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Cinder Ella

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Ella is transgender. She's known since she was young; being a woman just fit better. She was happier in skirts than trousers, but that was before her stepmother moved in. Eleanor can't stand her, and after Ella's father passes she's forced to revert to Cole, a lump of a son. She cooks, she cleans, and she tolerates being called the wrong name for the sake of a roof over he ...more
Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 62 pages
Published June 24th 2016 by LoveLight Press
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She got to define her own self. And no one was going to stop her. “Ella,” she said quietly.

Spoilers and discussion of transphobia follow.

So What’s It About?

Aight, I’m not going to explain the basic premise of Cinderella to you, but what you should know for this re-telling is that Ella is trans and her stepfamily refuses to acknowledge that she is a woman. She dreams of a future where she can be acknowledged for who she really is, and when a princess invites her to the ball it seems she must dec
henri reads
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqties, 2020, fantasy
'“My Cinderella.” The way Lizabetta said it changed the word entirely.'

This story held so much magic within its pages, so much depth to Ella's character despite it only being a short story and I loved that the main focus was truly on her, her journey, her acceptance of herself, and her road to healing. Therefore, the romance to me fell a little flat though it was still cute and I loved the twists to the original version and that it didn't pretend to be the usual 'they lived happily ever afte
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Every so often comes a retelling of the Cinderella story that I actually enjoy because the normally weak willed heroine is given a backbone, or at least traits that make me not want to give her a swift kick in the back side. I absolutely loathe the Disney version however, and doormat heroines drive me into a serious rage-fest.

With that said, I found myself reading Cinder Ella. Firstly, the cover. I don't know how many times I say this in my reviews, but representation truly matters. I love seei
Lexxi Kitty
I went into this story hoping/expecting to love it. Or at the very least like it. I found that hard to do. Unlike the most recent ‘fairy tale retold’ I had read, I had not previously read the original story. Though I have read numerous ‘retellings’ (one or more of which have been adult in nature).

There were several flaws I thought of while reading. 1) Gender – time period; 2) magic; 3) drag queen personality.

Gender: Ella was born in the body of a boy that his dad called Cole (not sure if mother
Poor or nonexistent editing on any of this, even on a simple proofing level. A character goes from being Elise to Elisa and then back in the span of a few pages. Another character introduces themselves as the "Heir to the vonKarl Diocese" (capitalization and all). Diocese? Huh? My bookclub's best guess was that they meant duchy. Those are... two very different words.

When not plagued with basic vocabulary errors, the rest of the writing is just as bad, from the pedestrian plodding of the opening—
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Cinder Ella is a quite nice retelling of the classic fairy-tale where Cinderella is trans and the prince is a princess.

Content warnings include: transphobia, abuse.

I did like how the novella (short story? novelette? I'm not entirely sure) diverges from the original - it doesn't just exchange the well-known characters with queer people and everything stays the same.
The shortness of the story worked kind of against it here, because I couldn't really get a feel for the characters and w
C.L. McCollum
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Y'all this was such a happy story!! Granted there was definitely some transphobia from the evil steps, but that still felt very in character with the story. But I loved Ella getting to come into her own and feel just as beautiful as she is. And the twists on the original elements of the tale were so fun! Loved Heather and the rosebushes and the awesome tailor extroidinaire! Just so much delightful uplifting moments here. I loved every page. ...more
Chrys Fey
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved that Ella was transgender, and that the prince was a princess in this story. I wish there would've been a bit more at the end (the ending felt a tad abrupt), but I enjoyed this take on Cinderella. ...more
Janelle Dazzlepants
CW: misgendering, deadnaming

This is a beautiful novella retelling where Ella is a black trans girl. Ella was previously out to her father, but after his death, is forced to present as male by her stepmother and stepsisters who constantly misgender and deadname her. One day while working in the garden, Ella is invited to the ball by the princess of the realm, and thanks to a certain fairy godtailor she’s able to attend as her authentic self.

This is such a wonderful short story about finding your
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a charming fairy tale. I loved it.

It's a little fuzzy around the edges in the way that fairy tales sometimes are. I guess it's meant to be a fantasy world (since several characters just accept that the Fae exist), but it doesn't really matter. Unlike a lot of fairy tales, even fairy tale retellings, Ella does take charge of her own destiny, which I appreciated a lot.

The first kiss (and the second kiss) between Ella and the princess were so sweet! Ella was a really lovable character, and I
Pike Martell
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story made me so happy! It was Cinderella but it wasn't. It has some of the basic themes, but stands on its own. It's just a sweet, emotional fairy tale, full of fun little details, and a happy ending that comes more from within Ella than from circumstances. It's a cute, short-ish read, and I recommend it! ...more
This looks and sounds awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chasia Lloyd
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was FANTASTIC. Very sweet and cute f/f featuring a trans protagonist. Lots of great little details and some incredible friendships.

TWs: deadnaming and misgendering from Ella's family
These girls are my jam.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
For The Reading Quest, I've challenged myself with reading 13-17 books from my TBR that fit different themes. For the bard quest Fairytale Retelling, I went with T. S. Lynn's Cinder Ella. 

