4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2012
As a mother who screens everything her just-turned-13-years-old daughter, I really enjoyed "Seeing Cinderella." It was funny, warm, and, even though the conclusions were somewhat predictable, how it all came about was very thoughtfully and compassionately done. I sat the book down and tried to think why I enjoyed this book so much when "The Winnie Years" brought so much offence, and I think this is it: even though the kids in "Seeing Cinderella" were running around discovering themselves, looking for love and getting into trouble, this was not condoned by the adults. In fact, the adults were very often busy with their own problems - and yet, when it counted, they were there for the kids. I felt that to be more real, more in tune with what's really going on in the world, and I think the author nailed it when she got the kids to be interested in and confused about each other, but stopped short of the kind of physically intimacy that got me so riled up in my previous reviews of middle-school literature. The star of the book had no problems acknowledging guilt and responsibility for her actions and mean thoughts - so refreshing after reading "Wild Swans", that previously-reviewed, dissatisfying biographical memoir about growing up in Communist China!!! Happily, said daughter enjoyed the book just as much. Her review follows:
"The book 'Seeing Cinderella' by Jenny Lundquist is an awesome read about what could happen if people really *did* know other people's thoughts.
"Callie wishes that her life could be more of a fairy tale - where the princess is pretty, smart, nice, funny, and, in the end, everything good happens to her. Unfortunately, her life seems *far* from fairy-tale-perfect: her best friend, Ellen, is ditching her for more popular people, her dad hasn't lived with them for four months, her crush is totally ignoring her, and, to top it off, she's found out she needs glasses - *hideously* large, geeky, Harry-Potter- type glasses. Then Callie finds out that she can see people's *thoughts* when she wears the glasses! It's gonna be one spectacular year as Callie finds out what Ellen *really* thinks of her, what secret her new neighbor is hiding, what the drama teacher really thinks of her, and, most of all, what it feels like to be the leading lady in her own life.
"My favorite character was definitely Callie. I loved how funny and honest she was, and how she reacted to the different situations - like when she found out what was really happening in Ana's life, and when she found out the truth about her dad leaving.
"My favorite part was definitely the happily-ever-after ending. Sure, some things didn't exactly work out, but I think it was all for the best. :-)
"I would give the book five stars: one star for reminding me kinda of the book `The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet', which I *love*; two stars for the characters, and two stars for the wonderful plot. Definitely, I think, a must-read. :-)"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
I love this book! It is a great book for girls of all ages. While it is geared for girls in 4th grade to middle grade, even girls who are 32 years old can enjoy it. This took me back to when I was this age and all that I went through in middle school. It is a great book for girls to realize they really are valuable. Even when you feel awkward, like everyone is making fun of you and not a part of the popular crowd you are still a person of worth even if you don't always see it. This is a great book for girls to boost their self-esteem. I recommend it for girls (and boys)of all ages and wish it had been around when I was in middle school.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2012
This book was pretty cute. I won a copy of this book a while back from
A thousand Wrongs. I just read it and I loved it. haha. The character is in the 6th grade, just starting her first year of middle school, and thinks she is unattractive and dorky. She is frizzy haired, freckle- faced, and now she has to deal with wearing this unbearably hideous reading glasses? life just got complicated.
Wait. hold up, that wonky eye doctor gave her a pair of glasses that can read the thoughts of anyone she is looking at? junk just got interesting.
now she can find out why her best (and only) friend is treating her so badly and maybe even make a few new friends while she is at. But with great power comes great responsibility. There are more important things to worry about than spying on your best friend's thoughts or trying to figure out what your long- time crush thinks of you. She has to learn what to do with her new found talent for acting (ere go the role in the school play of Cinderella), her wayward father, and that name calling bully, Charlie. And maybe even get the chance to help with something bigger than she is.
This book is very safe for younger audiences and explores the world of junior high, around that crucial time where you are breaking with old childhood friendships and developing deeper and more lasting friendships. We all remember starting middle school and having crushes. i remember all too well having the friends that were prettier than I was (hey, its true. cannot be helped) and that all the boys went after. I could really relate to Callie. I mean, I wish my dorky glasses served a higher purpose than just vision correction. Okay, I am nineteen, so i can relate to Callie when I was in middle school. lol.
This book was pretty deep in some senses though. You are sort of opened up to the harsh reality of fake friendships and one- sided friendships. Thinks that can be life changing to girls (and boys) at that age.
