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Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: Cinderella Stays Late by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Review: Cinderella Stays Late by Joan Holub & Suzanne WilliamsCinderella Stays Late by Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams
Series: Grimmtastic Girls,
Also in this series: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost
Published by Scholastic on 25 March 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Adolescence, Fantasy, Friendship, Girls & Women, Middle Grade, Royalty, Social Issues
Pages: 192
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Book Depository
Also by this author: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost

Place(s) Traveled To: Grimm Academy, Grimmlandia

First Line(s): Twelve-year old Cinderella clutched her school supplies and cloak in one arm as she walked down the hall in Grimm Academy.

I’ve been trying to diversify my reading a bit and part of that is to explore the middle grade genre a bit more so when an opportunity arose to read Cinderella Stays Late by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams I took it. Cinderella Stays Late is the first book in a new series by Holub and Williams that re-tells the fairy tales that we know and love. This book, like The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, takes place in a land where the characters of those fairy tales attend a fairy tale boarding school. Each student has their part to play and they are also uniquely their own person separate from their story. Cinderella Stays Late focuses on Ella as she is finally able to attend the Grimm Academy and her first days are a bit rocky thanks to her stepsisters. Luckily for Ella she meets up with Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White and the four become fast friends.

Cinderella Stays Late is a quick read and definitely one for the younger middle grade audiences (The School of Good and Evil is more upper MG or young YA). Its a cute read though some of the names are a bit hard on an older reader as they are a bit ridiculous but I don’t think that younger readers will mind as much. Cinderella Stays Late is the start of a mystery about the rise of a secret society, an E.V.I.L group, that Ella and her friends stumble upon as Ella learns the ins and outs of the school. The girls take it upon themselves to try and determine just what this society is about and just as the mystery really starts the book ends. There isn’t a huge cliff hanger to the story but there isn’t a ton of resolution either. Fortunately for readers the next book in the series, Red Riding Hood Gets Lost, releases on the same day and so readers can easily dive into that book to see what happens next.

I enjoyed Cinderella Stays Late and liked Holub’s and William’s writing style. I thought that the setting and and the adaptation of the various fairy tales was well done making them unique to this world and yet recognizable at the same time. There are no great surprises in this book but I think it will appeal to younger audiences. The main group of friends all have their flaws but they learn that when they work together they are stronger and can turn those flaws into something positive. Cinderella Stays Late is a fun read and this is a series that I look forward to reading more about.