Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Stepsister” as Want to Read:
Stepsister
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Stepsister

by
4.10  ·  Rating details ·  15,332 ratings  ·  3,423 reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Scholastic Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Stepsister, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Stacy40pages yes, but all erotic scenes are censored with asterisks replacing the vowels.
Bailey H.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,332 ratings  ·  3,423 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Stepsister
Emily May
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everyone said a girl with a strong will would come to a bad end. Everyone said a girl’s will must be bent to the wishes of those who know what’s best for her.
Isabelle was young, only sixteen; she had not yet learned that Everyone is a fool.

First off, I want to say I really enjoyed this book. There are so many good things I want to say about it (and will), but I also think I have to admit that for the first 25% I thought I was going to love it more than I did. The opening is very strong, the
...more
chai ♡
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book: *is a bold, subversive and startingly original reclamation of one of literature's most reviled women which, by recasting Cinderella's evil stepsister as a hero in her own right, illuminates a known story from a new evolving and multifaceted perspective while eking out depth and redemption and seamlessly grafting concepts of self-discovery and identity to an unrepentant celebration of kindness, courage and forgiveness*

Me, completely immune to critical thinking: BE THE UGLY, BITTER AND
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
5 ugliest, wittiest, fantastic, anti-fairy tale, bravest ,strongest, applause to the strength of women, Hell yeah stars!

Retellings crash into art of war doctrines, feminism thesis and here’s an amazing, smartly written fantasy book!

You never thought that you could love this new version of Cinderella story! You already knew the old version of fairy tale before Grimm Brothers rule the stories with their honest reality, the beautiful ones are always kind, good hearted, vulnerable and their faces a
...more
Mischenko
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read Jennifer Donnelly's Lost in a Book which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and I truly loved it, so Stepsister was highly anticipated. There's a special place in my heart for fairy tales, especially Cinderella. To be honest, I haven't read that many Cinderella retellings.

Will my review spoil this book? Not totally...although I do mention the plot and certain themes which lead into the ending.

Stepsister begins right at the end of Cinderella as the prince seeks the girl to fit the slipper
...more
Charlotte May
4.5 ⭐️

Loved this!

“Three horses and one ugly horse-faced girl.” “What they said...it isn’t true.” “Then why do they say it?” “That’s not the question Isabelle, the question is why do you believe them?”

God this book spoke to me! Isabelle and her sister Octavia have always been called ugly, their mother is terrified no one will want to marry them and it’s caused no end of bitterness between them and their step sister Ella.

We all know the story of Cinderella - this one picks up right at the end
...more
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
I started reading Stepsister on 4/19/2019 and finished it on 4/23/2019. This fairy tale retelling is an excellent read! I like that it started out with the Cinderella story and expanded further after Cinderella went off to her happily ever after. I love that this story focus on the stepsister’s perspectives of how it all went. I love that the stepsisters are portrayed as intelligent and brave, more tomboy than girly. There are many types of girls and this book hit straight on the nail’s head by ...more
Anne
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best Cinderella's Evil Stepsister retelling that I've read so far.

description

This was an excellent redemption story that didn't shy away from the ugly stuff. I mean, the bitch cut her damn toes off in the first few pages!
WHAT?! <--I was hooked.

description

The story takes a lot of twists and turns from there, but it's a great tale about finding out who you really are & then learning how to being true to that person. It's about not letting other people decide the role you play in your own life, not letting jealousy eat
...more
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest


Fairytale retellings are hard-- ideally, you're taking a story that most people are intimately familiar with and trying to put a spin on it that keeps it fun and fresh, while also reminding people about why they loved the original so much, too. STEPSISTER is interesting, in that it tries to keep to the dark, original retelling. When we first meet Isabelle, our heroine, one of the evil and ugly stepsisters, she is cutting off her toes to
...more
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.
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Guys, you can tell I liked this book because I wrote a legit review!! Just call me meltotheany 💁🏼‍♀️(jk don’t do that, my reviews would be a disgrace to her name)

“Believe that you can make your way. Or don't. Either way, you are right.”

Y’ALL ARE SLEEPING ON THIS BOOK. This seriously might be a new favorite of mine! It reminded me a lot of Ella Enchanted - it could be because they’re both Cinderella retellings, but it’s also because they both have deeper messages and generate a feeli
...more
Tani
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
RATINGS: 4 STARS FOR THE UGLY BADASS

“Call a girl pretty once, and all she wants, forevermore, is to hear it again.”

