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Before Midnight - A Retelling of Cinderella

(Once Upon a Time)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  9,918 ratings  ·  798 reviews
Etienne de Brabant is brokenhearted. His wife has died in childbirth, leaving him alone with an infant daughter he cannot bear to name. But before he abandons her for king and court, he brings a second child to be raised alongside her, a boy whose identity he does not reveal.

The girl, La Cendrillon, and the boy, Raoul, pass sixteen years in the servants' care until one day a very fireveal.

Paperback, 193 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Simon Pulse (first published March 1st 2007)
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Rachel Mix Cendrillon longs to have her father's love and know about her best friend Raoul's past.

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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,918 ratings  ·  798 reviews

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Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: retellings, fantasy
Maybe I should have read this book earlier; when I was 13 and a fresh book lover. I've read a few more Cinderella retellings since then so it's hard to give it any new twists or magic. Its got the basic framework of all the Cinderella retellings: mother dies (check), stepmother and sisters(check), and a happily-ever-after with the prince (check).

There is always something different about each retelling that I've read. In Ella Enchanted it was the curse, in Just Ella the prince isn't c
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tales
Extremely wary was I of this one. There have been tons of Cinderella retellings and begs you to ask the question what could this little book have to offer? A substantial amount as it turns out.

Cendrillion is blamed for the death of her mother. Not by everyone mind you but by her father. He wishes to never to see her again until he can receive peace. When he comes to visit his dead wife's grave he brings another life with him. A little baby boy to be exact. His name would be Raoul and he and Cendr
”And so the child of cinders went to the ball.”

A little pro-tip for authors: if you’re going to write a fairy tale retelling (and make it a good one at that), make sure it actually retells the tale you’re trying to retell. I know it seems like a ‘duh’ statement, but as observed by the atrocity that is this book, it’s a tip that needs to be gone over from time to time. Because while I was expecting a Cinderella retelling, and I got…

Something that had the barest inklings of Cinderella but for the
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 2012, retellings
There a millions of Cinderella retellings out there, most of them following the traditional Evil step mother and step sister's story. Usually with the dad having died or away somewhere. This story was not like that.

Cendrillion's (as she's called in this retelling) mother died giving birth to her, her father was away when she was born, and came back a few days later. He was devistated by his wife's death and blamed Cendrillion for the death of her mother. He went to where she'd been b
3.5 stars
Apart from the magical stuff, which I don't care so much for, and one "d--", this book was very clean. And it's not like spell kinds of magic, but wishes coming true, so pretty innocent there too. I found it delightfully unpredictable despite knowing that it's a Cinderella tale...which should have made it predictable. There were some really enjoyable twists on the original story, and I loved how it kept me thinking.

What brought the rating down to three for me is that t
Tirzah Eleora
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fairy-tale
I feel bad for this little book. I read it while I was horribly sick and needed a distraction. The writing wasn't half bad and I enjoyed reading it. I do have to admit that the three-star rating is a bit on the generous side however, for the faults of this book are many. The plot, an unoriginal retelling of Cinderella, was poorly executed, as was most of the character development. The first half of the book was pretty good in terms of pacing but towards the end of the book things felt rushed and ...more
Jan 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise for any lover of retellings of fairy tales!

I feared this small book, one of the "Once Upon A Time" series, would be a poorly written disappointment. Instead, it was a well written twist on the Cindrella story. It achieved two ends: 1. The writing style captures the magic that fairy-tale readers long for; and 2. The intriguing analysis of the father, the first wife, and the step-mother adds the new dimension to the old tale.

I plan to read more of t
I enjoy all the various versions of Cinderella, and this version was just as enjoyable to me. I first saw this book several years ago in a large bookstore. I loved the cover. It just had part of the dress on the cover, but it was beautiful. For some reason, I did not end up buying it, but I wanted to read it, just because I liked the cover!

I might have guessed it was a Cinderella story, by the title, but by the time I actually started reading it, I forgot.

It is significan
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it
As with Sisters Red (though this is definitely nothing like it), this was not my favorite retelling, but still a charming and solid read.

1. Smart and Sweet Heroine: CHECK
Cendrillon was a great version of the classic Cinderella. She gave life to a character that I always found somewhat too perfect in other classic versions. She had emotion and heartbreak and doubts, but she always loved others and return was loved.

2. Brave and Loveable Hero: CHECK
While Pascal was likeable
Feb 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am an absolute sucker for retold fairy tales, and even though the Once Upon a Time series is targets teen readers, I look forward to see what new spin each installment brings to old familiar stories. Cameron Dokey is the most prolific and - in my opinion - best author contributing to the series. In order to craft her own version of the Cinderella story, Dokey went back to the Grimm and Perrault versions of the tale. In a nod to the Grimms, there is a tree planted on the grave of Cendrillon's m ...more
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Overall, the storyline was actually quite interesting. If only Dokey had written it better. It had an awkward writing style with several typos and a lack of conflict resolution distorted the tale too much (it seemed to me her step family warmed up to her too fast and were saying how much they loved her before there was really any falling out between them). Similarly, the ending was highly predictable and there was never any depth in the relationship she had with the prince (which I suppose never ...more
Clare Holman-Hobbs
I think that there was lots of padding in the first quarter of the novel, and I particularly struggled to get through the pages where the garden was described in intricate detail. It also took a quarter of the book for the wicked stepmother and stepsisters to be introduced, which was far too long in my opinion.
Jennifer (DigiWrit)
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: insta-love
As far as retellings go, this one really sucks. It doesn't resemble the original Cinderella in the least. It would've been better if Dokey had penned an original tale of her own and said it was inspired by Cinderella. Here's a quick summary:

