Classic Disney princesses will live on forever in the heart of a child. Even as adults sometimes it’s nostalgic to read something reminiscent of our childhood. Cinderella is the 1950 animated film that pits Cinderella against her evil stepmother and stepsisters. Thanks to her fairy godmother, Cinderella is able to go to the royal ball safely until the stroke of midnight. After dancing the night away with the prince, Cinderella flees the ball as the magic begins to vanish and she leaves behind a glass slipper. The prince finds the slipper and is determined to find the young woman whom the slipper fits.
There have been several movie adaptations, one as recent as 2015. I happen to adore the original. As with all of the movies, there have been countless books featuring this lovely Disney princess. I am sharing 3 Cinderella retellings with you today. Each one quite different than the one before. There are of course many more. If you have a favorite make sure to mention it in the comments so others can check it out. And if you happened to miss my Little Red Riding Hood retellings make sure to check that out as well.
Ash by Malinda Lo
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief. (Goodreads)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. (Goodreads)
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.
But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.
Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all. (Goodreads)
No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.