Publication date: 1 Nov 2011 by Bonneville Books
ISBN 10/13: 1599559064 | 9781599559063
Keywords: Fairy Tale Retelling, Family, Sisters
Category: Young Adult/Middle Grade
Format: ebook, Hardcover
I love retellings of my favorite fairy tales, so I've been wanting to read Cinder and Ella for a while. Cinder and Ella are so close and dependent on each other, that their own family can't tell them apart. When Cinder begins working in the castle, Ella becomes unrecognizable to her family without her other half. Heartbroken, Ella wanders away, searching for a new home and people who will appreciate her. But the castle has dark forces at work and the sisters become the unfortunate target of the handsome, but not so nice prince.
I really like Ella. She's clever, smart and thoughtful. Even in dangerous situations, the girl is a fighter, and I love how strong she is. On the other hand, Cinder is wholesome, good and trusting. Which, honestly, annoyed me to no end. I know, I know. Maybe I'm just cynical. But Cinder is so sweet and pure, she can't even see the evil Prince is, well, evil. I mean really, Cinder? This is me virtually slapping some sense into you.
The writing is sweet, and the style is light and I breezed through this book. I kept wanting to know what happened. The story read like a fairy tale. It is so easy to get swept up in the adventure. Coming in below 300 pages, this super sweet and short tale is perfect for a light read. I especially love the mythology about the trees and how each person has a tree, and it's tied to them. When Cinder and Ella's father runs away, they have a feeling he is still alive because his tree is still alive. Looking worse every year, but alive. And this gives them hope.
But why only three stars you ask? I have a couple of problems with the plot and conclusion of the book. While the ending is tied up rather nicely, Cinder and Ella's family is so selfish and mean, the ending doesn't bring any closure for me. Also, and I won't give it away, the motivations behind some of the characters, especially in the royal family, feel hollow and flimsy.
Overall, Cinder and Ella is a fast, clever retelling of the classic Cinderella story. I think a lot of readers will enjoy Ella and Cinder's adventures.
Find the author online at www.authormelissalemon.com and on Facebook.
You can find more reviews by Kimberly at www.thewindypages.com and tweet her @TheWindyPages.