Do you remember the original version of Cinderella? Not the fluffy Disney one. The one, in which, stepsisters cut their toes and heels. Let's get to that scene. The first daughter is pale after cutting her heels. The stepmother is scowling at the other daughter while she is cutting her toes. Now look closely at the second daughter. Did you see her concentrated eyes? Yes, you di
...more
Charlotte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️
A Fairytale that begins with the heroine chopping off a few toes.



This was pretty awesome, it was Cinderella’s ugly Stepsister’s tale from the moment the Prince came doe to door having all the village maidens trying on the glass slipper. The stepmother has one stepdaughter, Tavia chop off part of her heel and our heroine Isabelle chop off a few toes to try to fit the shoe on. Both girls start bleeding into the shoe before they make it into the prince’s carriage though.


The entire village finds ou
...more
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
It took me a little while to get into it, but I LOVED THIS BOOK. The message is so important, so relevant, and it had me in tears more than once. The author did such a wonderful job making the point that not every girl is the same, and we shouldn't all JUST want to be liked and pretty... we're so much more than that. This sentiment is beaten into our heads from the day we can understand, and it shouldn't be that way. Not anymore.

Not only is it a beloved story we all grew up knowing, it shows a d
...more
Natalie Monroe
3.5 stars

“Change is a kiss in the dark. A rose in the snow. A wild road on a windy night.”


Stepsister is a standard 300-page novel, but I can't help but feel it would've worked better as a novella/short story.

The premise and plot are very simple. Whatever ambiguous morality there is is Disney-like, which means Tavi and Isabella are about as morally grey as Elsa is for accidentally hurting Ana. Villains are villains, and good guys are good guys.

The prose has a strong fairy tale vibe, too. It'
...more
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨
I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD ACTUALLY ROOT FOR AN UGLY STEPSISTER

But I did! This book was totally amazing in so many ways - the least of them, that it made me like Cinderella's ugly stepsisters! There were so many plusses to this story that I had not anticipated and perhaps that made me like it even more.

“Don’t you see? A pretty girl must please the world. But an ugly girl? She’s free to please herself.”
- Tavi


👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍

Isabelle: I really never thought that I would like an ugly steps
...more
Hafsah (on hiatus)
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Once upon always and never again. In an ancient city..."
...called Bristol, a girl named Hafsah read a book that changed her life.
A book that shattered her long-standing views on the characters of a beloved fairy tale.
A book that showed her an extra dimension, the full picture, the true story.

This book was called,
Stepsister.

I really liked this (more than I expected to actually) and it's because the story felt nostalgically familiar and yet so new and exciting. I LOVED the added concept o
...more
Amira
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I Love This Book A Lot.


As you can see I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book because when I was a little girl out of all the Disney villains, the 'ugly' stepsisters didn't strike fear or menace in me. Disdain ? Maybe because I wondered how could a person could be so cruel not only to others, but mostly to himself.

I think I got the answer.
'm quite enjoying it.
when they cut parts of their feet to fit the glass slipper, it wasn't that much different from when they had to cut parts of their
...more
Mary S. R.
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
Ivana - Diary of Difference
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest



When you are little, you watch a lot of movies. For us girls, life is filled with princesses and happy ever afters. With castles and knights in shining armours. And it’s always that the beautiful girls get their princes. Only beautiful girls get to be happy.

In this book, we get to really see the reality of what I have said above. It is all true. Only beautiful girls get the happy ever after. But beauty doesn’t always mean pretty.

In a world o
...more
h o l l i s
Holy shit, guys, this book is flying under the radar right now but it shouldn't be!!

History books say that kings and dukes and generals start wars. Don't believe it. We start them, you and I. Every time we turn away, keep quiet, stay out it, behave ourselves.

I was completely unprepared for how quickly, and how hard, I would fall in love with STEPSISTER. This book immediately opens up with a warning about how this is a darker take on the well-known tale and it is definitely that. But it's not clo
...more
Sara
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars.

