Stepsister is so much more than a retelling of Cinderella. It takes the bones of a classic story and something both modern and timeless emerges; it completely redefines “beauty” which couldn’t be more timely. It also isn't for the fainthearted. It's moxie fueled and reaches back into its Grimm roots. The pure power of this storytelling gave me goosebumps by the end and it was hard to say goodbye. Isabelle is such an amazing, messed up human, and she is given a daunting task dealt by both Fate and Chance. But will she be able to heal before her story ends in bloodshed? — From Leah's Picks (page 1)
into the heart of familiar fairy tale. Isabelle [is] a shattered but not unreedemable girl with a warrior's heart." -- Booklist, starred review
Don't just fracture the fairy tale. Shatter it.
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 cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe . . . which is now filling with blood.
Isabelle tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.
Evoking the darker, original version of the Cinderella story, Stepsister shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses Jennifer Donnelly's trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption . . . and a new definition of beauty.
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* "Printz Honor winner Donnelly offers up a stunningly focused story that ripsinto the heart of familiar fairy tale. Isabelle [is] a shattered but not unreedemable girl with a warrior's heart." -- Booklist, starred review
"This is another needed voice exposing cultural myths that suffocate girls in the name of likability and pit them against one another in the name of beauty." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Isabelle's emotional and triumphant journey of self-realization proves that beauty can be found in so much more than just a pretty face . . . A breathlessly exciting and utterly satisfying fairy tale." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Focusing on beauty's many guises, what contributes to hatred and cruelty, and people's power to take charge of their destinies, the retold fairy tale advocates autonomy and empowerment." -- Publishers Weekly