This magical little novella takes the Cinderella tale and casts our Disney princess as a Black transgender woman named Ella. All the original ingredients of the fairytale are there, from the wicked stepmother to the fairy godmother (in this case, a fae tailor) to Ella's kind heart of gold. The prince is a princ
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, romance
There are two parts of this book to me: the transgender main character and the actual plot. In terms of trans representation, this book is pretty great. Yes, the protagonist gets misgendered and deadnamed a fair bit, but only by the evil step-family, and it ties into the pattern of abuse common to all Cinderella stories. I did find a few things not so great, like Ella's village friend's rather gender essentialist view of what being a woman is. However, most of Ella's viewpoint and character are ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
There were many reasons to like this retelling of Cinderella. Not only was the heroine, Ella, a black trans woman who fell in love with the princess instead of a prince, but the fairy godmother was a tailor, there was no Ella being locked away until she was saved by someone else, and the importance of female friendships is demonstrated in the text. This novella has a variety of different women in the starring roles, which I really enjoyed and I loved how parts of the original fairytale were adju ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Content warnings for misgendering, deadnaming, verbal abuse, physical abuse.

That was a very nice story. It was short enough that I read it all in one sitting (I was reading at night, hence the dates of start and finish). I enjoyed how the different elements of the original Cinderella were incorporated into this book, and I found the ways of doing so were fresh. The fairy godmother was so cool! The shortness of the story meant that the characters weren't super fleshed out, so I didn't have time
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Closer to a novella in length, this was an exceedingly heartwarming retelling of Cinderella. I really appreciated that this was not a Cinderella retelling where the goal is to become "pretty" and get the guy. First, Ella is trans. Second, she meets a princess at the ball. Third, this story was not just about Ella winning the heart of the princess and all her problems are solved. While they do ride off into the sunset together, its about so much more than that. There a constant theme of acceptanc ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
7/10 Stars

"As it is, the ending seemed a little abrupt and that confusion over how trans people fit into this fairytale world left me too muddled to completely appreciate the sweetness of the rest of it." - Matt

"It’s a fairy tale with a very interesting fae instead of a fairy godmother, some lovely twists and some angst and heartbreak." - Maria

You can find our full reviews here.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I collect folklore and fairy tales. I've probably read just about every twist on the Cinderella classic. This is one of my favorites. The characters were believable and sympathetic. Trans Cinderella is brilliant and gives the old character new depth. For instance, hard work isn't a punishment. Ella enjoys her work. The true punishment is her isolation and the basic right to be herself.

Lynn has a talent for description and pacing. Even though the pace of the first chapter is slow, I was still hoo
Tw: transphobia, misgendering, abuse
This was cute :)
Charlotte Anne Hamilton
This was an incredible read! It was such a great retelling of Cinderella. Our Cinderella is a trans woman called Ella, living with her transphobic step-mother and step-sisters. And then she meets the princess and their relationship is just utterly adorable. I mean, how amazing is it for this retelling to not only be a f/f relationship but with a trans MC? I'm crying. It's beautiful. ...more
I was really excited to read this because queer retellings of fairy tales are super cute and one of those books that you know the queer characters will always get a happy ending, which is not always assured in contemporary fiction or--god forbid--historical fiction.

That being said, since this is Cinderella, you obviously know from the start that Ella will get the girl in the end. Don't act surprised. And at first, I didn't have a problem with the fact that Ella and Lizabetta (the princess) fell
Really cute and sweet. My one complaint was that it seemed a bit odd that Ella's stepfamily had spent her whole life misgendering her and then let her go to the ball in a dress, even if there was magic involved. Also I wish it had been longer, I would gladly read a proper-length novel of this. Still, it was very well done for its size.

CW: emotional and psychological abuse, misgendering, some fat shaming, some physical violence.
Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
I initially gave this 3.5 stars but I keep thinking it over and apart from it being too short, I can't really recall why I rated it low? So I'm upping the rating to 4.5 stars and if I remember why I'll mention it here.

It's honestly the cutest story and I loved reading it.

TW for transmisia, deadnaming, parental abuse.
Tami Veldura
Cinder Ella is now available on Amazon and KU: ...more
SapphicAThon: Trans mc

This was a really good read! I enjoyed the romance a lot and I really liked Ella.
Booger Queen
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wholesome, hopeful, and whimsical, Cinder Ella is exactly the kind of story we need right now.

Cinder Ella follows Ella, a young black trans woman forced to present as "Cole" by her abusive stepmother, who - along with her daughters - torments her daily and forces her to work as a household servant. You've all heard this story before... but never quite like this. Ella is sweet-tempered and shy, eminently practical. She loves fashion, flowers, dogs, and dancing. And, after a surprise visit, she m
Cinder Ella: 4.5 Stars
[7.71 - amazing!]

I adored this book! Just the Trans Black Sapphic Cinderella Story that the world needed ♥

“She swallowed it down and willed her heart to settle. This was an important moment. For the first time she could introduce herself how she wanted. She got to define her own self. And no one was going to stop her. "Ella," she said quietly, as if saying out loud what had been only in her head for so long would break it further.”

The female friendships that were dev
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LoveLight Press: Cinder Ella 1 5 Jul 05, 2016 11:29PM  
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“She swallowed it down and willed her heart to settle. This was an important moment. For the first time she could introduce herself how she wanted. She got to define her own self. And no one was going to stop her. "Ella," she said quietly, as if saying out loud what had been only in her head for so long would break it further.” 2 likes
“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight." She closed her eyes hard enough to see spots. "I wish I could go to the princess' ball. Please, oh please." She repeated it over and over in her head, wishing as hard as she could.” 1 likes
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