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Stepsister

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A startling, fiercely feminist re-imagining of Cinderella from the bestselling, award-winning author Jennifer Donnelly.

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 sho
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 14th 2019 by Scholastic
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  • Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
    Stepsister
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    Release date: May 14, 2019
    Enter to win one of 10 copies of STEPSISTER by Jennifer Donnelly. A startling, fiercely feminist re-imagining of Cinderella. Isabelle should be blissf ...more

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    Availability: 10 copies available, 3208 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 14 - Mar 27, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Showing 1-30
    4.18  · 
    Rating details
     ·  82 ratings  ·  41 reviews


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    Mary S. R.
    Jan 25, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    I mean, when you say “a feminist retelling of the darker versions of Cinderella” you should know that now you pretty much own my pocket—and also all the money in it. Seriously. Here. It's all yours! :/

    Stepsister takes up where Cinderella's tale ends. We meet Isabelle, the younger of Cinderella's two stepsisters.

    Ella is considered beautiful; stepsister Isabelle is not. Isabelle is fearless, brave, and strong-willed. She fences better than any boy, and takes her stallion over jumps that grown men
    ...more
    Emily May
    Feb 20, 2019 marked it as arc-2019



    ARC provided in exchange for honest review. 👠
    Elise (TheBookishActress)
    Oct 09, 2018 marked it as releases-2019
    I can't believe all of my old favorite YA authors are coming for me like this, a feminist Cinderella retelling truly is everything I want??
    Bookread2day
    Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    A beautiful cover saying read me. When I was younger being very girly I loved reading the Cinderella story and I'm sure that many women now will remember that excitement. Even seeing Cinderella in pantomime is so magical and enjoyable. I found it thrilling for a change to read this fantasy magical powerful fairytale retelling of Cinderella in Stepsister. Just like in Cinderella in the Stepsister the prince searched for the girl who had worn a glass slipper. He had danced all night with a beautif ...more
    Basyirah
    Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arc, review-copies
    "...the price of forgiveness is forgiving."

    Rating: 4.5 stars

    A beautiful tale written about Isabelle, Cinderella's ugly stepsister. Was she ugly? Was she mean? Did she deserve what happened to her? Step Sister started out from where the Cinderella story left off. With Ella riding the royal Carriage with her Prince, leaving behind her step sisters, one bleeding at her heel, Tavi, and another one bleeding at where her toes had been, Isabelle. They're left behind to suffer the consequences, with the
    ...more
    Kathy - Books & Munches
    Jan 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: releases-2019
    Feminist Cinderella retelling? From the Stepsister's POV? Like?
    My fairytale retelling-loving heart is so happy right now.
    Phoebe Jeziel
    Dec 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
    Kind of want to read this, but am simutaniously annoyed at how this story is being marketed as if Cinderella wasn’t feminist to begin with.

    My homegirl survived an abusive household, became queen, snagged herself someone who truly loves her and showed that beauty was always about what’s on the inside.

    Plot still sounds interesting enough tho lol.
    Shanleigh
    Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: i-read-ya
    Exquisite writing. Characters who are honest, heartbreaking, frustrating, and spectacular. And a touch of magic to keep it all together.

    I feel like I've been on a journey. What an exceptional first book of the year.
    nova ryder ♥
    Feb 23, 2019 marked it as not-yet-published
    listen. i am so weak for fairy tale retellings. you can just take my money now
    gem
    Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
    3.5 🌟
    Review to come!
    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    A feminist re-imagining of Cinderella? Yes, this is what I need. I loved These Shallow Graves, so hopefully this is along the same vein.
    Roxanne
    Oct 10, 2018 marked it as to-read
    A feminist retelling of Cinderella?
    Showing that beauty is in fact NOT important??
    I can't even begin to explain how much I need this
    Becky
    First sentence of the prologue: Once upon always and never again, in an ancient city by the sea, three sisters worked by candlelight.

    First sentence from chapter one: In the kitchen of a grand mansion, a girl sat clutching a knife. Her name was Isabelle. She was not pretty.

    Premise/plot: Stepsister is a retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella told from the point of view of one of the stepsisters. But is it more than that?

    The prologue sets the stage: a battle is coming, a battle between FATE and CH
    ...more
    CarmenMia
    Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    I am mega excited to read this book and review it! I’ve always wanted to see the evil stepsister’s perspective!
    Thomas
    Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Sounds epic and love the cover!!
    Lauren
    Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: review-books
    3.5 🌟 maybe not the right time for me. I may reread in the future as this book gripped me from the beginning but I just started losing interest in the middle and then it picked up again for me at the end . I might enjoy more a second time around at a different point in my life maybe. I find I mood read ATM and maybe when I'm in the mood. Thanks to the publisher for an arc :) this affects my opinion in no way at all.
    meg chia
    Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I've received a review copy from Pansing to review!

    Review to come, but honestly this is so so so so good. Everyone should pick it up! Oh my gosh!
    Laura Nungester
    Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Riveting and relevant. This book is one for all the girls who aren't just a princess or who have desires to be something other than a princess. This book revolves around the importance of knowing your heart and following your dreams regardless of what the world desires of you. The story is woven intricately and with a style that draws the reader in and makes them want to know more, do more, be more, and continue to follow the dreams they hold deep inside.
    Elizabeth Kuehne
    Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
    What a great way to examine young female relationships and the themes of guilt, remorse, self-harm, empowerment and forgiveness. I really enjoyed it.
    Laura
    Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2019-mt-bookpile
    Fate and Chance and an Ugly Stepsister? Ok, this could be interesting. Plus, I love the author.

