Review: The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

Posted June 12, 2015 by Marsha in Contemporary Romance / 0 Comments

The Ugly StepsisterTitle:  The Ugly Stepsister
Author:  Aya Ling
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Retelling
Published:  June 12, 2015
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

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?

Read on for my thoughts on The Ugly Stepsister.  No true spoilers, promise.

What if… there was an old copy of Cinderella up in your attic?  And you accidentally tore a page (or more like a whole lot of pages) from that book, not knowing that it was a magical book with a spell cast upon it by goblins that should any damage come to fall upon the book that person who harmed it would be transported into their own Cinderella tale -for Kat that meant not as the lovely heroine, but as one of the stepsisters?  Hmmm… what if….

The Ugly Stepsister is an amazing tale that is not truly a retelling of the classic Cinderella – but more of a remixing of the story and how it might have turned out differently from another of the character’s point of view.  Kat is transported to the Victorian age with a very modern day girl’s vision of what is right and what is totally wrong.

In order to return to her own time and life, Kat must see the fairy tale through to it’s ultimate happy ending – not just the ball, but the wedding vows as well.  The antics and schemes Kat will go to for that personal ending is both endearing and charming (no other word would do, honest).  She is faced with the harsh realities of that era and her reactions to them are equally appalled and determined to set things right, knowing what she does of the future.

In retellings we often have the main character reliving Cinderella in modern day – not so with The Ugly Stepsister.  Here we have the main character playing one of the secondary characters of that tale, one of the ugly (well, not beautiful) stepsisters.  Kat is just plain, ordinary Kat but she finds that the prince is also a book lover, and that the girl who is supposed to be most like Cinderella really wants another guy.  How in the world is she supposed to clear up this mess and find a happy ever after all the way to the wedding vows?  Guess you’ll just have to read The Ugly Stepsister to find out.

I completely enjoyed reading this remixing of a beloved tale.  The characters were fun, lively, entertaining and brought laughter, tears and the occasional grumble to my reading time.  I loved that while the mind wants to take this story through the Cinderella version – this is a very different tale and we need to make mental adjustments along the way.  It kept me on my reading toes and that felt good.

I would strongly recommend this tale to anyone who enjoys classic fairytales with a bit of a twist, retelling or simply a very good tale to read.  Give this one a shot at charming you as well, I think you’ll enjoy the adventure.

*I received an e-ARC of The Ugly Stepsister from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

*Any review is just one person’s opinion. You might feel the same or totally different. The only way to know for certain is for you to read it. This was my opinion of this particular book.*

The Ugly Stepsister is available for the Kindle





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