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Review: Cinderella Is Dead

Rating: 3 out of 5.


It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them. – Goodreads


Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

One the on hand there is no argument that this is one of, if not THE, most original adaption of Cinderella you’ll ever come across.

On the other hand, the execution of these really original ideas left a lot to be desired. First was the world building. The whole of it is being told they live in a generic medieval town and then the first 20% of the book is Sophia having – in essence – the exact same conversation over and over and over again with the people around her. The plot was also (aside from one twist) so incredibly obvious that by the 75% mark I was simply frustrated that the characters still hadn’t figured out what the king was doing.

Finally, the characters. Well I appreciated Sophia’s headstrong attitude, there is little more than that to set her apart from the other characters. Most of the characters are defined, almost solely, by their response to the King’s treatment of them. The romance was also hard to buy into when Sophia is ready to die for Erin, but then completely in love with Constance two weeks later. Constance and Sophia, both “change things” response types, felt like the same person for much of the book.

While I would not say that this is a bad book, and I was able to read it fairly quickly, all of these issues combined to make this a difficult read to become invested in.