Stepsister tells the story of what happens after the happily ever after, when the prince and his princess have left to be married, and all that’s left behind are the ugly stepsisters and wicked stepmother. Isabelle is one of those sisters, maimed from her attempt at fitting the glass slipper, and shunned by the village who finally see her for what she is...ugly, mean, spiteful. But is it her fate to always to be seen as
...more
Cardan Greenbriar
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
me before reading: "I can't read this, I've spent all my life practicing darts on Cinderella step sisters. I hate them."

me after reading:" OH HOW I LOVE THEE"

rtc :)
...more
Jacob Proffitt
Jun 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I got bored. Which meant I started picking at things like how it's simultaneously real-world (set in France) but with metaphorical characters (like the Fates and Chance as anthropomorphic personifications) and it takes a better author than this one to pull that off. And how all the really nasty villains are women. And how a pack of mean girls in a rural French village feels like the author is trying too hard.

All the asides, flashbacks, and authorial intrusion with heavy-handed metaphor slowed th
...more
Kat
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-1
I’m always on the hunt for a great fairytale retelling and this was a fun twist on a familiar theme! After the events of Cinderella, where the two stepsisters cut apart their feet to try to fit them into the glass slipper for the prince, are revealed as frauds, and Cinderella rides away to her happy ending, whatever happened? This follows the tale of Isabel and her sister and mother, exploring some really great themes of female empowerment, the damage harmful messages can do, and how you have to ...more
Sophia Triad
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Go now, girl. Remake the world.” 

I never really liked Cinderella....

Review pending
Katie.dorny
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Arc provided in exchange for an honest review.

This was another average retelling that has been saturating the market recently.

The last 50 pages were better than the rest of the story. I did enjoy the character development but the unnecessary romantic couplings and the writing style just made this novel mediocre overall.

It also felt that the author just decided to stick anything into the plot that she felt like. I remember essences of it from my childhood, but the way this trundled along felt li
...more
;3
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
“They cut away pieces of me. But I handed them the knife.”

Essential reading for the She Is That Bitch™ and She Did That™ lovers.
Nastassja

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This is a dark tale. A grim tale. It’s a tale from another time, a time when wolves waited for girls in the forest, beasts paced the halls of cursed castles, and witches lurked in gingerbread houses with sugar-kissed roofs. That time is long gone. But the wolves are still here and twice as clever. The beasts remain. And death still hides in a dusting of white. It’s grim for any girl who loses her way. Grimmer still for a girl who loses herself. Know that it’s dangerous to

...more
Kimberly
Isabelle has grown up in a society where a girl's ultimate sin is not being pretty enough.

Isabelle has been told that women should be:
PRETTY not smart.
PRETTY not strong.
PRETTY not brave.

To bad for Isabelle, she was:
Not pretty but SMART.
Not pretty but STRONG.
Not pretty but BRAVE.

But Isabelle has lost sight of who she is which is what led her to become the "ugly stepsister". Now, through a deal with Fate and Chance she will be reminded who she once was and learn that true beauty is about what's in
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly - Restarting October 23rd 2020 140 119 Oct 25, 2020 01:24PM  
ARTBA 2020: Stepsister 3 10 Jul 13, 2020 12:46PM  
East Polk SRP 202...: BOOK #5: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly 1 3 May 29, 2020 07:54AM  
Literally Leander: Final Thoughts - May 2 11 May 08, 2020 11:13AM  
Literally Leander: First Impressions - May 5 8 May 01, 2020 07:16AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • House of Salt and Sorrows
  • The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil, #1)
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
  • Descendant of the Crane
  • These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn, #1)
  • Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2)
  • Stain
  • Rules for Vanishing
  • Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls, #1)
  • Red, White & Royal Blue
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
  • Hello Girls
  • A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)
  • The Cold Is in Her Bones
  • Sorcery of Thorns
  • On Thin Ice
See similar books…
6,438 followers
Jennifer Donnelly is the author of thirteen novels - Poisoned, 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 ...more

Related Articles

The author of 'Salt to the Sea' discusses the historical events that inspired her new YA novel.
17 likes · 5 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“History books say that kings and dukes and generals start wars. Don't believe it. We start them, you and I. Every time we turn away, keep quiet, stay out of it, behave ourselves.” 54 likes
“The wolves in the woods have sharp teeth and long claws, but it's the wolf inside who will tear you apart.” 52 likes
More quotes…