I love how Callie finally stood up to her friend when she was pushing her around and calling her selfish, even though Callie was trying her hardest to be the best friend she could be. You can only do so much in a friendship with a person who thinks enough is never enough. By the way, red hots were my dads favorite candy. :) brings back some memories. I loved that part of the story. torn between whether to rate this book with red hots or silly glasses. :) We shall see.
I think I may lend this book to my niece when she is just a little bit older. she is almost ten now, so she is around Callie's age. I do not know how my sister will feel about me giving her a book full of such realities just yet, Andi does not really talk a lot about friends. good lord, I do not even know who my niece's best friend is (it's me, of course). I will have to ask when next we talk. very curious, now. veeery curious............
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
Magic Glasses that allow you to read people's thoughts??? Now THAT would have helped in Junior High. Callie, the main character in Seeing Cinderella, gets exactly that! We join her on a journey of self-discovery, and finding out that not everything is as it seems. Even the popular kids have self-doubts. And what people say isn't always the same as what they are thinking. Even as an adult, I was thrown back to Junior High and could relate to what Callie was experiencing. This is a MUST READ for all girls in that age range of discovering who they are. Jenny Lundquist has a wonderful gift of finding heart, emotion, and humor and putting them on the written page. I HIGHLY anticipate her next book!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2013
I don't read a whole lot of middle grade, but to be honest when I read the synopsis, I didn't know it was, I knew I liked the premise though. Books about being able to know what others are thinking has always intrigued me and it sounded like a cute read that had the potential for some depth.
Seeing Cinderella did not disappoint. Callie is awkward and on this side of nerdy, which helped me to relate with her, being quiet but sometimes seen as stuck up is something that I feel could be a part of my life's story, so even though Callie is a little younger than my usual protagonist, I had no problem connecting with her. She goes through quite a bit of character growth throughout the novel as well as discovering a lot about other people and the way they think as well as discovering how she thinks and feels about things without censoring herself through her best friend.
There was always something going on and I appreciated the drama class, the teachers, Callie's mom, and the fleshed out secondary characters. Ana is one that I really enjoyed and wondered what was going on with her. I figured it out before the reveal (as with quite a few things in this book) but it didn't diminish my enjoyment. I also grew to like Stacy more than I thought I would.
Seeing Cinderella was a quick read for me, I read it all in two sittings, and enjoyed it.
It was funny at times, and had some emotional punch, all at the exact right timing to keep the story going and me interested. It captured middle school insecurities, and drama pretty well and made me smile, but never ever wish to live over again.
I liked how everything wrapped up and I felt like it left Callie and the other characters in a good place.
Bottom Line: Quick and cute read with a quirky main character.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2012
According to my daughter, a fantastic read ... my 9YO daughter is an avid reader and didn't put this book down till she was finished. Her words, "I loved it Mom." :-) It's my turn to read it now.
on April 13, 2012
I love it when a book is not only written in a way that readers of all ages will be able to identify with it, but it delivers a great message for it's targeted audience. Jenny Lundquist's debut, Seeing Cinderella is a fun, charming, fast paced read that really struck a chord with me. Though I was never shy like the story's main character Callie, I still got her as a character. I remembered what it was like to be in her shoes at that awkward age in middle school when you're trying to discover who you are, you deal with first crush, you first heart break, you realize there's someone better out there, losing best friends, being made fun of, and making new friends. This line at the beginning of the book really hit home for me,
"I see Ellen making a bunch of friends at middle school. Then I see me' - I pointed to the larger stone- "reading a book or writing a story in my journal."
"Do you find that easier than making new friends?" Dr. Ingram asked.
"Books and journals can't make fun of you or call you names."
Like Callie, at some point you try to realize that there's much more than meets the eye going on around you with your fellow classmates and friends. You realize that it's more than just okay to be who you really are. Callie has a bit of an upper hand in discovering everything that's going on around her. Like Callie, I remember vividly the horror of having to get those big ole' chunky glasses in middle school and how embarrassing it was to have to wear them. Much like Callie's, mine were for reading, but unlike hers, mine didn't allow me to read everyone's thoughts. While that might seem cool at first, after reading Callie's story there's no way I'd want to know what people are thinking, especially in middle school. Anytime Callie has her glasses on she's able to read her friends, teachers and parent's minds. I liked that Callie figures out that her glass it make it extremely easy for her to misinterpret what others are thinking, and there's more going around her than her own problems.
