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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Set in a repressive dystopian society with a steampunk sensibility, Bristles is the story of a 16-year-old girl who longs to free herself from a life of bondage to her cruel stepmother, and to discover her true, and possibly magical, heritage.

Humiliating haircuts and a life of oppression have been Bryssa's fate ever since her father died when she was nine. Dubbed Bristles
Kindle Edition, 187 pages
Published April 2013 by Inlet Point Press
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  32 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Henry Le Nav
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
George Orwell meet Cinderella, Cinderella meet George Orwell, except the descriptions of the coal fired dystopian city-state, Erba, is not near as depressing as Orwell's Oceania, and Bryssa, the first person protagonist, is not near as syrupy as Cinderella. The book is more believable than 1984 or Cinderella but has elements of both stories.

The book is billed as young adult, a genre of which I am not very familiar, but as an adult, gray haired at that, I didn't get the feeling that I was readin
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. What an inventive take on a long time favorite. Think Cinderella, but remade and revamped. Bryssa is no fairy tale princess, but a strong little girl who endures much, but gains much insight as well. The fantasy feel of her origins, mixed with the political struggles of Erba and it's people added a nice conflict. A very well written tale.
Laura Greenwood
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review forthcoming on http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-live...

I received a copy of Bristles from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Bryssa's father died when she was younger, leaving her in the care of her Step-Mother, a high up official in the Ministry. Bryssa's Step-Mother makes her have her hair cut short and attend the charity school, in the hope of removing her upper class heritage. At 16 Bryssa is fed up with her lot in life and plans to escape, but then her heart gets captured by
Jamie Lee
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bristles by Donna Callea is a creative tale that mixes concepts of Ever After with that of Avatar to create a unique plot full of magic and adventure. It focuses on the main character, Bryssa, who got the nickname Bristles from her Stepmother who is rather malice. Her stepsisters are privileged, while all Bryssa wants is to be free to make her own choices and live her own life rather than be subjected to the second-class hardships that her Stepmother makes her endure after her father is declar ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, for-review
A copy of Bristles was kindly sent to me by Donna Callea in exchange for an honest review.

Cinderella meets steampunk meets dystopian. Cool, right? While it’s a very interesting concept and idea Bristles just didn’t do it for me. The book moved far too slowly for my liking and Bryssa seemed to spend a lot of time thinking about doing stuff without actually bothering to do any of it.

I found the characters quite bland and frankly ridiculous at times; I actually liked Bryssa to begin with but bef
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another great offering by Donna Callea. A little bit of Cinderella, and little bit of Divergent.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair review. I adored this book from the start. You need to be in to retellings and fairy tales, and able to accept a bit of mild dystopia. It is so much more than a typical retelling. There are many changes to Cinderella's situation. Without giving too much away, she is nicknamed Bristles, because her step mother forces her to have her hair buzz cut regularly. Unlike Cinderella, she has jet black, shiny hair. Rather than meeting at a ball, she m ...more
Melissa Swafford
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delightful dystopian novel about a coming of age young lady, Bryssa, who is a strong character being tormented by her evil stepmother. The story has elements of what a true friend is and shows who Bryssa true friends are in the story. The prince in the story is left just vague enough at the beginning to make you wonder whether he truly means what says. A thoroughly enjoyable book that I finished in one sitting. There were no intense sexual situations and no language. Kudos to the author for re ...more
Toni Owen-Blue
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have to say I wasn’t set alight with excitement when I began reading Bristles, the beginning was very slow, but quite competently told with a reasonably refined style, with that slightly faux-Victorian bent that’s so popular with fairy tale re-telling’s, so I gave it a chance to draw me in, everyone loves a good Cinderella story, after all.

Now I will stop for a moment for a small disclaimer, if I appear to be talking about the protagonists’ hair a lot, it’s because it’s brought up in every cha
Madison Keller
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Bristles starts out very interesting, despite the prologue that tells us nothing that doesn't come up again in the first chapter. I'll even go so far as to say the story would have been stronger without it.

When the story opens, Bryssa, or Bristles, is trying to stand up for herself for the first time, when she refuses to go get her monthly haircut. In retaliation, her step-mother gives her an even worse haircut. But things are looking up when Bryssa meets the Prince, I mean the High Chairman's s
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-dystopian, arc-arr
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Cinderella plus repressive dystopian society equals Bristles...and I enjoyed the combination. Bryssa is a sixteen year old girl, born into privilege and forced by her cruel stepmother to live the life of a pauper following her father's death. In order to break down Bryssa's spirit and force compliance, her stepmother, called "Ma'am" by her orders, takes Bryssa to a men's barber shop every month to have her hair clipped short. Not ju
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian, paranormal
Okey Dokey... here we go.
This was a really interesting book; it was a kind of combination between magic and dystopian societies, but it was blended together extremely well. When it started out, it was almost point by point for Cinderella. Its her and her dad, then he marries a women with two brats, and then he dies and the girl is mistreated by her step-mother, and there's a rich prince charming. Not really unique, but as the plot developed more, there were some more depth and detail.
The entire
Gabs {My Full Bookshelf Reviews}
4.5 stars
**A free copy was received from the author in exchange for an honest review**

Honestly, I loved this book.It took a story that almost everyone is familiar with and made it completely its own. I have read a ton of Cinderella retellings, and Bristles is right up there with Ella Enchanted and Cinder!

