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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,599 ratings  ·  516 reviews
'In an ancient city by the sea, three sisters - a maiden, a mother, and a crone - are drawing maps by candlelight. Sombre, with piercing grey eyes, they are the three Fates, and every map is a human life . . .'

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
Paperback, UK, 470 pages
Published May 15th 2019 by Hot Key Books
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Stacy yes, but all erotic scenes are censored with asterisks replacing the vowels.
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,599 ratings  ·  516 reviews

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Emily May
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 wr
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
This is not a pretty fairytale. The story isn’t pretty. The world isn’t pretty. The characters aren’t pretty. Even the magic isn’t pretty.

It’s not a story that will make you dream a thousand beautiful dreams of happily-ever-afters. I’m not saying the contrary applies—that it will give you a thousand nightmares in which you die a thousand different deaths—but 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,
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
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
Phoebe Jeziel
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.
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
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
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
Sophia Triad
“Go now, girl. Remake the world.” 

I never really liked Cinderella....

Review pending
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nadhira Satria
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I liked:

The Prose: Jennifer Donnelly definitely knows how to write, her style flows so well. And there's so many quotable passages I lost count!

The Fate vs Chance gamble: I wasn't bothered at all by the absurdity of Chance's entourage, even though "slapstick" doesn't usually work so well for me in writing as in visual media, because I was more focused on the larger picture, the high stakes gamble between the Crone and Chance for the future of Isabelle. I think that, without this subplot, St
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
There has been a whole load of retellings over the past few years changing and subverting age-old tales and in a time when female empowerment is firmly on the agenda, this is a powerful, meaningful and empowering story. In lush, lyrical prose Donnelly rafts a mesmerising and timely tale which takes place immediately after the original concludes. I loved this as it was well thought out, written in a pacy fashion and has a genius cast of characters - fate and chance, and I particularly enjoyed how ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copies, arc
"...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
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
~*Check out all my reviews over on The Bent Bookworm!*~
“Have you forgotten what I am? I am the heart’s first beat and its last. I am the newborn lamb and the wolf that rips out its throat. I am the bloodsong, crone.”

Stepsister is the story of what happens to Cinderella’s family after she marries her prince and leaves them for the palace life. I was SO excited for this book, and I loved the cover, and the premise! So, while I enjoyed it and finished it pretty quickly, this was unfortunately one
“Strange, isn’t it, how stories that are never told are the ones we most need to hear.”


I love how this book gave depth to a previously one dimensional fairytale villain. Just like Disney did with their version of Maleficent
Isabelle had cut off her toes, but sometimes she could still feel them. Maman had cut out her heart. Sometimes, she could still feel that, too.

I wasn't expecting the book to be so raw and inspiring. I just heard it was about the Ugly Stepsister from Cinderella and wa
♥ Jx PinkLady Reviews ♥

Advance copy provided via Netgalley*
Sarah Theis
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, books-i-own
👠 I was lucky enough to have an ARC and this is my honest review*

This isn't a Cinderella tale, one about sweet pretty girls who, through all the troubles in their lives, find prince charming and become a princess. No, this is the tale of a girl who is brave and strong and defiant, an "ugly" step sister. Isabelle doesn't like to sit by and let the men do all her thinking. She rather ride horses and play pirates and be her own woman. She loses her heart and tries to fit in with the "pretty" women.
I received this eProof for free from Hot Key Books via NetGalley for the purposes of providing an honest review.

Trigger Warning: This book features discussion of considering suicide, threat of sexual assault, dead bodies, and war.

I had been so looking forward to reading Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly ever since first hearing about it. A feminist retelling of Cinderella, a sequel from an ugly stepsister's point of view! What could be better?! Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with this on
Bookphenomena (Micky)
Review is up on the blog:

3.5 - 4 stars

Steel your stomach for the start of this book because it delves in all twisted up and the story that ensues is every kind of unexpected. The protagonist of this book, Isabelle, is the kind of character that you have to grow to admire. She's an ugly stepsister with past behaviour and characteristics that speak of inner ugliness. Interestingly, her physical appearance isn't particularly sketched out, leaving the reader
Kathy - Books & Munches
Feminist Cinderella retelling? From the Stepsister's POV? Like?
My fairytale retelling-loving heart is so happy right now.
nova ryder ☼
Feb 23, 2019 marked it as young-adult-tbr  ·  review of another edition
listen. i am so weak for fairy tale retellings. you can just take my money now
Elvina Zafril
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an amazing for me. This book showed that women are also can be powerful. And women are strong. It is a well-developed feminist retelling. It’s so powerful and surprising.

This story is about the step sister, Isabelle. The whole story is about the ugly stepsister. I loved to read from her perspective.

The plot was okay. The pace was fast but there are certain things that are unnecessary so it made me feel like the book was a bit draggy in the middle of it.

It was told from three different po
Prince Charming Doesn't Exist
*"I can't read this, I've spent all my life practicing darts on Cinderella step sis. I hate them."*
goodreads: it's a hype
[one day later book is on my dressing table]
and so this is my pathetic life story
oh all the glass slippers in the world, you don't even fucking exist, yet books and blockbuster movies on you do
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 🌟
I really enjoyed this story, it’s a really interesting and refreshing spin off from the well known Cinderella tale.
Cinderella, Ella, is already on the throne with the prince and the story focuses on Isabella, one of her stepsisters.
Isabella becomes caught in the middle of an ongoing battle between Fate and Chance, and as the story unfolds she must choose whether to stay on the path she’s on or to do the right thing and put others first.
It’s a part moralistic, feminist, tale combined with
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

๏  Highlights ๏

YA, That's Heavy on the Y...Light on the A
Children's Fantasy & Fairytales
Beauty Isn't Always Pretty
Continuing Cinderella's Story Through Her Stepsisters
Darkish...No Bippity, Boppity, Boo Here
Ultimately Uplifting

With Audio Performed by Jayne Entwistle

๏  My Thoughts ๏ 

Full disclosure...I was contemplating DNF'ing this one...but only because it felt kind of juvenile to me.  I'm thinking, it appeals more to the Middle-School-Age Child than the Adult who is
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Page Number 2 16 May 15, 2019 05:12PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly - Starting 29th April 2019 5 12 May 03, 2019 06:52PM  

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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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“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.”
“Go now, girl. Remake the world.” 4 likes
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