Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

"Sixteen-year-old Jess Parker survives by staying invisible. After nine schools in ten years, she's come to terms with life as a perpetual new girl, neither popular nor outcast. At Mt. Sterling High, Jess gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret club of the most popular girls in school, where makeovers are the first order of official business. But there's more to being a Cindy than just reinventing yourself from the outside, a concept lost on Jess as she dives tiara-first into creating a hot new look.

With a date with her popular crush and a chance to finally fit in, Jess's life seems to be a perfect fairy tale. That is until the Wickeds--led by Jess's archenemy--begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers her new sisterhood is about much more than who rules Mt. Sterling High School. It's a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil, and the Cindys need Jess on special assignment. But when the mission threatens to destroy her new dream life, Jess is forced to choose between this dream realized and honoring the Sisterhood. What's a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn't want to wear it anymore?"

Cassidy's debut is amazing; though it's a lengthy book (around 300 pages), it just zips on by. Everything works in this book- the pacing, the characters, the plot, the writing style. It's a fabulous book that takes the good vs. evil battle from the sci-fi/fantasy world and puts it in a regular setting. The battle is just as intense and huge, but it doesn't involve angels or demons or an evil warlord. Regular humans (with some fun gadgets and technological advances) are at the center of this and neither side is completely that way. These characters all have plusses and minuses, which makes the book more realistic than it could have been. The romance is very sweet but also very real; what happens between Jess and Ryan is not your typical YA romance and, for me, that makes the ending that much more satisfying. What I loved about this book was how much enthusiasm sprang out of it; my spirits were instantly lifted just from opening and reading this book (though obviously not when something bad happened), especially during scenes between Ryan and Jess where you could tell just how enamored they were with each other.

This is also an uplifting book; aside from the aforementioned enthusiasm emanating from the book and its prose, it's very girl power-oriented and will be great for girls (or anyone really) to relate to and grow from after reading it. Jess is a wonderful character- she makes some mistakes, but ultimately she knows what she needs to do to help out the underdogs and is such a caring person. I'm excited to see where this series goes next, though I'm sad that I have to wait another year for the sequel to be out!

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