2015 · 5 Stars · Book Reviews · Retelling · Reviewed for NetGalley · Young Adult

The Ugly Stepsister – Aya Ling



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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?



Thank you NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I love retellings. There is just something great about a fairy tale. And in The Ugly Stepsister you are not disappointed. As an avid reader I have read my fair share of retellings and you see a lot of the same stuff after so many books.

This book though was a first for me. I have yet to read a book that captures the plot of the story in the form of a Goblin cursed book that transports you into the story from wherever the book was ripped, making the cursed person live in the story until the end. The end being, in the case of a fairy tale, when they get married and live happily ever after.

I mean come on… I doubt there is a single person who could say that they haven’t read a book that they wished that they could enter. I have 100’s of books that I would love to live through.

It was also a great idea to not have the heroine of the story be Cinderella. I mean it’s good, just really predicable.

I was so worried when I first started reading this book. You have the typical bookish, clumsy, shy girl. I like a character to have at least some self confidence. If the character is always down on herself i.e – I don’t know why he likes me. I am so ugly, and dumb, and I have no redeeming qualities what so ever. That just gets SO old SO fast. But thankfully when she gets transported to “Story World”, it is not so much that she is clumsy, just more of she has to try and get around in these big dresses.

I was a little shocked that, as Kat states, she is such a huge reader, you would think that she would have read something… anything… in the historical genre. She is so surprised that the maids are shocked when she is nice to them. Or how she knows that she one of the “ugly, evil” stepsisters and isn’t supposed to be nice, and wonders why when she is nice, everyone is shocked.

One of my favorite parts of the book though was that there wasn’t an insta-love. I am never a huge fan when a book does that. Instead, in this book there is just the initial spark of interest.

Prince Edward as the prince was great. Loves his people, doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, loves to garden, and is very, very open minded when it comes to how Kat acts and talks when she is around him.

The love plot in this story was pretty amazing. Kat knows that she has to finish the story with a “And they lived happily ever after” before she can go back home. So while digging into Elle’s past she is trying to find a way to bring Elle and the prince together, even as she starts to have feelings for the prince. *sigh* It was just great. The drama between Kat wanting to go home vs loving the prince really kept you on the edge of your seat, or in my case sitting up in my bed.

The book had enough twists and turns to keep me reading until you finished in one whole sitting, and you can’t ask for better than that.

My least favorite part of this book is the same as many others. The ending. *UGH* I know that the author needed to end in the way that she did, but that still doesn’t change the fact that I really wish it had ended like I hoped it would in my mind. I don’t want to go to much into it because of spoilers. But other than the ending, I was very happy with this book.

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