Boasted as "The Secret Cinderella Story" (I didn't say it, the cover does), the reader is drawn into the life of Cinderella's fairy Godmother before, during and after the events that took place...or rather WERE suppose to take place. Have you ever wondered what life would be like if she hadn't gone to the ball, met the Prince and lived happily ever after? Well, my friend, you're about to find out! You see, fairy's in this world aid in guiding man to destiny and fate. It was written that Cinderella was to be the one love made for the Prince...all Lil (the fairy Godmother) had to do was follow her orders and guide this into being. No problem, right? WRONG! It seems Lil has gotten a little too close to her ward and unless she finds a way to sever the tie drawing her in, the consquences could be dire! But how to choose? Should she stay on track and see her task through to the end and live among her fairy friends joyfully for centuries to come? Or should she go after what she feels to be her one chance at happiness she's never had (nor desired!) before? (Dum, dum, dum....)
If you've been reading my blog during its short life span thus far, you know how I feel about bad reviews. (What? You don't remember! No problem, keep reading...) My own personal motto on this is...
"Respect the effort, if not the result."
That being said, let me delve into the dark side of my review first so as to end on a happier note. I am a fan of fairytales. I love the magic, the fantasy, the love (okay, I'm even sounding sappy to myself as I type this, but I promise it gets better...)....the overall package. You start out with an underestimated girl (or boy), add in seemingly insurmountable odds and obstacles Hercules himself would avoid, throw in a splash of magic and TADA! A happy ending for one and all....or at least just desserts for those that caused trouble! When I first came across this title and it's brief summary...I thought, why not? A retelling of the Cinderella story we all know and love sounded like a perfect fit! Well, the glass slipper was a bit big for me in this case. (tehe, more shameless references...) This story paints the Godmother, or rather the fairy with the potential to be her Godmother, as someone that miscontrues both her and Cinderella's hearts desires only to end up with a death on her hands. That's right! The classic story has been turned into a fantasy/murder/mystery combo with unforseen turns to boot!
The ending....well, it left me...confused. (WARNING: Potentially SPOILER-type Material!) I mean I couldn't decide what it really meant. Was Lil just a crazy little old lady trapped in the magic her head created and ultimately bringing herself to a watery doom? Was she really a fairy at one time and now she is returning to them? Or is it a combination of the two somewhere in the middle? The add in of one very repetitive line in the book does not help the situation either:
"What occurs in the world of faerie will become manifest in the world of men."See what I mean? (Okay, maybe not clearly if you haven't read the book, but pretend at this point of the review for my sake...) I for one like my stories to end neatly...preferrably with a happy ending (what can I say...there's enough sadness and badness in the real world), but at least with something I can clearly decipher. This one...not so much.
Whew! That's out of my system...now on to the good parts! Just because I don't LOVE a book, doesn't mean that there is not something good worth mentioning! I loved the character she created in Veronica. She was colorful, full of life, enthusiastic, and yet damaged...in short she was REAL. Her vibrancy could be felt through the pages. Also, the transitions between what we presume to be Lil's her past life as a faery and present day are obvious, but in a good way. You don't make it half way through a paragraph and then realize it was a "memory" passage versus "her-life-now"...that's a good thing! The bookstore backdrop was appropriate and appreciated by this blogger seeing as this is a sort of remake of a classic novel.
In the end, while the story was well-intentioned and the pitfalls of bad decisions greater and darker than the cover or summary let on, this really wasn't the book for me....but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a go at it! For those reading this that have read the book, I'd love to hear your take on it...for those that have not, feel free to comment on my review or others you may have read!
There's been a lot of talk in the blog-o-sphere recently about fairytale remakes.....what is/was your favorite fairytale whether it be the book or movie version? What makes that one stand out to you the most?
Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!
Until next time....happy reading!