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 ·  9,518 ratings  ·  2,262 reviews
Isabelle should be blissfully happy shes about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isnt the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the princes heart. Shes the ugly stepsister whos cut off her toes to fit into Cinderellas shoe ... which is now filling with blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelles deception, she is turned away in shame. Its no more
...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
Stacy yes, but all erotic scenes are censored with asterisks replacing the vowels.
Jasmine It's not very dark in my opinion. The beginning may be gruesome to some people, but if you're already familiar with the original tale of the…moreIt's not very dark in my opinion. The beginning may be gruesome to some people, but if you're already familiar with the original tale of the stepsisters' and the glass slipper, it won't be surprising. I would say this gets dark because of the direction that the story goes, which is away from the fairytale and more towards real-life issues. Does that make sense? Probably not. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,518 ratings  ·  2,262 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 girls will must be bent to the wishes of those who know whats 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
Chaima ✨ شيماء
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 heres 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
...more
Lola
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is not a pretty fairytale. The story isnt pretty. The world isnt pretty. The characters arent pretty. Even the magic isnt pretty.

Its not a story that will make you dream a thousand beautiful dreams of happily-ever-afters. Im not saying the contrary appliesthat it will give you a thousand nightmares in which you die a thousand different deathsbut it is indeed DARK.

I liked it a lot. I believe the world and the stories in it do not need to be one thing only. They can be good and evil,
...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
...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 stepsisters 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 nails head by ...more
Charlotte May
Did not realise this was written by the same author who wrote A Gathering Light, which I loved.

Just treated myself to this one 😊
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 dont 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.

YALL 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 theyre both Cinderella retellings, but its also because they both have deeper messages and generate a feeling of warmth in
...more
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ 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 wasnt 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 whats on the inside.

Plot still sounds interesting enough tho lol.
...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 of
...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
...more
Charlotte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 Grimm brothers' version of Cinderella? Not the fluffy Disney one. The one, in which, stepsisters cut their toes and heels. Imagine that scene. The stepmother scowling to her daughter while she is cutting her toes and the other daughter is pale after cutting her heels. Now look closely to the daughter who is ready to cut the toes. Did you see her
...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
Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️
A Fairytale that begins with the heroine chopping off a few toes.



This was pretty awesome, it was Cinderellas ugly Stepsisters 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 princes carriage though.


The entire village finds out
...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's
...more
Hollis
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
...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 thats 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
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 pocketand 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 its 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 doesnt always mean pretty.

In a world of
...more
Kat
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-1
Im 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
Cardan Greenbriar -- PLEASE STAY HOME AND SAFE
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 :)
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
...more
Sophia Triad
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Go now, girl. Remake the world. 

I never really liked Cinderella....

Review pending
...more
Nastassja

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This is a dark tale. A grim tale. Its 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. Its grim for any girl who loses her way. Grimmer still for a girl who loses herself. Know that its dangerous to

...more
Kimberly Antill
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
...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.
...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
...more
Nadhira Satria
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I know Ive been disappointed a lot by 2019 releases bUT THANK GOD THIS ONE DIDN'T DISAPPOINT. I LOVE RETELLINGS AND BOY OH BOY, A "VILLAIN" RETELLING?? YES PLEASE AND IT TURNED OUT SO GOOD, I LOVE IT ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly - Restarting February 24th 2020 136 101 Feb 29, 2020 04:57PM  
Literally Leander: First Impressions - May 1 3 Feb 04, 2020 02:44PM  
Bookalicious Book...: Stepsister Book Discussion! 1 6 Nov 03, 2019 05:04PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine please 3 10 Sep 13, 2019 06:22PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • House of Salt and Sorrows
  • The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
  • Sorcery of Thorns
  • The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil, #1)
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)
  • Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)
  • A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • The Kingdom
  • The Downstairs Girl
  • The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)
  • The Grace Year
  • With the Fire on High
  • The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
  • Crown of Coral and Pearl (Crown of Coral and Pearl, #1)
  • Lovely War
  • Verify (Verify #1)
  • The Beholder (The Beholder, #1)
See similar books…
5,770 followers
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

Related Articles

The author of 'Salt to the Sea' discusses the historical events that inspired her new YA novel.
15 likes · 4 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.” 33 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.”
31 likes
More quotes…