Monday, June 30, 2014

Title: The Stepsister's Tale
Author: Tracy Barrett
Series: n/a
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 24th, 2014
Source: From Publisher via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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What really happened after the clock struck midnight?

Jane Montjoy is tired of being a lady. She's tired of pretending to live up to the standards of her mother's noble family-especially now that the family's wealth is gone and their stately mansion has fallen to ruin. It's hard enough that she must tend to the animals and find a way to feed her mother and her little sister each day. Jane's burden only gets worse after her mother returns from a trip to town with a new stepfather and stepsister in tow. Despite the family's struggle to prepare for the long winter ahead, Jane's stepfather remains determined to give his beautiful but spoiled child her every desire.

When her stepfather suddenly dies, leaving nothing but debts and a bereaved daughter behind, it seems to Jane that her family is destined for eternal unhappiness. But a mysterious boy from the woods and an invitation to a royal ball are certain to change her fate...

From the handsome prince to the evil stepsister, nothing is quite as it seems in Tracy Barrett's stunning retelling of the classic Cinderella tale.

I’ve been drawn to fairytale retellings lately so when I saw The Step Sisters Tale I could not resist. I’ve always loved the story of Cinderella. Though it’s not my favorite retelling, it wasn’t half bad.

The thing I liked the most about this one, was the spin put on it. The stepsisters are always told as these horrible stuck up jealous things, but here it’s the other way around. I really like how all of that was done. It stuck pretty closely to the original story, but shed in a different light. An almost realistic light.

It’s told from Jane’s point of view. She’s one of the “Evil Stepsisters”. She lives in poverty with her sister and mother in a crumbling estate. One day her mother comes home with a husband and his dainty spoiled daughter. As like the original, the Step Father passes and leaves is poor daughter to live with her step mother and new stepsisters. I had no sympathy for Cinderella in this version. Lol. I warmed up to her later on.

There is a romance that blooms between Jane and a boy, but overall, there really isn’t all that much swoon. Some, but nothing to write home about.

My biggest complaint is the middle of the book is so slow. I almost put it down. There were a lot of moments that I feel could have been cut without disturbing the story. After the lull in the middle, it gets interesting again, and keeps you going until the end.

If you like retellings, maybe give this one a try. Even though  it's not a favorite of mine, I’m glad I gave it a try. I’ll forever view Cinderella a little differently now.

Okay, so this gif is not relevant at all, but it made me LOL. 

About the author:

I was born in 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up mostly in New York state. I went to college in New England and graduate school in California.

The first book I ever read by myself was called Little Bobo and His Blue Jacket. I still have it. I learned to read when I was three, but I know now that this doesn't mean much. My brother didn't really read until he was seven, and now he reads more and remembers it better than I do.

I have a husband, a 20-year-old daughter, a 17-year-old son, three Jack Russell terriers, and a cat.

I teach Italian and other subjects at Vanderbilt University and I like to travel, especially to Italy, and especially with my family. I used to skydive (that's how I met my husband, but on the ground, not in the air!) but I haven't jumped out of an airplane in a long time. -Tracy Barrett

Find Tracy:

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads


  1. That GIF is really funny!

    Also, this is on my TBR, I think I want to read it to dislike Cinderella, as awful as that sounds. I love feeling angry on behalf of characters.

    1. haha, that doesn't sound awful. :) It's fun being angry!

  2. The middle part of this book was SO SLOW. I almost DNF it like. It might be because I read a lot of fairytale retellings, but this one isn't very memorable to me.


  3. Oh, I do like getting a different character's perspective in a retelling, but I'm sad you didn't enjoy this one as much as you'd have liked. Gah, and that great! Who cares if it's relevant or not! :P

  4. This is definitely an interesting take on a well-loved fairy tale. While the lure of seeing Cinderella from another perspective is very enticing, I don't think it's enough for me to bite.

    Great review, April.


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