I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley back in April, and this review is scheduled to post the day the book releases.
So far this year, I have read 50 books. Most of these books have heavy subject matter: death, rape, abuse, and even murder. When I requested this book from Netgalley, I wasn’t sure when I would even have a chance to read it, but I was able to read it during the first few days of July, after summer school ended, and I was just enjoying a few days of nothing.
It was the perfect, relaxing summer read. This book is a retelling of the classic Cinderella story. As you can see from the cover, our Cinderella isn’t the typical model thin beauty. The author also makes the change with the relationship between the stepmom and siblings and Cindy. They actually have a good relationship, and I loved how the author incorporated Jaq and Gus Gus (my personal favorite characters from the Disney version).
Brief summary – After having a less than stellar senior year in design school, Cindy leaves New York for Los Angeles to help her television producing step-mother by nannying her three younger siblings. Upon arrival, Cindy and her step-sisters Anna and Drew find themselves contestants in their mother’s next season of Before Midnight (basically The Bachelor) due to some last minute drop outs. But how will America, the women in the house, and the suitor respond to a plus sized contestant? Cindy is willing to take a chance in order to give herself the exposure she needs to get her foot in the fashion industry.
I enjoyed this book for what it was: a romantic, fun read. The main character was likable, but she still had her flaws. You definitely want to cheer for her. This is my first book that I have read by Murphy, but I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up another one in the future.
I received this book early from #Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I’ve decided not to do a summary this time and just jump right in to my thoughts.
I first heard about this book from an Instagram live and knew right away that I was going to have to read it and quickly. I got on Netgalley because I just didn’t think I could wait until its release date in early July. It took a while to get approval, but as soon as I got it downloaded, I started reading it.
First impressions – as a parent, I was annoyed with the main character, Sophia. She wants to change all the rules in their land which is controlled by a misogynistic king who has no problem chopping the heads off those who oppose him. Her parents were first concerned with her safety, and disrupting the societal norms would not make her safe. In fact, there is a point when Sophia asks, “Don’t you want me to be happy?” And the response is no, I want you to be safe [alive]. I felt this deep in my heart as a mom of two girls.
As I read, though, I began to come around to Sophia. No dictator or dystopian ruler is ever overthrown without someone risking everything. Sophia is a strong (and sometimes reckless) main character. She cares deeply about the people she loves, and she wants better for everyone, including herself.
The setting and story building are fantastic. It is very easy to visualize what this society looks like. Every time I picked it up to read, I was transported to this world. This book is very well-written, and I am looking forward to reading more by Bayron.
A little side note: So, I once again read a couple reviews on Goodreads before writing my own. One I read complained about how Sophia quickly fell in love with this new girl after saying she was in love with her friend Erin for three years. To that person, I would say, have you ever met a 16/17 year old girl? But besides the fickleness of teens when it comes to love, I felt that Sophia really wrestled with her feelings. She felt conflicted having feelings for this new girl when she still loved Erin. I felt like the author did a great job showing this struggle.