From Goodreads: It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.
Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.
As the title implies, this is a loose retelling of Cinderella, with a modern twist. The prologue was heartbreaking, and I had to take a brief break to control my emotions - a hazard of reading during lunch breaks at work.
Ella is a book and movie blogger who lives with her mother in Boston. Her father left them when she was 8, but Ella is happy and close to her mother. Her best friend, Cinder, is a boy she met online through her blog, though they've never actually met in person. They bond over The Cinder Chronicles, yet they agree to disagree about the series at times. Through a tragic turn of events, Ella moves in with her father in California, and her life is turned upside down.
True to the basic Cinderella plot, Ella has a wicked stepmother and two stepsisters, though there are varying degrees of "wicked." The parallels to Cinderella are subtle yet defined, and I enjoyed the unique twists the author employed. I liked the character development, and I couldn't wait to find out if Cinder and Ella would get their happily ever after.
Even though everything is wrapped up neatly by the end, I would still love to read a sequel, as well as books about some of the other characters, especially Vivian and Juliette.
And since both main characters are fans of fantasy, there are several geeky references throughout the novel. My favorites were from The Lord of the Rings, of course, and a quick reference to Richard and Kahlan from The Legend of the Seeker! I'm a huge fan of the Sword of Truth series, so I was so excited to see Kelly Oram mention them!
This was such a sweet and well-written book, with a cast of diverse characters. I would highly recommend to fans of cute YA romances.
Rating (out of five stars):