Friday, 21 August 2015

Review: The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

I recieved an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Ugly Stepsister
Author: Aya Ling
My rating: ❤❤❤
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publication date: June 12th, 2015
Summary: 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? (summary from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
“Am I one of the ugly stepsisters?”
His grin grows wider.
Damn. “If I have to be in the story, why aren’t I Cinderella?”

   Let’s start with the main character, Kat.
   She loves her family above all. When she ends up in Cinderella, she doesn’t simply accept the way things are – and they sure are very different from today – but she wants to do something about it. She treats her servants more like people. She helps them. She has absolutely no manners, which is proved again and again. She cares. She’s a good enough character, I liked her. The way she stood up for her servant, instead of treating them like dirt, is the main reason why I liked her so much, and the fact that she doesn’t just step aside and let others deal with the wrong things in the world, but she tries to do something about it.
   Then we have the prince.
   He doesn’t agree with how his parents, the king and the queen, rule the country, so he tries to do something about it. He cares about the people, he wants them to be alright. He hates public events, and isn’t around a lot. He likes that Kat is different from most of the other girls.
   I’ve been looking for another retelling to sink my teeth in.
   That’s what really caught my attention. What happened was that I read the synopsis and thought “Wow, a Cinderella retelling! I need to read this!” Let me correct that sentence. I did not need to read it. It wasn’t bad, in fact, the writing was good, and it really was what the synopsis said it was.
   That was kind of the problem. I realized sometime while reading this that the reason I loved the other retellings was because, although they were based on the fairytale (for example Cinderella), but it was still very different, which resulted in them being unpredictable, even though they were retellings.
   That wasn’t the case with The Ugly Stepsister. Katherine accidentally ends up in Cinderella, and in order to get home to the real world, she has to finish the story. But, it has a little twist to it, because the prince doesn’t care much for Cinderella. Surprise there. But he is intrigued by Kat. I won’t say anything else.
   The first half of the book was extremely boring.
   I kept waiting for something interesting, something captivating, something surprising, to happen, but it didn’t. Nothing in this book surprised me, which is what made it so boring.
   This book can be described with one word: predictable.
   This is one of the worst things that can happen with a retelling. And I hated the ending. For two reasons; 1) it was predictable, just like the rest of the story, and 2) it did not make sense to me. At all. I realized it was coming, but … why? I was expecting a solution, not that. I’m trying so hard not to give out any spoilers right now, but I really want to rant about how terrible the ending was.
   But, except for the ending and the predictability of the book, it was a good enough read. It’s worth reading.

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