Cindrillon--Dokey's Cinderella MC--comes into the world on a stormy night, and her mother dies in childbirth. Cindi's father, a rich nobleman, returns from a journey, bringing a baby boy with him. He takes one look at Cindi and declares that he ne
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
3,5 stars!
this was such a cute and easy read!!
J.R. Koop
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
My FAVOURITE rendition of Cinderella yet.
I'll be honest straight off the bat: There is absolutely no conceivable reason why I enjoyed this book as much as I did. It's a (or, as you might put it, ANOTHER) retelling of "Cinderella" - a story that has hardly been ignored in the pantheon of retold fairy tales. I don't think it adds much to the story that's been told time and time again. I truly loved some characters but absolutely detested at least one. And yet, when I put the book down, I was smiling and that counts for something, in my b ...more
Marguerite (M)
I liked it except for the romance part. Unfortunate when it's supposed to be a love story.
The best thing about this retelling was the family, which was loving and loveable. Refreshing !
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Reviews also on our site:Readers In Wonderland

This novel was... okay. Nothing stood out and I did not feel a real reason to keep on reading until the end other than just to finish it. It was not exactly bad, it just lacks an interesting plot, good characters, and progresses so slow. Half the book nothing really happens.

Brooke, my co-blogger, did a good job explaining what was in the book and what it was about so I won't go into that. The link to
Alright Dokey, we had a bit of a rough start together, but you have unequivocally won me over. After Midnight is beautiful!

I love how you give your stories sadness and hardships and the characters don't just overcome them, they triumph over them! It turns the story completely on its head and makes the happily ever after that much better!

And again, compared to Robin McKinley's brand of mysterious magic that even she doesn't seem to understand nor contain (but still present
Fantasy Literature
Dec 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Cameron Dokey's contributions to the ONCE UPON A TIME series are undoubtedly the finest, but her retelling of Cinderella is initially a little hit and miss. The series as a whole involves writers taking a recognizable fairytale and tweaking it a little into something that is still familiar but which provides a different point of view. This can involve changing the setting or the time period, removing all the magical elements that make up the original tale, or simply fleshing out the characteriza ...more
Aug 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-teen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book starts out very sad and mysterious, but as the story unfolds it pulls you in. This version is unlike any cinderella story you've ever read. When you meet the stepmother and stepsisters in the story, you're really not sure how the plot will go and you think you already know the story.....YOU DON'T. Cameron Dokey did her research for this book and the way her version goes is the most enjoyable and delightful cinderella story ever done. The story isn't too long or too short, it's just eno ...more
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This retelling is my number one favorite (Sorry Ella Enchanted and Goose Girl--you just got bumped). I loved how the story was about the power of love; not just the romantic love at first sight kind, but love that makes the world go around. The characters in this book are real and human. I especially loved how Cendrillon made her own happy ending: not just by virtue of her goodness and beauty and not just by being tough but by combining the two: using her toughness and courage to show her goodne ...more
Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Before Midnight was just a wonderful rendition of a classic fairytale. Cendrillon (or Cinderella, however you would like to call her) in this story, is a headstrong, independent smart and beautiful girl. -SHE'S NOT BLONDE!- I loved every single character in this book, especially Old Mathilde -the BEST godmother that could ever exist-. Everything was so smartly pieced together, that I couldn't believe I only read 193 pages. My eyes were glued to the screen (since I was reading the electronic vers ...more
A short, sweet, unpretentious little book, Before Midnight is Cinderella - only the stepfamily is nice, the dad is alive and horrid, and (view spoiler)

Everyone here already knows the plot.

I picked the book up because it was the nearest to hand at the library that day, but I wound up really enjoying Cameron Dokey's writing style and would read more of her stuff. She winds up making some subtle and interesting points about
Aug 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love it when fairy tales are retold in a way that makes them make so much more sense. This is one of those books. Strangely enough, it also has a magical realism tint to things. For instance, tears cause plants to grow, anger causes a tree to die. The only faults I could find was that sometimes the magical realism was too heavy and that people seemed to fall in love too simply.
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I am definitely a fairy tale groupie (is that possible?!) and I enjoyed this new take on Cinderella. Wicked is one of my favorite books and it too was a different take on the usual story. Lessons in how a situation can be interpreted in many different ways depending on who and how it is explained.
Miss Clark
It was really a mediocre retelling of Cinderella, with some good pieces of writing scattered throughout. Fairytale-wise, a three, characters, 2 and 1/2, while the whole thing with Raoul (spellcheck?) was a bit disturbing to say nothing else. This whole series is a bunch of hit and misses, but I love that they are trying to find new takes on these classics and I always love a new fairytale.
Teya Peck
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I Loved it! I have discovered I love fairytale retellings. I absolutely loved it. I will admit there were misspelling and some editing needed. However, It took nothing away from pulling me right into the story. In fact I was reading another and just happened to pick it up, and never put it down.
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
It feels weird giving 4 stars to a book that is so short, but I really liked it. I really like the authors writing style (I also love all things Cinderella). I have 3 more of her books from this series sitting in front of me right now, ready to be taken on vacation. Can't wait!
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The Book Crafters: Chapter One 1 2 Nov 13, 2015 08:32PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 12:09PM  
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Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 2 Jul 07, 2014 04:05PM  

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Cameron Dokey is an American author living in Seattle, Washington. She has a collection of over 50 old sci-fi and horror films. Cameron was born in the Central Valley of California. Cameron grew up reading classical literature and mythology, perhaps due to her father, Richard, being a teacher of Philosophy, Creative Writing, and Western Literature.

Cameron has one husband and three cats, and is th

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