    Final result? Mostly great. Starting off with the Grimm's version (rather more gruesome than Perrault's and - of course - Disney's) is always a good choice. Putting one of the stepsisters in the center of the action is another good choice. So is introducing Fate and Chance. But leaving Chance out of a lot of the action? Spending so much time on the farm? Not as helpful. The pacing is also a little off,
    ...more
    Leonie Byrne
    Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: fantasy
    Thank you to Netgalley, Jennifer Donnelly and Bonnier Zaffre for my arc of Stepsister in exchange for an honest review.


    Synopsis: a reimagining of the Cinderella story from the perspective of one of the ugly stepsisters and themed more on the original (and more gory) Grimm's fairytales. Isabelle is turned away in shame when the prince discovers she has chopped off her toes in order to squeeze into the glass slipper. Isabelle has always felt like she cannot be herself, she is feisty and strong in
    ...more
    Hannah
    Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    “Who set us against each other, Ella? she wondered. Was it those men? Was it Maman? Or was it the whole heartless world?”

    Jennifer Donnelly's retelling of Cinderella has been a joy to read. The chapters are fairly short and keep you moving along, although I did find it a little slower in the first half I loved the second half of the book.

    Leaning on the original Grimm's tale, we start off in the story when the sisters are maiming their feet to fit in the slipper. We meet The Fates who have mapp
    ...more
    Lois (thecarrotstories)
    I'VE NEVER FELT MORE EMPOWERED AS A WOMAN~

    Stepsister is a retelling of Cinderella but with the spotlight on one of the stepsisters named Isabelle. The story sends a powerful message that women can be strong too, to take up roles in society that were previously known to be roles for men only. It also speaks of how we can change our fate by breaking the status quo and how circumstances define us. There is so much emphasis on redemption and courage which I believe will liberate it's readers.

    This st
    ...more
    Karen Johnson
    Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    My students often ask me what my favorite book is, and I just can't pick one, so I have a list of my top 20. One on the list will now have to move over, because this one is going on.

    This is a terrific Cinderella retelling, from the POV of her younger stepsister. It has heart, soul, strength, humor, and many, many thought-provoking ideas.
    Does it challenge your perceptions? yes (so many flawed and broken characters that one finds compassion and understanding for).
    Is it inspiring? yes. Heart wrench
    ...more
    Lissa Hawley
    Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I used to say that I was sad that Gregory Maguire was the one who came up with the idea for Wicked, and the other, "other side of the story" books he has written. Because while I adore the concept (and the fabulous Broadway musical) his writing style doesn't do much for me.

    Thankfully his monopoly on the concept seems to be at an end. I loved Sea Witch by Sara Henning. And now Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly.

    I am going to throw in a few pros/cons here.

    Pros:
    Characters - I adored all the charactet
    ...more
    Sarah
    Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: e-arcs
    Thank you to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

    Stepsister is set in the world of Cinderella, starting from the prince's tour with the glass slipper. So it is a fairy tale retelling, but we are treading new ground from the perspective of Isabelle (one of the stepsisters). We explore why the sisters hate Ella, what happens to the stepsisters/stepmother after the wedding, and what drives these women in general?
    The story is directed by thre
    ...more
    Chelsey
    Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Isabelle and her sister, Tavi, have been shamed and ridiculed for being the ugly stepsisters ever since they cut off pieces of their feet and their stepsister, Ella, became queen of France. Isabelle longs to be pretty, sure that if only this were true, her life would be easier. When the fairy queen Tanaquill challenges her to find the lost pieces of her heart in exchange for this request, Isabelle jumps at the chance. But with Fate and Chance working to control her life, will she be able to brea ...more
    Katie Lawrence
    I heard Jennifer Donnelly talk about this book and do a readers theater style reading of the beginning at ALA Midwinter. It begins with the original violent ending of Cinderella. Olivia has already failed in her attempt to cut off her heel to fit in the famed slipper. We meet Isabelle as she prepares to cut off her own toes. That is how desperately she wants to please her mother, to finally feel beautiful and valued. Where can one go from this low point? Can you redeem yourself from being labele ...more
    Yana D.
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: kidslit
    "She was fearsome.
    She was strong.
    She was beautiful."


    This book is not about an ugly stepsister as much as it is about a young woman who comes to understand and appreciate her beauty. Ugly is a word used to control women and it's very effective. The word had Isabelle and her sister Tavi bound for most of their lives leaving one of them wishing to be pretty when she could just as easily wished for the return of her toes. Pretty is such a shallow desire when one can be daring, intelligent, formida
    ...more
    Alison
    Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Wow, I loved this book. I mean I kind of expected to based on the blurb (fiercely feminist fairytale - I'm in) but I had no idea just how fantastic it would be. The writing is incredible (I've highlighted half the book), the characters are wonderfully relatable (I was ridiculously invested in Isabelle) but it's the story and the messaging that really won me over. I was literally bouncing completely incapable of sitting still while reading this. I was so excited about the whole thing.

    I'm still fi
    ...more
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    Jennifer Donnelly is the author of twelve novels -Stepsister, Lost in a Book, These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose - and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She is a co-author of Fatal Throne, which explores the lives of King Henry VIII's six wives, for which she wrote the part of Anna ...more
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    “…if these mortals only knew, if they had the merest understanding of the grave, and of the eternity they will spend lying in it, they would eat chocolate for breakfast, caviar for lunch, and sing arias as they slopped the pigs.” 2 likes
    “The feeling that you want to own someone body and soul, spirit them away from everyone else, have them all to yourself forever and ever and ever,” Hugo said dreamily. “It’s called love.”
    “No, it’s called kidnapping,” said Tavi.”
    1 likes
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