Thomas Nelson Publishers
Happily Ever After ...Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
Let me start by saying that I really don't care for the traditional Cinderella story. Even as a child I really wished someone would create a story that had all the traditional elements, then mix it up for a completely different re-telling. Dickerson has done it. She has created a story that fairy tale lovers and haters can both enjoy and relish for different reasons.
First, Dickerson did not stick to the Cinderella script/road map. I liked this primarily because while the novel is familiar, it is in no way an imitation of the original. It is a clever retelling, with all the familiar markers that make it such an appealing fairy tale to millions.
Second, the characters in this book are very well written, despite the main characters being portrayed as almost perfect human beings. But "fairly tales" are two words that are supposed to allude to perfection, beauty, and second chances despite impossible situations. Even with the almost perfection of Valten and Gisela, the secondary characters are something to rave about. ALL of them. (Nope, not going to tell.)
Lastly, I was impressed by how much "preachy stuff" was in this writing. This is something books can never have too much of, and what might be considered as excessive by the world, was just right for me. Dickerson wrote Gisela and Valten as Believers, and watching them grow in faith was amazing. Just the right sort of book to give your young adults, and something I can't wait to share with my future teenage children.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.