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Sinful Cinderella Paperback – September 30, 2015
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SUMMARY: When Cinderella's dear father died, she was stuck with her stepmother and two stepsisters. Visited by her fairy godmother, she found that doing good deeds and behaving kindly earned her some white magic-- magic that gave her power to change her appearance, change animals to other animals, object to other objects. But Cinderella's heart festered with bitterness. She does good, but only with the end goal of evil. Her prize, the prince, may not be the easy and happy ending she searched for. The prince has his own darkness. And true darkness is not pleasant.
the not so best parts: I guess my main problem was Cinderella started out a bit vindictive and bitter. But in all honesty, she wasn't that bad. She even had moments of genuine kindness. I would have preferred to see development of her compassion, than see her slowly dissolve into bad habits. This truly is a negative story. There are a few pinnacle moments of badness, but they don't have the proper motivation to inspire compassion in the reader, or to make you think that there is possible compassion in the character. The result makes you think the character is shallow and very one dimensional.
the best parts: the magic is interesting, the step characters are realistic. The line between malicious but not ridiculous was perfectly toed with all step characters. The prince was a fresh surprise, well written, and it was interesting for Cinderella to basically see herself reflected in this faux-amazing man. A refreshing change of pace, and an interesting read.
All in all, the writing was good. The story was fleshed out, the characters sharp. A good novella. I just didn't like that this story didn't have a resolution or even real development of character. A novella shows, in my mind, important snipers of a story to bring a full picture. This felt like the beginning (of the end). The dark edginess might just not be my thing. For certain, I'm not eager to reread for a character that I just think will never change-- especially because she had so many opportunities for goodness-- and isn't particularly emotion provoking. If you're looking for something new and with a dark feel, this might be it for you. If you're looking for a dark fairy tale, or different fairy tale with a solid conclusion and moral-- this just doesn't have that structure. I liked reading this, and found it interesting food for thought-- but I didn't feel like I really wanted to see more of Cinderella. This just doesn't have THAT MOMENT-- the one where you cry for that transition to evil, or you cry cause you see the inner pain. This just felt like you wanted to shake Cinderella.
If you want to see a different Cinderella, this is your novella. If you want a full tale revolving around a dark Cinderella, where you see a clear ending and you feel sudden understanding and compassion towards an evil Cinderella, this isn't for you.
If the stepmother's emotional abuse of Cinderella is conscious and purposeful, the stepdaughters' response is more mixed-- one joins with her mother enthusiastically, while the other merely goes along, doing nothing in life with enthusiasm.
The prince's facade is that of a caring and considerate man, the perfect lover. In private, he is controlling and physically abusive-- his charm is as real as Cinderella niceness. In truth, in many ways they deserve one another.
Which leaves the Fairy Godmother-- easily the best character in the story. There's nothing of "Bibbety-Bobbety-Boo!" to this fairy; she smokes her pipe like she never heard of the Surgeon General's report, talks like she never left Brooklyn, and is the only character to have overcome a dysfunctional past, vice embracing it. Would that she had a bigger role-- she's the only character I'd want to go out and have a drink with!
If the story is unredeemably dark, the writing is consistently good. Anita Valle has managed to avoid many of the pitfalls of indie writing -- particularly the lack of good copy editors. Publishing houses have in-house professional copy editors to correct errors of grammar and usage-- indie writers just have beta readers, who may have no more training and education in the field than the writers themselves.
Valle's writing, on the other hand, is consistently grammatical and lacking in the too-common misuse of homonyms (why is it so hard for some to understand that rain, rein, and reign are different words?). She should thank her former English teachers and her parents!
So, to summarize: This is a well written and freshly imagined (if dark and dysfunctional) take on a classic fairy tale, from an indie writer who is certainly worth reading now, and who I suspect will continue to grow and improve.
I found it hard to sympathize with the characters. The only character I actually liked was the youngest stepsister, and I stopped liking her at the end. At least the dysfunctional family is consistently dysfunctional. I get that this is a dark retelling, but there should have been at least one likeable and good character that remained likeable and good. Even a very minor character!
I was not a fan of the ending. It's sort of left hanging. Yes, Cinderella does some bad things, but she doesn't deserve the ending she gets. And while life isn't fair and people don't always get what they deserve, the ending wasn't satisfying. I want to learn how Cinderella's fate affects her as a person. Does she slowly become more and more bad to the point of being evil? Does she find justice? Does she escape? Now, there is supposed to be a sequel (about the prince's daughter, I think), so hopefully Cinderella's story gets a little more wrapped up then.
Most recent customer reviews
It wasn’t absolutely amazing, but quite an entertaining story.