Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Review: Stepsister by: Jennifer Donnelly

Release Date: May 14, 2019
from Scholastic
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher and voluntarily provided a fair and honest review.
"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:

I am a sucker for retellings, so when this showed up in the mail, I immediately knew it was going on my TBR. I loved that this was more in line with the original darker tale and I especially loved how it took the story and gave it such a feminist take.

Our story starts off at the end of the classic Cinderella tale when Isabelle has just cut off her toes. From here we learn that there is much more to the stepsisters than we had ever known. I adored all of the characters and I especially loved how strong and different all of the women were. All of the women in this story have their own strength and flaws and personalities. Society tells them they have to be one thing, even if it’s against everything they want. I loved how Isabelle raged against that and I especially loved watching her learn what makes her great. Isabelle is fierce and bold and stubborn and refuses to back down or do what she’s told. She’s a girl after my own heart and I adored her in every way.

Other than Isabelle though, I truly loved the cast of characters. Tavi is so smart and so great. Felix is just, ugh, a sweetheart and he stole my heart. Ella is so good and kind and much more than just a pretty face. Hugo despite being well… him… won me over. And Chance stole the show. He stole every single scene he was in. I would not complain if we somehow got to see him again.

All in all, Stepsister was a fantastic feminist retelling of the Cinderella story you thought you knew. It’s the kind of book that makes you feel strong and want to rage against the world and the box it tries to put you in and then rise up and shatter that glass ceiling. It shows that women contain multitudes and can be strong in a multitude of ways and they can be more than the world tells them to be. It’s just an all-around good read and to cap this off I’m going to leave you with my favorite quote from the book.
“Go now, girl. Remake the world.”


  1. I love fairy tales that are retold but with a twist! This sounds fun and I was really hoping it would be a good one!

  2. This sounds even better than I hoped it would. I can't wait to read Stepsister!

  3. This sounds like a fabulous Cinderella retelling! I love the feminist twist and the way you described all of the characters! Great Review Teresa!


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