Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly | Review

Title: Step Sister

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Published: 15th May 2019

ISBN: 9781471407970

Series: Standalone

Pages: 352

Edition: ARC

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

‘In an ancient city by the sea, three sisters – a maiden, a mother, and a crone – are drawing maps by candlelight. Sombre, with piercing grey eyes, they are the three Fates, and every map is a human life . . .’

Stepsister takes up where Cinderella’s tale ends. We meet Isabelle, the younger of Cinderella’s two stepsisters. Ella is considered beautiful; stepsister Isabelle is not. Isabelle is fearless, brave, and strong-willed. She fences better than any boy, and takes her stallion over jumps that grown men fear to attempt. It doesn’t matter, though; these qualities are not valued in a girl. Others have determined what is beautiful, and Isabelle does not fit their definition. Isabelle must face down the demons that drove her cruel treatment of Ella, challenge her own fate and maybe even redefine the very notion of beauty . . .

Cinderella is about a girl who was bullied; Stepsister is about the bully. We all root for the victims, we want to see them triumph. But what about the bullies? Is there hope for them? Can a mean girl change? Can she find her own happily ever after?

Thank you Hot Key Books and Tina Mories for sending me a gorgeous ARC copy of this book in exchange for a review!

I’ve only read one other of Jennifer Donnelly’s books before which was These Shallow Graves which I really enjoyed and I do own her Deep Blue series and Lost in a Book which I hope to get to soon! When I heard that she had Step Sister coming out I jumped at the chance to receive a copy as it sounded really interesting and different!

Step Sister is a story about one of Cinderella’s stepsisters, it picks up where the original Cinderella story ends, with Ella (our Cinderella in this book) marrying the prince and telling everyone how she was treated at home. Step Sister is done from the youngest of the two ugly step sisters, Isabella. In this story, Isabella cuts off her toes to attempt to fit the glass shoe and the other sister, Tavi, cuts her heel. But instead of arresting them, the Prince decides to leave them behind to suffer the consequences of their actions as they end up being shunned and bullied once everyone knows what they did to Ella.

Isabella now has to fight her demons and in so she unknowingly summons the fairy queen Tanaquill to help her, her wish is to be pretty but Tanaquill doesn’t do things simply, she wants to help Isabella change her fate so in order for the fairy queen to grant her wish, Isabella must find the missing three pieces of her heart, but Isabella doesn’t know what those three pieces of her heart could be, she assumes it’s what Ella is, kind and compassionate but it’s not and it takes her a while to figure it out after some mistakes.

I mentioned fate earlier, at the beginning of the book there are the three fates, in charge of a lot of maps of peoples fate when in waltz in Chance who wants Isabella’s map in hopes to change her fate from dying in a matter of weeks to a long life. Fate and Chance are battling against each other for the outcome of Isabella’s life but who will win?

I thought that this was a beautifully written story, we got to see the development of Isabella throughout the story and see her overcome some obstacles, it was great to see the development of some other characters in this book as well, it was an intriguing and a really gripping story! It had really short chapters which made it seem like I was getting through the book a lot quicker and overall it was a fun ride! I read most of this in one morning then sadly had to put it down for a bit but it was easy enough to pick up and dive headfirst back into it, it’s out in May and I recommend that you all get this one pre-ordered as it won’t disappoint you, I know that I will be getting a full cover copy of this for myself :3

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