Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson

Title: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back
Author: Sariah Wilson
From: Story Cartel
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy tale Retelling, Contemporary
Release Date: 15th August 2012
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Mattie Lowe's stepsister Ella has it all...she's pretty, popular and philanthropic. It seems like everything Ella does just shows how perfect she is. Worst is that Ella has Jake Kingston, heartthrob and the love of Mattie's life. When things go majorly down hill for Mattie she finds herself running against Jake for Class President.

I thought that The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back was going to be a good read, but I was honestly blown away by it. I loved Mattie as a narrator, she was funny and real and I could really feel that she was a 17/18 (I wasn't 100% clear which she actually was, but it didn't actually matter for the story) which is something I have struggled with in the past because YA authors seem to insist on making their characters a little too mature. So that was definitely a good point.

The Cinderella elements in the story worked well. I thought that the author took the story and the different elements and made it work for her. The fairy tale in the book wasn't traditional as such, both Ella and Mattie had elements of both Cinderella and the Stepsisters (even if it was only because of how they saw each other) and Ella took on the role of Fairy Godmother for a little bit too. I loved the way it was spun together like this, it meant that the book didn't just end up feeling like Cinderella.

I liked Jake as a popular kid too. Quite often YA authors seem to have the heroine change the leading man, especially if he's a popular jock, but I think that Wilson managed to make it seem like Jake had always been the same person, it was just brought to light by Mattie getting to know him rather than him changing.

Alongside the characters feeling real, the relationships did too. Particularly Jake and Mattie. It included some of the awkward moments that can be expected from teenagers getting into relationships for the first time. Again for me this worked well.

I loved this book, it was an enjoyable read!