Books · Netgalley · Reviews

Grab a Prince–The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling


Title: The Ugly Stepsister

Author: Aya Ling                      Avid Reader Time: 2.30 hours

Publisher: Aya Ling

Publish Date: June 12, 2015

Pages: 452

Type: Teens & YA,  Fantasy


When 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?

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This an ‘arc” copy eBook supplied by Netgalley. I am not receiving any monetary benefit or any kickback for this review. I received this arc for an honest review. This review is cross-posted on Amazon, Goodreads and given directly to the publisher.

I absolutely adore fairytale retellings. The way that Ling takes a classic story and twists into her own is simply divine. Instead of the main character being Cinderella, it is one of the stepsisters. The Ugly Stepsister is written in a unique and a nice way to change up the retelling world. There was so many interesting elements in this story. Ling made this story into her own.

Kat is the main character. She is a shy, book loving modern day female who is tossed into a Victorian era. She is having a hard time adjusting, but gets into the swing of it. She treats everyone the same no matter their station. She also fights for the poor children being forced to work long hours and in dangerous situations; just for a piteous wage. Her modern day charms attract many possible love interests including The Prince!

All the characters were well-written and was able to stand alone. The main characters was multi-faceted and had their own secrets. My other favorite pairing Kat’s friend Poppy and Mr. Davenport. Their romance is so cute. Edward, the prince is exactly what a fairytale prince should be. He is kind, smart and caring. He also has a personality and not attention seeking. I loved learning new things about him, like his love for gardening. Also, watching him slowly fall in love with Kat was sweet.

I love this book. The Ugly Stepsister was written in 1st person. Which I don’t normally like, but it felt natural with the story. I really liked only knowing Kat’s point of view. Although, reading it from the prince’s would have been cool. I liked the idea of tossing a modern day girl with her own opinions into a historical setting. Then watching her stand her place and fight for what’s right. It’s a fresh new look on a time old classic.

The romance is not over the top and doesn’t over power the character’s own thoughts and ideals. It has a sweetness to it. This is definitely a new favorite of mine. Strong characters that can stand alone; but stand ever stronger together. 5 out of 5 stars. The Ugly Stepsister shows us that everyone has a little bit of Cinderella inside, and no matter what we can change the story to fit us distinctively.


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