Cinder and Ella

Cinder & Ella by Melissa Lemon
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Cedar Fort ~ Bonneville Books
ISBN13: 9781599559063
2/5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
After her father's disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn't long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself. What Ella finds there starts a quest that will change her life and the entire kingdom. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other, and one you'll never forget.

 I don't know if you've figured this out yet, but I'm a sucker for retellings. Especially fairytale retellings (have you seen my blog theme?) so I was QUITE excited to have a chance to read Cinder & Ella.
I'm not picky when it comes to how close a story comes to the "original", so I loved the idea behind Cinder & Ella- it was easily the most unique Cinderella tale I've read.

Reasons to Read:
  1. New spin on an old favourite:
    Cinder and Ella is nothing like the Cinderella story you read at bedtime. It's nothing like the Disney movie you watched, daydreaming about yourself in a ball gown. So if you like a story that borrows a few initial concepts from something, and then turns it into a different story completely, this one would hold a lot of appeal.
But unfortunately, I also found that it lost a lot of Cinderella's charm. It takes the beginning stages of Cinderella, and then branches off into something completely different. But I would hesitate to call this a retelling, because it contains very few familiar elements of the story.

Yet Melissa Lemon includes in its place, her own creative mythology and legends for the world she brings to life. But my problem was that it felt that very little of it was introduced or explained until the latter part of the book, to the point where it felt rushed and unimportant for the fact that it had barely been brought up before.

I was also disappointed by the romance- something I normally don't expect too much of from what seems to be a Middle Grade book, but Cinder & Ella also contained some elements which were rather mature for a Middle Grade audience (I'm thinking of one scene in particular, which felt older because of what is implied will happen, before someone prevents it from happening). I don't want to spoil anything for interested readers, but I was bothered by the lack of resolution regarding this occurrence in particular. But the romance was seriously lacking any chemistry at all.

Finally, while I recognize that as a story based on a fairtyale, there is a fair amount of morality within it. Predominantly, there is the idea that people need to accept responsibility for their choices. But the conclusion of the book felt like a double standard regarding this; only some characters were forced to accept the consequences, while others did not. Why? I have no idea.

e-galley received from publisher via netGalley in exchange for my honest review; no other compensation was received.

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Anonymous said...

Haha! Mine is up as well! Great review, Brenna =)

iLuvReadingTooMuch said...

I haven't read this one, but I've heard good things about it. Great review! :D

Giselle said...

I've never read the classic one but I've seen the movies and I know the story so this intrigues me. It sounds like they really made their own thing with it though. Despite all it's flaws I'll probably still give it a try. Excellent review! I always love how you write them! :)

Xpresso Reads

Gwenyth Love said...

I did have this on my TBR list, but when I went to read it it had expired and was no longer being offered. I think I am glad now I didn't waste my time. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah said...

I too am a big sucker for the fairytale retellings. I especially love the red riding hood retellings. I definitely haven't read a ton of them, but I have a whole list of ones I want to try. :)

I haven't heard of this one yet. It sounds interesting. Sometimes it's kind of cool when the new story doesn't resemble too much the original, like the author truly made the tale completely their own, ya know?

♥ Sarah @ I'm Loving Books

Melliane said...

I agree with you, I didn't get into the story either... I think we expect so much with this title and finally it's not the case... But the world was very interesting

Malvina Beatrice said...

I've read the classic & watched the movie, it would be nice to read this book because it'll be different from the original story.

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