#BookReview: Cinderella’s New York Christmas | Romance – Retelling

Hi guys! I am super excited to share my thoughts on my latest read: Cinderella’s New York Christmas by Scarlet Wilson. I love reading romance and Mills & Boons/Harlequin are my favourites when it comes to reading choices, but I WAS NOT expecting to love this book as much as I did. Are you ready?

Genre: Romance, Retelling
Publication date: Oct 2018
Publisher: Mills & Boon / Harlequin
Pages: 256
My rating: 5 stars

cover144343-medium“Anissa Lang was going for gold when an accident ended her skiing dream. Now she’s cleaning mountain chalets–until she meets brooding millionaire Leo Baxter. He can’t resist whisking her to New York for a date, and under the twinkling Manhattan lights, these kindred spirits glimpse a new future. But they must confront their pasts before their Christmas wishes can come true!”

I honestly did not think that I would love this book as much as I did and I am super happy that I received an e-copy from the publishers to read & review it, and as always, my honest opinion! I know what I want from a romance novel and I rarely go wrong with my choices, but rarely comes a book so good that I know it’ll be a 5 start read immediately. I am so happy this book was written, is unreal! The blurb sounds really cheesy, but the book is sooo much more than that!

THE CHARACTERS….
MV5BMTk4OTIzNTc2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTUwNzg0MDI@._V1_UY268_CR9,0,182,268_AL_Anissa and Leo are so pure, I cannot even begin to describe… Anissa is a chalet maid and sky instructor after a terrible accident whilst competing left her with long-lasting damage. She meets Leo on the slopes and they have this instant chemistry that translated so perfectly to the reader – I felt it in my heart! Leo is a powerful billionaire who just met his new family and is shook after hearing what his parents left in the will and just wants to forget about everything when he meets Anissa.

I love Leo so much! He is the walking trope of tall, dark and handsome – and filthy rich!, however, he has so much character depth. From the beginning, he is as honest as he can with Anissa and they are very clear on what the expectations are. He is never malicious in his thoughts and is genuinely interested to get to know her better, to go things that would make her happy just because he is that kind of guy. He has a lot of emotional baggage, but that doesn’t stop him from being a decent human being with her.

Anissa, on the other hand, is still suffering from the aftermath of her accident and her 2x_e73b2495-e6df-4add-9db4-25a033971abf_1024x1024inability to ski at the levels she used to and this creates a lot of physical and emotional pain for her. She is very mature and reacts like an actual human being to the events around her, always keeping in mind the feelings of others and how her actions could affect those around her. As the story progresses we get a lot more insight into who she is as a person and how she has to re-adjust and re-evaluate everything which ain’t bloody easy, let’s face it!

Anissa and Leo are so cute and good for each other. I really appreciated the portrayal of their relationship and how healthily they reacted to each other’s feelings. It was pure, and I was there for it!

THE PLOT…
The plot is really simple and straightforward as this is a modern retelling of Cinderella, so we kind of know where this is generally going, however, it had the best characters to pull this story forward and make the reader empathise and feel what the characters are feeling.

THE WRITING…
I really enjoyed the writing style of this novel, it read so different than the kind of romance I am used to reading. There are romantic tropes in this novel [duh! It’s a romance] but somehow it felt refreshing and new and pure.

THE ENJOYMENT…
If you haven’t realised by now how much I love this book, then I failed!
I recommend this novel from the bottom of my heart, this is by far my top favourite romance of the year and possibly of all times. I will be looking up Scarlet Wilson’s other works as well in the hope that I will find something as good as this one. As soon as this novel comes out, I am going to buy myself a paperback copy because I need to have this on my shelf!

Xoxo
Jane

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Romance in Young Adult novels

soulmatesThe “Young Adult” romance I have stumbled lately on my random reading picks from Amazon on quite a few Young Adult novels, some good, some note quite so, but they all shared the same pattern.

The romance in YA novels has the same pattern (in 99.9% of books read) with all the ingredients that make me think that somehow teenagers will get it wrong, that along the lines they will understand a story worse than Cinderella’s…

The ingredients: we’re taking unexperienced girl and throw her in the mix with a hot guy, preferably dark, rich and with a murky past, then brand the chemical attraction and adolescent hormones as “true love”. Then we spice things up a bit with some drama and controlling/abusive/manipulative behaviour from our guy and we stamp is as being cool and seductive; nice, good guys are overrated. For extra flavour, we can remove the guy from the picture so that our girl can crumble into pieces, cry her eyes out, contemplate suicide because life without him is unbearable and there is No Way for her to live without him. Then we bring him back into the picture and he’s the hero of the day after he says “Sorry” and gives her a good kiss and a smack on the bum. 😉

It is also okay to think that you are destined, a.k.a you have no control over your emotions, body and soul. She is destined to be with him for all the stupid reasons and there is no real need for real communication because destined love doesn’t need that bullshit, right? I mean, they are destined to love each other, why should the petty details like his huge criminal record, the fact that he’s actually a monster (literally) coming from hell, has creepy stalking tendencies, etc, would actually matter.

“Soul mates” know each other from the womb and of course she knows he is not going to rape her, or sink her fangs into her throat or any other horrid thing, because they have the bond. Really? Are you f*ucking joking me? Plus that, are you really telling me that it’s either “fangy” over there or nobody else to love? Someone has to tell these gullible girls that the world doesn’t just spin around One Guy no matter how hunky, sexy, alluring, smart, witty, mysterious, etc he is. Love is a bit (insert sarcasm here) more complex and complicated than that and soul mates and destiny doesn’t even begin to cover it.

It’s not only an unhealthy message, it’s also bad writing since you don’t have to justify anything you throw in there since it can be branded as “true love”, “destiny” and/or “soul mates”.

 

 

Cinderella is Evil

Cinderella is Evil by Jamie Campbell is a 30 pages kindle story published in March 2013 and it tells the story of Anna, the ugly stepsister. The story offers a good premise, an enticing new perspective of the classic Cinderella story, but it fails to portray the scenario and characters in any way likeable or believable. 

First of all, we have our Anna, who’s the ugly stepsister who in comparison with beautiful Cinderella, she feels far more uglier. But this Anne lacks any kind of conviction, strength and drive, she constantly whines over her appearance, of why she can’t be beautiful and desired. The character is dull, just reacts to whatever is thrown in her  way (usually by fleeting) and the only thing she manages to do right is be submissive to anyone around herself. Too much self-pity for my liking, too much whining for a short story main character. I couldn’t relate and like her at all, and not because of the original story, but because this one was so poorly written that lacked the conviction to make me succumb to the charm. 

The writing is unconvincing. The author tries to find excuses and reasons to why Cinderella is in the kitchen, to why Cinderella does the hard labours and that reason is: she wants it, she likes it. Seriously? Is the author really saying that a character that has beauty and charm, someone as shallow as this Cinderella would rather labour around the house instead of acting shallow and using her beauty to her advantage? Yup, that’s what’s happening. Plus that, Cinderella doesn’t do anything actually… evil! Shallow, yeah, perhaps, but this Cinderella is not evil. 

I thought I would have a bit of something dark and twisted, something that would tingle my sense, but instead I found the story, dull and unconvincing, with an ending that made me cringe and poke my eyes out. Pity for the cover, because I truly like it!