Categories
Reviews

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly, #20 review

Publication date: 28 May 2019

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.

Thank you to @definitelybooks , #pansing for sending me a ARC of this book.

Now, on to the review. 20th review of 2020??! Hell yes! This book cover is so clever! It fits the book perfectly. It is dark, brutal and cutting edge! This is a retelling of the classic fairytale – Cinderella. Except, it is in the point of view of the ugly stepsister. The story takes place in the Victorian Era right after where the classic fairytale ended. The sisters and their mother are left with nothing, Ella is Queen of France. This is their story of survival, redemption, and love. All kinds of love.

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep. I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

brutal and cutting edge! This is a retelling of the classic fairytale – Cinderella. Except, it is in the point of view of the ugly stepsister. The story takes place in the Victorian Era right after where the classic fairytale ended. The sisters and their mother are left with nothing, Ella is Queen of France. This is their story of survival, redemption, and love. All kinds of love.

Stepsisters goes a step and above to show us that there is courage in everything and kindness in the simplest of deeds. This is a feminist story, there are many reminders in the books that it is set in an era where women are nothing more than breeding mares and objects for men to own. I love how our main character, Isabelle, one of the stepsister went from her lowest at the beginning of the book to her highest at the end of the book.

“It takes more than heartache to kill a girl. Girls are tough as rocks.”


In the book she has to find the missing pieces of her heart, she doesn’t know what those are. This is the tale of how her quest to find the missing pieces of her heart brought and taught her so much more than jigsaw puzzles. From the start, she was regarded as a villain, a monster, an ugly stepsister. She listened to them, she recognized that she is a villain, a monster and most of all an ugly stepsister. That was the start of her demise, she wasn’t all that. She was so much more, she is courageous, she is fierce, she has the heart of a warrior.

The start of the story might be confusing for readers because there are three point of views in the story. We have Isabelle, Fate and Chance. Fate and Chance are otherworldly beings that have an ongoing feud. Fate and her sisters craft the maps of mortals’ lives, Chance is a witty character who thinks that mortals’ lives shouldn’t be mapped out like a planned fate. He thinks that they should live the life they want to live. So, he steals the maps whenever he cans to try and change the fate of the particular mortal’s life. He stole Isabelle’s map, and you can take a guess at what happens next. 😉 Hint: He’s a huge contributing factor to Isabelle’s self-discovery.

To finish off this review, here are some of my favorite quotes:

But we let them do it! Why?”
“Because we are afraid of what we could be too.”

“This world, the people in it – my mother, Tantine – they sort us. Put us into crates. YOU are an egg. YOU are a potato. YOU are a cabbage. They tell us who we are. What we will do. What we will be. Because they are afraid. Afraid of what we COULD be.”

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s