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Publisher's Summary

A startling, fiercely feminist re-imagining of Cinderella from the best-selling, award-winning author Jennifer Donnelly. 

Don't just fracture the fairy tale. Shatter it. 

Isabelle should be blissfully happy - she's about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn't the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe...which is now filling with blood. 

Isabelle tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl. 

Evoking the darker, original version of the Cinderella story, Stepsister shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses Jennifer Donnelly's trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption...and a new definition of beauty.

©2019 Jennifer Donnelly (P)2019 Scholastic Inc.

What listeners say about Stepsister

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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What a precious story.

The Skinny:
After losing a few of her toes, and a failed attempt at marrying Prince Charming, Isabelle encounters Cinderella's fairy Godmother, who tasks her with finding the lost pieces of her heart in order for her wish of being beautiful to be granted. Unbeknownst to Isabelle, there are far more important reasons to make her heart whole again. Chance is warring with Fate to change her future and save her from an untimely demise, but time is not on her side.

Thoughts:
Going in, I had no idea what an impact this book would have on me. I never thought I'd root for Cinderella's ugly stepsisters either; Donnelly did a fine job of reinventing those two girls into something of beauty, but not the superficial kind. Isabelle's journey to find the lost pieces of her heart is one that touched and warmed my own, leaving prints in it forever. It deftly paints the magic and beauty of the human heart and delivers an empowering message. I can't love it enough.

Bottom line: Stop reading this and buy your copy already!

14 people found this helpful

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Just Wonderful!

This is one of the most outstanding stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to! Halfway through the Audible book, I logged into Amazon and bought the hardcover for my library. Now, I want to buy a copy for every teenage girl I know!

12 people found this helpful

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Outstanding!

I highly recommend this book, it’s got just right mix of all the great ingredients: fantasy, action, romance, feminism, character development, etc. The characters are relatable and authentic and accurately convey the worst and best of all of us.

The narrator, by the way, nailed it.

2 people found this helpful

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Retelling of the Cinderella story

I’ve always loved fairy tales, so a retelling with one of Audibles best narrators (Jayne Entwistle) was a tempting choice. Well, it had some things to recommend it, but not quite enough to be really great. First, it was overly long, with a lot of good vs evil. Then there was the rather heavy handed message of female empowerment; nothing subtle about the message here. The narration is the best part of this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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Allow yourself to live in the story

Remember the Cinderella story loosely as you listen to this. This will not be exact, and I love it for that.I am an avid fan of the reasoning behind behaviors, and being able to understand why Ella’s stepsister(s) became who they were was enthralling.

Give the first few chapters to expect a storyline development and then be ready. This book is one of the better I have heard/read this year. So glad to have found this. On to Poisoned now!

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible story and story teller

Loved this take on Cinderella! I couldn’t stop listening. Story and narrator are wonderful! Jennifer Donnelly is one of the best writers ever!!!!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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I’ve never reviewed a book until now

This is not typically the type of book I would listen to but after reading reviews, I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did! I loved it! As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it so much, this is the first book I have ever reviewed!

1 person found this helpful

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Spoke directly to my heart and mind

This story is more than a twisted fairytale. There are deep truths that make you think , and poems that soothes your spirit. Thank you, Mrs. Donnelly, for writing this story. I needed to hear it.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic. Highly Recommend Read

The story was fantastic. Highly enjoyable. It wasn't just the story that made this book wonderful, it was the underlying message. The narrator made listening to the book an absolute pleasure. I would highly recommend this book. You won't regret it.

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So much more than I expected!

WOW! I did expect this to be a really great listen, all the reviews had me. But the NARRATOR! She was so good I just don't know if she could've been any better. And the story! Holy bovine! Behold! the author whom yields the pen for a jaw bone.