I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling
Published by Patchwork Press on June 12th 2014
Number of Pages: 452
Genres: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
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?
When we’re first introduced to Kat, she’s in the modern world. And seems to be a fairly shy girl, especially around boys. But then when she gets flung into the story world, she suddenly grows a backbone. Not all at once, true. But she suddenly gets this stubborn streak to her, and starts doing things that almost seem out of character compared to when we first meet her.
Some of this is explained by her needing to force the story world to give her the Cinderella happy ending so she can go home. And as she starts trying to make pieces fit the story, she starts making friends with the characters. And then she gets totally caught up in the world.
The beginning of the book was a little slow, but once Kat starts actively trying to bend the story, I just got sucked in. I wanted to know how she was going to achieve the ‘happily ever after’ ending the goblin king required. Some of the things she did made me laugh, and some things she finds out about were pretty horrible. Like an 11-year-old girl who not only works sweatshop hours for pittance, but was gotten pregnant as well.
I liked Kat, Edward, Poppy and Elle, Bianca was evil enough she was easy to hate. Most of the rest of the characters weren’t fleshed out enough for me to care about one way or the other.
The ending bugged me a little bit. It made me happy because of the hints you get about the boy, but it bugged me too.
View Spoiler »I didn’t like that when she arrived back in the real world, she had no memory whatsoever of any of her time in the story world. Nothing that happened to her, none of the people she met. Zip. And yet, she was suddenly this super-confident girl who had no issues talking to boys anymore. Even her friend noticed the change in her.
And while it seemed to be hinting that the new boy she had met in the beginning of the book, before she fell into story world, was Edward, it didn’t make up for her losing all those memories. « Hide Spoiler
If you like fairytale retellings, with humor and twists, you should try this book.