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82 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful YA romantic comedy!!!!
Mattie Lowe's father is a famous, wealthy artist who has been divorced six times. He's a sweet guy, but utterly obsessed with his art, and even when he marries other artists, they feel neglected and leave him. Mattie is the daughter of his first wife. Ella Christensen is the daughter of Wife Number Two, who married Mattie's dad when the girls were two and divorced him a...
Published 15 months ago by Kate McMurry

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute and sweet!
I wasn't sure what to expect upon hearing about THE UGLY STEPSISTER STRIKES BACK. The cover looked like a full-fledged fairy tale, so I immediately wanted it. When I started reading, however, it was clear that this wasn't the stepsister's version of Cinderella. For one thing, Mattie's dad married Ella's mom, and Mattie and her father aren't evil. Neither is Ella,...
Published 21 months ago by Bonnie Lynn Wagner


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82 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful YA romantic comedy!!!!, September 22, 2013
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This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
Mattie Lowe's father is a famous, wealthy artist who has been divorced six times. He's a sweet guy, but utterly obsessed with his art, and even when he marries other artists, they feel neglected and leave him. Mattie is the daughter of his first wife. Ella Christensen is the daughter of Wife Number Two, who married Mattie's dad when the girls were two and divorced him a few years later. Mattie is the only biological child of her father, but he always considered Ella his daughter, and when Ella's mother died of breast cancer at the end of the girls' sophomore year, Ella came to live with them because she didn't know who or where her biological father was.

Mattie likes Ella, but she's very conflicted about her. She's jealous of Ella because she's a beautiful, blond cheerleader who is popular with everyone at their elite, private school, teachers and students alike. Yet Ella is anything but conceited. In fact, she's practically a saint, constantly involved in good causes, and kind and supportive of everyone, especially Mattie. Ella's major flaw as far as Mattie is concerned is that, ever since the end of their junior year, Ella has been dating Jake Kingston, a boy that Mattie considers Ella's male counterpart. He's equally gorgeous, popular and kind to everyone he meets, and Mattie intellectually realizes that Jake and Ella are made for each other. But what her mind knows, her heart refuses to accept, because Mattie has been hopelessly in love with Jake since she was nine years old.

I am a huge fan of romantic comedy, and this is an utterly outstanding example of that genre. The humor comes from the wit of the heroine, and the hilarious repartee between her and Jake. I love them both. The subcharacters are also vividly drawn, including Ella, Mattie's father, her callously critical mother, the school principal, Mattie's art teacher whom her father is dating, the Mean Girl amusingly named Mercedes Bentley, and Mercedes's equally malicious boyfriend Scott.

The book is set in California, near the beach, and it is accurately portrayed. The author uses a lot of cultural references, but they are never irritating because they are always funny, and they range across a broad period of time, from the 80's forward, so they won't become dated if this little gem of a book becomes a classic.

There is a really fun subtext of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice within the story itself simultaneously to Jake and Mattie overtly working as a team on an assignment for their English class, putting P&P into a modern context. Mattie creates anime drawings of P&P characters, and Jake writes an accompanying script. Meanwhile, the entire book echoes P&P in that Jake's personality contains features of both Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley, Mattie has many similarities to Elizabeth Bennet, and Ella is very much like Jane Bennet.

The HEA ending is utterly delightful, and the author promises a sequel which occurs four years after this story, in which we will have a chance to experience these wonderful characters again. I can't wait.

For those interested in parental guidance information: This is a G-rated, "clean" read. Mattie is a virginal girl who has never been kissed. There are no wild parties and no underage sex, drugs or alcohol.

I rate this book as follows:

Heroine: 5 stars
Hero: 5 stars
Subcharacters: 5 stars
Romance Plot: 5 stars
Writing: 5 stars
Overall: 5 stars
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sweet Romance, August 19, 2012
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This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
Such a cute book! Once I started reading, I could not put it down. I was reading it on my laptop at 1am and trying to stop laughing so I wouldn't wake up my husband.

I loved Mattie and the shower incident was awesome (and you'll have to read it to figure out what that is...) The romance was so sweet.

A clean read.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, August 25, 2012
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This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
18-year-old Maltilda Lowe's life was being ruined by her pretty, talented, petite, blonde stepsister, Ella. Making Mattie feel worse about her List of Grievances against Ella was that she was actually a truly nice person, but that niceness got cancelled out after she started dating the only boy Mattie had ever loved since she was nine years old.

Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you'd think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute and sweet!, March 27, 2013
This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
I wasn't sure what to expect upon hearing about THE UGLY STEPSISTER STRIKES BACK. The cover looked like a full-fledged fairy tale, so I immediately wanted it. When I started reading, however, it was clear that this wasn't the stepsister's version of Cinderella. For one thing, Mattie's dad married Ella's mom, and Mattie and her father aren't evil. Neither is Ella, though she does have a few do-gooder Cinderella-esque qualities. In fact, Mattie feels sub-par next to Ella, who is everything she isn't--and wants to be. Ella is even dating Jake, who has been Mattie's crush since ninth-grade.

The book has a very contemporary feel, with a good, steady voice that leaves readers rooting for Mattie. She can't get over the fact that Jake's every move leaves her melting inside, even when he acts like a jerk. After being forced to work on a school project together and running opposite one another for Class President, she learns a lot more about him and starts seeing Jake as a real human being. Even Ella becomes multi-faceted. At first, she's a stereotype, and I wanted to hate her, especially because I was seeing her through Mattie's eyes. But as the relationship between Ella and Mattie evolves, so do my feelings about Ella. I wound up really changing my opinion about a lot of character's by the book's end.

