The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

26889886When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world? – Goodreads

I. Loved. This. Book.

I’m a total sucker for fairy tale retellings. I could read 17 different retellings of the same story and never  get sick of it. Cinderella is one of those stories—Ella Enchanted, Just Ella, Cinder, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister—I’ve read my share. Out of all of them, though, this one falls second—right behind Ella Enchanted.

The worldbuilding was excellent. Kat was sucked into a different world, and you could tell. I bought into the social events, the gargantuan castle, the gardens, and the dark ages (plus some fairies and stuff) setting.

I also really enjoyed Kat as an MC. She was strong and had one mission in mind: get home to her family. I loved that even though she found romance, this mission never left her mind. She maybe considered staying behind once or twice, but ultimately her family always won out. In the beginning, she was shy and meek. By the end, she was strong and outspoken. The shift was natural and worked well.

The relationships were also fantastic. Kat had a great friendship with Poppy. But let’s be real—the only relationship I cared about was Kat and Edward’s. In the beginning, she wasn’t even interested in him. After all—she needed him and Ella to get together so she could go home. But their friendship and developed and ah. I don’t want to ruin it.

Overall, I adored this book—but I absolutely hated the ending, which I won’t ruin. In fact, I’d have been much happier if I would have skipped the last chapter. I rated it 4/5 on Goodreads—highly recommend!

L

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