Book Blurb: (Goodreads)
Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.
This was the modernized Cinderella re-telling I didn’t know I needed. The novel focuses on sixteen year old Tatum Elsea. This story has all of the main elements that are involved in the classic Cinderella story and yet it was surprisingly refreshing. We have a young girl who is left with her “evil” step-mother and step-sister, but in this case things aren’t what they seem.
What I loved about this story was the fact that it didn’t focus on “prince charming”. There was still a romantic aspect to the story but it wasn’t the main plot line. This story was about so much more than just a girl finding her happily ever after with a boy. The main theme I picked up on in this novel was the importance of family and friends. The characters are well developed and I found Tatum to be extremely relatable. There were times where her inner dialogue made me burst out laughing because I’ve had the exact same train of thought. Tatum grows up throughout this novel and her character development made the story fast-paced and engaging, I couldn’t put the novel down.
This story had a lot more depth than I had anticipated, and I just couldn’t seem to get enough of Tatum and her step-sister, Tilly. I loved how the relationship between the two turned out, and towards the end I couldn’t help but want more! This is one of my favourite fairy-tale retellings that I’ve come across and is definitely one of my top YA reads of the year!