Like I said before, I really like how the author made this story her own. It doesn't stick to all the elements of Cinderella, but it is still recognizable as a Cinderella retelling. That can be
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it
**This book was given to me by Donna Callea for an honest review.

I really struggled on whether to give 2 or 3 stars, but 3 stars won out because I did enjoy the story and Callea is a good writer, despite the problems I had with the book.

I was excited to read it based on the Cinderella/dystopian fiction premise, but the first half moved VERY slowly and was basically a copy of Cinderella in a steampunk society. There was a beautiful, but unfortunate girl who had to live with her evil stepmother a
First, Thank you Donna Callea for a copy of Bristles for a review.

i would give this book between 3 and 3.5. Bristles is a mix between a Cinderella fairy tale and a dystopia novel. They story is very interesting and it keeps the pages turning. I liked Bryssa, the main character, and thought her story was fun to follow.

I do think her relationship with Aydan was a bit of instalove but I think that plays into the fairy tale aspect a bit. I do wish the relationship was explored a bit more and there
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Format: PDF of novel by the author in return for an honest review.

Fantastic, easy to jump into novel. A mix of fairy tale, fantasy, steam punk, and dystopia, this young adult novel kept my interest from the first page.

After the death of mother at birth and father in childhood, Bryssa is stuck with oblivious step sisters and a horrid stepmother. Her stepmother makes her a servant and Bryssa serves a life a'la Cinderella. Tired of oppression in the dingy, depressing city she eeks out a life in,
Karen ⊰✿
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
The fist half of this book is basically Cinderella in a dystopian society. I don't mind that, but when it isn't acknowledged in the book synposis, it just feels to me like plagarism. So I struggled with the book because of that, and also because the main character fell in love within about three seconds to a boy, presumably because he was handsome and empathetic... there was no character development there to be able to discern any other reasons.
By the time the book gets slightly interesting (65%
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-read
Well.. I think I would have given it 3.5 stars but I'm feeling generous this evening after a chocolate high.

I enjoyed the story... it was a great concept. The societies and the rankings that one usually comes with were well explored.

I felt it was a Cinderella meets Faery sort of story... It could have been embellished and made longer... and I found the characters, although they were good and flawed... I didn't connect, I didn't have an emotional attachment with them.

The writing was good... very
Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
This is a YA story, which I generally don't read. However, the premise sounded interesting and I thought my daughter (who is a high school english teacher) might be interested, so I decided to check it out.

The story is a combination of Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet set in a dystopian world. The various "city-states" where the story takes place seem modeled on the world during the cold war era, which could be very interesting to explain to teenagers today.

For a YA book, I thought it was pretty
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cinderella was never so strong as our Bristles. She survives, without becoming bitter and angry but never wimps out, and manages to change not just her own life in the process.
Down-trodden workers, tree huggers, mad scientists, and girl with a spirit that will not be crushed. And I love the cover art!
It's next on my daughters reading list now.

I recieved a free copy of this book from reading deals in exchange for an honest review. I think that's fair enough, especially as the book was so enjoyab
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-z-challenge
I really really enjoyed this book. It was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Honestly? I LOVED IT. The only reason I didn't give it 5 Stars is because I thought the ending a tad weak, but I still loved it. Just because it didn't end the way I wanted doesn't mean it wasn't a great book!

If you are a fan of dystopia's, of the opressed and downtrodden rising up and making things better, then I highly recommend this book to you!

It really was very good.
Jodi Woody
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bristles was a great spin on the traditional Cinderella story. Good YA book set in a alternative society where the government is strong arming it's people. Bryssa or Bristles as her step mother calls her, steps out of her horrid life to change it all for everyone.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Romance. Magic. A girl with no hair. A tragic past. A promising future.
Bristles was an interesting twist on Cinderella that sort of reminded me of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it was a good read for fantasy lovers.
Longer review coming soon!
Austin Silcox
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.
Although my inner grammar nazi came out every few chapters, this was an overall good book. I love the way Donna mixes cinderalla, steampunk, and dystopian. Her creative imagination was very entertaining in this quick read. :-)
rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2014
Issy Dragonfly
rated it it was ok
Feb 04, 2015
Beau Garçon
rated it it was amazing
Oct 25, 2013
Melissa Page
rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2018
Annie Baker
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Jun 30, 2015
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Before Donna became a novelist, she was an award-winning journalist. OK. She didn't win any awards you might have heard about. We're not talking Pulitzers here. But she did work as a reporter for a minor metropolitan newspaper for a number of years, during which time she wrote numerous stories that elicited laughter, tears, outrage, civic pride, civic shame-- and won a few prizes. But not any Puli ...more
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