I received this book for free from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Stepsister: Jennifer Donnelly}Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Published by Scholastic Press on May 14, 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Junior High, Middle School, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Scholastic Press
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{Synopsis} – 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’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe … which is now filling with blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.

Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.

Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.

{My thoughts} – Have you ever been curious about what happened to Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters after her happy ending with the Prince? I have often put some thought towards it, I mean not everyone can always have a happy ever after. And honestly if you have read any of the original fairytales you know that they don’t all end happy.

This is a sort of different perception on the Cinderella story. However, it isn’t really based on Cinderella but her stepsisters Isabelle and Octavia as well as their mother. When Ella goes to live with the Prince a whole new timeline of events is created. Isabelle, Octavia and their Mother end up shunned because of the poor way in which they’d treated Ella.

They end up losing their house to a fire and forced to live with the neighbor in a hayloft. They are worked day in and night and barely fed and don’t have many clothes. However, they are sort of cared for. It’s almost like the roles reversed and by a cruel twist of fate they were now in Ella’s shoes before she’d left in a sense.

Isabelle has dreams, desires and wants. She doesn’t want to be doing what she is doing. She wants adventure, she wants more, but she’s not sure how to obtain what she wants. She ends up having a chat with the same Fairy that had helped Ella get to the ball. That fairy tells her she needs to find the three missing pieces of her heart. A majority of the book is her searching for those three pieces.

I really enjoyed this book a lot. I also loved how the ending was built up as pure chance. This book helps to show girls that they can and are capable of doing anything they’d like to with their lives. It shows them that they shouldn’t let the way that society thinks a girl should act to hold them back. It shows them, that when you truly follow your heart that you can be the best you. I think it’s got a great message and that many children can benefit from reading it. I look forward to reading more by this author in the near future.

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.