STEPSISTER by Jennifer Donnelly is a dark, feminist fairy tale retelling about what happens after the happily ever after story of Cinderella, told from the perspective of one of the stepsisters. Picking up where the original tale leaves off, the female Fates have mapped out Isabelle’s future, but she is given the chance to remake her own destiny. Isabelle must only learn to not let others define her or what she can do.
Filled with strong female characters and themes of courage and learning how to accept oneself, this is a fantastic spin on a familiar fairy tale while cleverly taking one of Cinderella’s “ugly” stepsisters and making her the heroine of the story. Isabelle is a compelling character who is flawed yet self-reflective.
Jennifer Donnelly examines the meaning of beauty in this story through Isabelle’s journey to find herself, and readers who crave stories about strong girls or fairy tale retellings will immensely enjoy this.
Suggested Reading Age: Grades 9 and up | Scholastic Press | 352 pg. | May 14, 2019 |
“Ella is the beauty. You and I are the ugly stepsisters. And so the world reduces us, all three of us, to our lowest common denominator.”