THE UGLY STEPSISTER was a light, fast read full of fun. I read it in one sitting, and really enjoyed the voice Sariah Wilson created for her characters. She mixed her elements well, and while the book isn't heavy on substance, it isn't meant to be and works exactly as intended. The character development is strong, and I liked the way family relationships were handled in a believable way. While I would have liked to see the book be a little longer, and therefore deeper, I still enjoyed reading it and would pick up another book from Wilson in the future.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun romance, August 17, 2012
This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
This was such a fun read. The romance drew me in, and I found myself actually giggling in delight at times. I really enjoyed this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new side to the evil stepsister, July 20, 2013
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This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
*A copy was made available by the author in exchange for an honest review*

This was a very nice and light book that I enjoyed reading. It's not the usual story where a female protagonist is so shy that she's only able to glance at her crush from afar, on the contrary! Mattie has no problem to say exactly what she thinks of Jack. Even though she as a hard time breathing and can't stop staring when he is near, even when he uses his most radiant smile, if she doesn't want to, or thins he's doing something he shouldn't, she says so. And that's something Jack never has encountered before ^^ And something I really liked a lot ^^

This book also features one of the nicest sisters ever. What Ella isn't willing to do for Mattie! That's why I wasn't exactly thrilled at the beginning when Mattie gives her list of Grievances. The things she said... One good conversation with Ella and most of her Grievances would probably have been solved. On the other hand, I have a great sis myself, so I also understood a bit how she felt ;) . Still, talking and explaining how you feel is essential in any relationship. Therefore I was glad to read that Mattie finally realizes this too. Ella is a very sweet and über nice gal and that's just the way she is. It's not something she's doing deliberately, it's in her blood. She's born with it. And that should not make you keep her at a distance. So I was glad to see that the two sister grew closer and closer ^^

Mattie, too is a great character to read about. She's got lots and lots of great remarks and one liners. And made me giggle quite a lot throughout the book. Her mind is a great place to be ^^ I also admired her for going against Jake instead of just giving in. And she really persevered! There was only one small relapse when she believed the evil words of a jealous viper, which disappointed me a bit. You know that she is a viper and you still believe her? After all this don't you know better? But oh well, everyone has lessons to learn. And the ending made more than up to it. It was soooooo cute. It made me fall in love with Jake too and wish someone did something like that for me too. *deep sigh*

Conclusion

It was a real entertaining book to read. It was awesome to be in Mattie's mind with her quote's and observations. This book made me giggle a lot. I'm also glad that this wasn't a standard story, where the hero finally notices the heroin and everything goes great from there. Nope, this time the hero has some work to do before he's allowed to get to the heroin. And I loved it ^^ It also has great bonding between two sisters, which I totally understand, I have a sister like that too. All in all a good and enjoyable read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The (not so)Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, August 28, 2012
This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
Matilda Lowe (Mattie to those who knew what was good for them) lived in a nice (and expensive) beachside house with her sometimes absentminded artist father and her stepsister, Ella, who was the picture of perfection. She volunteered in most of her free time, was a cheerleader and every guy in school thought she was the hottest person alive. She even cleaned their house to perfection everyday (putting the housekeeper's job in jeopardy in Mattie's opinion). To top it all off Ella was the nicest person Mattie knew, which sort of made it hard to dislike her.

Mattie on the other hand was snarky, liked to draw manga and had fuchsia colored hair. She was a far cry from being a fairy tale princess. But when Mattie gets tired of not getting her happy ending she decides to take matters into her own hands, starting with running for Class President. Her opponent: Jake Kingston. The boy she's been in love with since she was nine years old and the boy who was currently dating her stepsister.

Mattie has to deal with a criticizing mother, a mean girl out to get her and the confusing advances of school hottie, Jake Kingston. Is he really interested in her or is he only trying to ruin her chances of being Senior Class President?

The author gives us a look into Mattie's mind, letting us see the very real feelings and insecurities she experiences, feelings lots of girls can sympathize with. Mattie quickly became a lovable character for me and I urge you to pick this book up and enjoy the wonderfully put together story Sarah Wilson has provided for us.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best use of my time!, April 21, 2013
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This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
This is definitely my favorite romance ever. So fresh and lovely, real... Not the whining of an 18 years old too involved in self-gloating, shopping and experiencing with sex. Refreshing! Finally, at 58, Sariah Wilson made me believe in happy ever after... to such an extent that it's 2 a.m. and I couldn't put down her book since early afternoon.
Well written, excellent easy to read English (no slang or curse words), with a contemporary high school setting, students dreaming and scheming about their future and what they want to become and study for, mingling with sisterhood between 2 step sisters, parents loving or not, peer pressure and real friendship to save the day, and, and, and... all the reality that strikes young adults of today.
In a voice every mother would like her daughter to have, personality traits, modesty, sincerity and all.
A fresh look on life and society. A must read for all ages!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fun and great, February 17, 2014
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This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
love the attitude of the primary person, great attitude and a good view of the teenage mind of one with multiple parents and extended family
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great Book, February 17, 2014
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This review is from: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
I liked it!I liked how you related it to Cinderella.Funny and heartwarming,this is one of my favorite Kindle books of all
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