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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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Wonderful

Great adventure and narration was fantastic!
The character development was inspiring and the twists on an old tale was a lot of fun.

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  • Bookworm
  • 2019-06-25

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!

13 people found this helpful

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  • English Teacher
  • 2019-05-17

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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  • Jessica Price
  • 2020-10-14

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!

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  • Judy Pack
  • 2020-08-11

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!!!!!!!

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  • danna oquinn
  • 2020-07-24

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!

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  • Dawn Taylor
  • 2020-03-18

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.

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  • Selena Ramsey
  • 2019-08-24

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.

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  • Kate Lateral
  • 2021-05-19

A very good story

This does have a slow start, but its so good once you get past the first 30-hour.

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  • Dolores C.
  • 2021-05-11

Best book ever

Thrilling and inspiring. It exceeded my expectations! The book is well written and the performance is extraordinary. Don’t pass this one up.

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  • Tsukasa Fan
  • 2021-04-30

Subverts your expectations!

When I picked out this book during an Audible 2 for 1 sale, I didn't have high hopes for it. It was a shrug in my mind, I thought it was going to be dull and predictable... But I'm so glad I gave it a chance!! It subverted nearly all of my expectations, surprised me in ways I never would have guessed. Even when I predicted something right, it wasn't a disappointment! It is a refreshing angle of a classic fairytale! I actually expected it to spin Cinderella as a villain somehow, but thankfully it didn't! The step sisters were given more depth than "ugly", and made them out to be more sympathetic villains seeking redemption in a very creative way!

I highly recommend this book! The only thing I thought was odd, was the chapter lengths, some chapters are a mere minute long when they really didn't need to be, and several chapters could have been combined into one. It wasn't a drawback, just a curiosity. Though I have to say, it makes me feel better about my own writing that way- if this can be published and we'll loved with oddly short chapters, I needn't be ashamed when I end up doing the same thing in my own writing! Ha ha!

I loved every minute of it!