Title: Cinderella’s Dress
Author: Shonna Slayton
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Format: ARC from publisher through Netgalley
Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dress is even tougher.
Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she’s working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dress, life gets complicated.
Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart shipped off to boot camp, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.
After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve.
If I were to express and say in one word what I felt after reading this book, the perfect word would be regret.
Everyone loves fairytales, heck everyone would love to live their own fairytale, and although this was never my usual read I tried it. Why? It dealt with my favorite and also the first princess my mom introduced to me, Cinderella. I wish I could turn back time to the day I requested this book.
It was World War II and Kate, her mom, and her brother, Floyd, were living in New York while their dad was in Italy doing his duties to the country. She had a bestfriend, Josie, who’s very envious (not in a bad way) of her career as a model although all Kate wants is to design window displays for malls. After a sudden visit and reunion with her grandmother’s sister, she finds out that she is to become the next keeper of the real Cinderella dress. Keeping it wasn’t the hard part, she has to protect the dress too from the wicked stepsister’s descendants who will do anything just to get what they think they deserve.
The cover instantly got me, the title, picture, it was beautiful and it looks so promising that I had to click it and read the blurb. After reading it I was sold and I requested it. I was so excited when I got approved and can’t wait to finally read this book. But everything stopped there. All I feel now is regret.
Everything was weak, the characters, the setting, and the story. I do not have to be born in 1944 to know what that time must have been like and the only thing that made this book “historical” was the war and the slang. Kate’s father, and her brother were sent to war, and even her love interest Johnny, and she had to write letters to them to communicate with them. This was the only part I liked in this book. Although they were physically absent in Kate’s life, it felt so sweet and warm to see the exchange of letters between them, especially with Johnny. I must seem weird because I liked the part where Johnny was sent to war. Why? Because they were obviously attracted to each other when they first met (without even introducing their names) and I was afraid instant love might ruin their romance to me, so their distance did help me to continue on reading this book. But distance was cut short and they were reunited earlier, so romance ruined. Consider that my tolerance towards cheesy moments are so high I am not even sure if I have one, so I like petty romances and sweet moments but this didn’t work for me, at all. The couple was too flat and I never felt their relationship build, but then on that very predictable moment, they kissed. Did I feel any flutters? None. I found Johnny good at playing hints and Kate was too stupid to fall for his unsure ways all because he had Frank Sinatra-blue eyes.
Another thing I found annoying with this book was how gullible Kate was to accept being a Keeper without knowing what the job entails. For a girl who said that clothes were the least of her concern, she sure is ready to jump to protect this dress with her life without even knowing the risks that comes with it. She was inconsistent. At first she presents herself as a girl who isn’t like girls her age who loves clothes, but seeing beautiful dresses makes her swoon too. It would have been better if right from the start she already possessed her mother’s love for clothes, so in that way her character would not have seemed inconsistent.
The story had a weak development too. I pretty much explained to myself what being a Keeper meant, the story did not do it for me. Remember when I said Kate’s father and brother were sent to war? Well, their story ended there and I didn’t know what happened to them after. Her father was “presumed” dead, and her brother hasn’t returned to their place for reasons unknown, well a lot of things stayed unknown. The book never explained to me why of all the families the keeper had to come from Kate’s family. A lot was going on in the story and everything felt dragged towards the ending. Maybe if some points were elaborated more then maybe I would have liked this story more.
Everyone who is mature enough knows that there is always something more after that “happily ever after”, and that was what I was looking forward to when I requested this book. This didn’t really ruin Cinderella for me but it did left me disappointed, and wanting for more. Overall, I did not enjoy this book, but in my opinion it wasn’t bad enough for me to DNF it, but I did spent half the time reading this rolling my eyes over the main character. The only thing that made me finish this book was the curiosity over how this will end. I was thinking maybe it will have a good ending that might raise my rating a bit higher, but sadly no. So, if you ever come across this book and you are really curious about this one, go ahead, I won’t stop you. Just don’t expect a lot from it.
2 (more like 1.5) out of 5