Friday, September 13, 2019

Review - The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling
Narrated by Luci Christian
Series: Unfinished Fairy Tales #1
Publisher: Aya Ling / Audible Studios
Publication Date: June 12, 2015
Date Read: July 26, 2019
Length: 453 pages / 11 hours 42 minutes
Source: NetGalley / Audible Purchase
When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she's magically transported into the world of Cinderella--as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she's a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she'll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?

My Review

I had so much fun with this book!  I haven't read too many retellings but I was quite curious about this Cinderella story.  Unfortunately, I was quickly distracted by other new shiny books and this one was lost in my virtual stacks.  I came across the audiobook and decided it was time that I give this book a try and I am so glad that I did.  I flew through this audiobook and really enjoyed my time with it.

Kat lives with her sister and mother but she is transported to the world of Cinderella when she accidentally rips an old book.  Instead of Cinderella, Kat fills the role of Katriona who is one of the step-sisters.  It was a lot of fun watching her try to navigate this new world.  She had so much to learn with the differences in manners, language, and fashion just to start.  Kat decides that in order to get back to her world she needs to help the prince fall for Cinderella so she starts working towards this goal.

I loved Kat.  I loved the way that she couldn't help but try to make the world a better place even if she didn't plan to stay for very long.  Prince Edward was also quite wonderful.  He couldn't help but be drawn to Kat's fresh perspective.  They were really just wonderful together.  I couldn't help but cheer this pair towards their happily ever after. 

The audiobook was narrated by Luci Christian and I thought that she did a great job with it.  I really liked all of the voices that she used and thought that her reading helped to make the story even more enjoyable.  She had a very pleasant voice that I was able to listen to for hours at a time.  I wouldn't hesitate to listen to more of her work.

I would recommend this book to fans of fairy tale retellings.  I thought that this was a really well-done story that offered a new look at an old tale.  I do have to admit that I wasn't thrilled by how the story ended but that would be my only complaint. 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Aya Ling via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.
About the Author

Aya is from Taiwan, where she struggles daily to contain her obsession with mouthwatering and unhealthy foods. Often she will devour a good book instead. Her favorite books include martial arts romances, fairy tale retellings, high fantasy, cozy mysteries, and manga.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. This one sounds good! I love re-tellings and, I must say, the fact this one focuses on one of the step-sisters and not Cinderella actually intrigues me even more! Really happy you had such fun with it, I'm gonna add it to my TBR pile :)

  2. i hope she found the happy ending! Interesting that she didn't turn out to be cinderella, but I think it's a great fresh input

  3. Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are my favourite retellings. I might check this one out. :)

  4. I sometimes like retellings. I'm glad this one worked for you. You are certainly working on that backlist.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  5. Aw, this sounds like such a sweet and fun read. I like the twist of Kat being one of the step-sisters instead of Cinderella. :)

  6. It sounds like a fantastic Cinderella retelling!

  7. I do love fairytale retellings :D

  8. I'm hit or miss with retellings. You make me curious to try this one:)

  9. Oh this sounds fun! I've really enjoyed the retellings I've read abut this definitely sounds like a unique take on it!

  10. I love me a good retelling but not many of the Cinderella ones focus on the ugly stepsisters. And I love that her competition is the other stepsister as well. Sounds like a good book!

  11. What an interesting twist for a re-telling! I am definitely interested in this one.


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