Fantasy, Young Adult/Children

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

I have seen this book featured on many, many blogs in the past year or so and never actually did anything about it. I have always been a fan of retold fairytales. I remember writing a few myself in a short-lived creative writing class, I took one summer in high school. I did not realise that this was the same author I read another book of and loved the narrative style of. : The Tea Rose until Goodreads reminded me.


This was a straightforward book with whimsical sentences which made a lot of sense in the mood built by the scene on hand but does not always hold up to closer scrutiny later. Given that this is a fantasy book and a way better plotline than the original fairytale, such small points can be largely ignored. I would not mind rereading it if I had the time.


This is the story of the ‘ugly stepsisters’ of Cinderella’s tale. The story begins with the drastic steps taken by the step-mother/sisters to fit themselves into the shoe. It moves on to the repercussions of such actions, both the deserved and the undeserved. The magical realism is also shown in the form of fate and chance battling a wager amongst themselves. It was a very well written story with a happy ending. I read it in almost one sitting and laughing aloud in parts and sighing at others. It is predominantly a feminist story, showing how at all times, the game is rigged against the women (of all ages and stations). The realizations and emotional reach of the story is also pretty strong. Redemption arcs are also a favourite of mine.

I think I rated it the way I did solely because of the time in which I read it and my current enjoyment of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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