For me what made Callie such a great character is how relatable she is. I enjoyed getting to know her and seeing her change to the girl she becomes by the end of her story. Seeing Cinderella isn't a fairy tale retelling, but it has a lot of fairytale type qualities to it. Jenny's writing is clean cut, encouraging, and the messages she includes through out her story are ones that readers of all ages can take to heart. Aside from Callie, I really liked her Optometrist, who spoke more like a fairy godmother than an eye doctor. He not only teaches Callie a great lesson by lending her the "special" glasses, but he teaches readers something as well. When we first meet him he tells Callie his glasses, "help me see who merely needs eyewear and who requires vision correction." He reminds Callie, "You never know what you'll see when your vision is corrected."
This is one of those books that speaks a lot both with it's words and will have you reading between the lines to pick up on more of what Jenny is really getting across. Seeing Cinderella is a story I really enjoyed, and I'm looking forward to reading more books by Jenny. If you're looking for a wonderful story to spend the afternoon with, I highly recommend picking this one up!
on March 28, 2012
Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lundquist is a story of a seventh grade girl, Calliope Anderson, who has to start the year with new glasses. And as if Middle School isn't horrible enough, the frames she picks out are on back order and she has to wear a hideous loaner pair given to her by a mysterious eye doctor. However, these glasses, she soon finds out, are not an ordinary pair of nerdy glasses. When she puts on these glasses, she can instantly see the thoughts of everyone around her. For the first time, Calliope learns that she is not the only one with troubles. Things are not always what they seem. A lot of people lie. But some people actually tell the truth. The story follows Calliope through her seventh grade of year of being without her flakey dad, seeing her best friend find a new close friend, losing her crush to her friend, getting a part in the school play, finding out what her dad is truly like, and being surprised by the affections of someone she never even noticed.
This book has many elements that are great for a good story. The first element of being able to read everyone thoughts is a page turner. Of course, some people think in Spanish and that poses a problem. And it seems to be a location thing too. Calliope can't read people's thoughts over the phone. The second element of Calliope going from an insecure, selfish, cowardly girl, to a confident, giving, brave girl is well developed. The author creates many characters in the story that girls will relate too. They will see themselves in the characters and realize that a lot of their fears and longings are what many girls face. In the end, it may help them to understand how to be a better friend. The element of the single family is also one that many girls relate too. These are struggles and hurts that many young people are trying to understand. When Calliope "sees" that her dad is not coming home because he is having an affair, she finally sees her dad for what he is. It is not pretty, but the author shows her growing from a silly little girl, to a young lady who appreciates the sacrifices of her mom. The last element that made this story work is the one character whose thoughts remain silent, Anna. Anna speaks Spanish, so Calliope is never able to read her thoughts. Instead, Calliope learns to be a true friend to Anna across the cultural divide, and Anna is a great friend back.
This book was a wonderful read from start to finish. The plot is well constructed and keeps the story moving. I read the entire book in one day. I just didn't want to put it down!
on March 29, 2012
This is a wonderful book. I knew by the pink cover this was going to be a "girlie" book but Jenny Lundquist is such a talented writer it is a great read for the male population as well as girls. In fact guys will find this a really fun read. She knows how to write humor without sarcasm something not common in today's world of sitcom. She knows how to laugh at herself and make it really fun humor.
It's all about a girl starting the 7th grade in a new school who just wants to hideout and not even be seen knowing she is a misfit but will do anything her best friend wants to do and join anything she joins. Enter magical glasses that show what others really think opens up a world that is drawing her out of herself and into the world. Still as much fun as it is to see other's thoughts and how it influences what she does there is much more to this story. It is a story of friendships and love. It surprised me how Lundquist crafts a very good story hidden within the humor and without the need of the "gimmick" of magic glasses to support it. Issues of parental problems; losing best friends; making best friends; saving others in trouble; and finding out you might not really be the dork you think you are and maybe there is a special boy that thinks you are pretty nice.
This truly is a book every one can read and should read. I assure you you will laugh and laugh; and also keep turning pages to find out what is going to happen next. Yes it has a lot of suspense and surprises but the kind that is fun to read. You will really fall in love with Calli and maybe begin to "see" things you have never seen before.
on October 24, 2013
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it every free chance I had and finished it in short order.
Seeing Cinderella was a sweet, middle grade book that would be excellent for tween girls. We go along with Callie as she discovers the power of her new glasses. They allow Callie to read other people's thoughts. This is both a blessing and a curse of sorts for Callie as she learns to navigate through this new world and truly learns what other people are experiencing and thinking.
This book has a fantastic message - not everyone is as they seem. You have to look at a person to truly see them. You have to get to know them inside and out because you never know what that person is experiencing.
Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to any tween girl and their moms. It was a worthwhile read.
Will I read it again: Maybe when my daughter is ready to read it. I want her to read it when she is the right age.