I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy via NetGalley. Cinderella Is Dead will be published on July 31, 2020.
I just want to say how much I loved and devoured this book. I could NOT put it down! This was one of my late night reads, finishing it in a day.
Sophia lives in Lille, 200 years since Cinderella found her Prince Charming. Now, at the age of 16, every girl gets to meet her own “Prince Charming” at the annual ball… whether she wants to or not.
Under an authoritative rule by a demanding king, Sophia is living a life she does not want. Women are no more than property of their fathers and husbands. There are curfews, rules, and laws. They have little rights. They are required to attend a ball, look their best, and draw in the best suitor. If they don’t, after a certain amount of times, or if their parents chose, their lives are forfeit – at the mercy of the king. They don’t get to chose their suitor – they especially don’t get to chose a suitor of the same sex.
Sophia is not like the other girls. Not only does she question the official Cinderella story, she would rather marry her childhood friend Erin, not some male suitor. When the ball arrives, and drama ensues, Sophia runs, and finds herself in Cinderella’s mausoleum. From there, the story of Cinderella and Prince Charming starts to unravel. Did Cinderella really get her happily ever after, or is there more to the story than what the official story says? Who is the real evil in the story?
I feel that this book needs a TW right away for spousal abuse. It’s not much, but it’s there, and may affect some people. That does NOT take away from the story, and it actually makes such a point for the story.
This is a love story, a fractured fairy tale, and an alternative perspective to what we think we know. I absolutely loved this book. Sophia was a believable protagonist, who didn’t want to hide who she was or conform to the expectations that were made for her. She wants to live her life. Erin is a believable friend, a character who denies who she is because of the expectations put upon her, and ignores what she wants because everyone tells her to. I hurt for Erin, but at the same time, I shake my head for her. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and a lot of things I didn’t expect, which I loved and kept me reading. It is a great book, a great representation for the LGBTQIA+ population who have been forced over time to conform to societal views of heteronormative relationships and expectations. I hope it gets the reception it deserves.