Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jenn's Review: Cinder and Ella

Summary:  After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you'll never forget.

Review: I was really looking forward to this book, so I was excited about the opportunity to read it from Netgalley. Unfortunately, though it has all the makings of a fantastic story, it fell short of the mark.

First and foremost, I'm not really sure what this story has to do with Cinderella other than the time period and the girls' names. To me it was more Sondheim meets William Goldman's The Princess Bride with none of the depth or humor. The character's are paper thin archetypes and I couldn't get attached to any of them.  I'm not sure what any character's motivation was or was meant to be. I was halfway through the book and I felt as if I was still waiting for it to begin. I'm not even sure whether this is supposed to be a middle grade read or a YA as some of the symbolism was rather heavy yet the writing leaned towards simplified.

The one thing I did love was the Legend of the Trees. Basically, every life is entwined with that of a tree, as long as one thrives, so does the other. It's a beautiful concept and I wish Ms. Lemon would have explored it further.  As it was, it seemed to be jumbled in with many other underdeveloped ideas.

I have heard this is a series, so I hope this will give the author the opportunity to dig into the legend of trees, explore the kingdom she created, and develop her characters a little further.  As for me, I may or may not get around to reading a sequel.  It's hard to afford room in my TBR pile when I am so underwhelmed by this book.  Cinder and Ella is due out November 8th, 2011 from Bonneville Books

Final Take:  2.5/5.0

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