and still make everyone think she is the real Katriona pretty well. Better than I would have taken it.
There were the normal clashes that come about when a modern girl goes back into the past (or a past-like world) where she is so used to our world today that she forgets the time and place she is in, which always annoys me. There were a few things that I felt didn't add up. I even believe that I stated that the story was turning into a mess around 60%, as so many things were happening. And I was not really satisfied with the ending.
BUT all that aside, I think it was an enjoyable story. It was well-written, and solid, and I liked the twist on a normal retelling. It does take some time to get into, but the world was fleshed out well. I actually liked this prince. There was humor and fun along with the serious moments. I thought it was a very solid story.
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