Publisher's Note:  

Reserved yet resilient, Ella Blakeley lives with her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, without hope of escape until the day Prince Kenton announces a ball that changes everything. Even without mice, magic, or fairy godmothers, Ella might discover a life that's better than she ever dreamed. This intricately woven twist on a Cinderella story is an enchanting book you won t be able to put down.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sweetwater Books


by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee

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Overall Review:  

Ella is a beautiful, emotional retelling of the wonderful Cinderella tale. Author Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee makes it her own, yet sweet, kind, forgiving Cinderella is still quite recognizable. Victoria, the notorious wicked step-mother, takes things to a whole new level, making Ella's life almost unbearable. How she survives what Victoria and the mean step-sisters put her through is beyond me. Providing the occasional reverie, Will, her friend since childhood, is there to support when he canand will go to major lengths to ensure Ella's happiness. Unfortunately, he can't protect her completely from the awful Victoria or the poverty they've fallen into. Once the ball is announced, women turn catty (more-so than they were before), men become jealous, and the competition becomes fierce. You'll love the prince though, even if he only plays a small part in the story. If you enjoyed Out of the Ashes or fairy tale retellings, you'll love Ella.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Several (19) brief incidents including character jokes about falling over dead; boys play with swords and pretend to die; joke about head cut off; metaphor - walked through flames; implication of chicken getting killed to eat; second-hand report that young characters parents' die; character is neglected (no food given and locked in room for long periods of time); character gets hands whipped many times; second-hand report of character getting kicked by animal; second-hand report of baby dying; character's feet are bloody from running a long time without shoes; character dies from illness.

Sex/Nudity:  Many (25) brief incidents including hugging; kissing; touching arms, hands, face, waist; dancing. 

Mature Subject Matter:  

Poverty, physical abuse.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Character smokes cigar and smells of brandy.

Reviewed By Jenny
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