Author: Shonna Slayton
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Length: 340 pages
Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dress is even tougher.
Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she's working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dress, life gets complicated.
Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart shipped off to boot camp, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.
After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve.
Protagonist: Kate Allen starts off this novel every bit the aspiring heroine. She's flawed and she's just trying to find her way in WWII New York. However, I'm sad to say that Kate doesn't go through too much development as a protagonist. Sure, she goes through some, though it has a bit more to do with things relating to the side plots as opposed to the main story. By the end of the book there is almost a glimpse at who Kate will become given time. Even stranger though, is that at one point in this book time speeds up a bit and after a few chapters a few years have gone by. This wouldn't be a bad thing, except that after this time jump I would constantly forget it happened because Kate never seemed to be any older or different than she was at the beginning of the book. Despite all this though, Kate was still a very entertaining heroine, just not one for a Hall of Fame.
Romance: So the romance in this book is one of the smaller side plots given that it doesn't evolve all that much over the course of the book. In fact once Kate and her love interest finally do realize their feelings for each other, they decide to tiptoe around the subject even though it's clearly obvious that they like each other. This isn't a badly written romance by any means, in fact I rather enjoyed reading it, but I would also get frustrated when they wouldn't just tell each other how they feel when given perfect opportunity after perfect opportunity.
World-Building: So I sort of went into this book blind. I'm a huge fan of the publisher and the title was really intriguing and that is literally all I knew going into this book. I loved that the majority of this book takes place in WWII New York as it's not a time piece I've ever really read before and it set up a great premise for how everything works together. The twists to the Cinderella tale were great and they made the story fly off of the (virtual) page much more smoothly. I wouldn't call this a fairy-tale retelling however, in fact I'm not sure what to call it. How about Fairy-Tale inspired Historical Fiction with Magical Realism. It rolls right off the tongue!
Predictability: I have to say going into this book blind really made for a great reading experience. Other than the usual happy endings and other classic tropes, there wasn't too much about this book that was predictable. I found myself (figuratively) on the edge of my seat as I read what happened next. The book is a bit faster paced towards the end which made for some very interesting twists and other unpredictable moments.
Ending: So, I wouldn't necessarily call the ending to this book rushed, but it did come about faster than I anticipated. Also, though this book has the feel of a stand-alone, there are many questions at the end of this book that are still left completely out in the open. I'm torn between not liking the ending if it's a stand alone, or being uncomfortable with the amount of closure in this first installment in a series. I wish this book would have been a bit more direct about how this world will proceed as the questions left open at the end weren't your typical small openings for possible sequel questions but fairly arge questions that I need answered.
This story gives a wonderful and expanded twist on the classic Cinderella story and weaves it with a great WWII Historical Fiction tale. However, there were a few rather small flaws in this tale that I couldn't overlook, and I'm hoping desperately for a sequel so my questions can get answered!
About the Author:
Shonna Slayton finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. While writing Cinderella’s Dress she reflected on her days as a high-school senior in British Columbia when she convinced her supervisors at a sportswear store to let her design a few windows—it was glorious fun while it lasted. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona. You can visit her website at shonnaslayton.com
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