Up for today: Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argylle (review requested by Mary Kay)
Why I bought it? Michelle is a friend, and I love her writing. I have a signed copy. (Disclosure: I did some beta reading for her on this project.)
Synopsis/set up: This books begins with Cinderella in the palace, married to her prince. Royal life is not all its cracked up to be, and Cinderella wonders if magic can result in true love. Doubts creep in and lead her in unexpected directions. Not necessarily happy directions.
What I thought? The writing is incredibly well done, and, when you think that she didn't have all the infrastructure of traditional publishing, it just goes to show what a great writer Michelle is. (It helped her get a publisher for another book and then more, so obviously it's well written.) She does vivid like nobody's business. It's one of my favorite things about her writing. It's cinematic. The story line is unique--at times cool and clever, at times infuriating. It elicited strong reactions from me often visceral. I wanted to shake Cinderella or sit down with her and give her a good talking to or a shoulder to cry on. The twists and turns keep the reader engaged and guessing. I was surprised by the the ending but prepared for it all the same. The secondary characters are well drawn and realistic--no two-dimensional, paper-thin people here. In some ways, I think of this as a fairy tale that hit reality.
My Rating: ****1/2 out of 5.
Cleanness Score: 5 out of 10, This is written for adults and has a some pretty tame marital love scenes and there's some war type violence. This is a dark tale and has a healthy body count. I think it's fine for older teens. I wouldn't have a problem with my 16 year old reading it.