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Stacey O'Neale

We review fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction books in both young adult and adult. Our website also features contests, giveaways, author interviews, guest posts, and more! http://www.fantasybookaddict.com

Cinder and Ella

Cinder and Ella - Melissa Lemon This review was completed by Amanda Harbin, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide.I was attracted to this book because it was the first time that I had ever heard of someone turning Cinderella and her fairy tale into a fairy tale about two sisters. It is a truly a unique concept and I thought that overall it was well executed. The story of the sisters Cinder & Ella didn't just take the road less traveled, it carved out its own path. There were a few traditional Cinderellian (I just invented a new adjective) components to the story such as a castle, a missing father, a couple of spoiled/selfish sisters, and even a prince (who was anything but charming) but even those elements were modified. I think that the author was able to tell the story with a traditional fairy tale voice that had the interesting effect of making me feel like I was a kid listening to bedtime stories. At first I wasn't sure whether or not this was going to work for me through the duration of the book, but the voice of the story was very soothing. Cinder & Ella deals with some complex issues that might have been lost in the simplicity of the authors tone, but I think that it was that simplicity that kept the story from coming across too heavy.The morals and conflict of the story were interesting to me because they allow the reader to decide how to interpret them. The morals and conflict of the story could reflect religious undercurrents or not depending on the reader. I chose not to identify with the potential religious aspects of the story and I saw the character's conflicts and moral lessons as a reflection on choice. I thought it was a great comment on the idea that individuals have the power choose how they live their life no matter what circumstances befall them. Just as importantly bad choices don't have to lead to other bad choices. This book reminded me that every moment is an opportunity to make a better choice. Overall, I liked this book, it wasn't quite a 4 for me, but it was better than a 3, so I definitely give it a 3.5!