Friday, January 20, 2012

Why I Think Cinderella Was a Twit

If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince?
Written by: Melissa Kantor
Released: September 1, 2005 by Hyperion
Summary: Wicked stepmother? Check. Evil stepsisters? Check. Miserable life? Check.
Lucy Norton’s life has all the makings of a Cinderella story. Her dad’s always away on business, leaving Lucy with her cruel stepmother and bratty stepsisters. She’s burdened with chores, and has a hard time fitting in at her new school. So when she sees Connor Pearson, the star player on the varsity basketball team, Lucy hopes her destiny has finally changed. With everything else going on in her life, doesn’t she at least deserve to get the handsome prince?
Melissa Kantor’s enchanting novel proves that sometimes the happy ending isn’t quite the one you’d expect. Lucy’s about to discover the truth about finding her real Prince Charming… and finding herself.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have realized now that, after 20+ years, Cinderella pisses me off thanks to this novel. Granted, I haven’t watched the Disney version is quite a long time (do I have it on DVD? Upon quick inspection I don’t, but I do have it on VHS) so maybe I should just to see if these feelings are even valid, but that doesn’t change the fact that I had an epiphany. Cinderella is a twit who never stands up for herself. And so, in order to properly review this novel, I’m going to take a page out of this book (the first in fact) and do a side-by-side comparison between Cinderella and Lucy.
Familial Layout
Cinderella has two deceased parents and a stepmother she should have poisoned long ago (back in those days they didn’t have CSI so it’s untraceable) and two stepsisters she should have drowned when they were children. They do, after all, look stupid enough to not know enough to stand up in a fountain full of three feet of water. I’m just saying...
Lucy has a mostly absent, clearly brainwashed father, a gold-digger of a stepmother, and two bratty kid stepsisters. Being that this is the 21st century, all she would need to do is place an anonymous phone call or two from a pay phone and become an emancipated minor.
Cinderella = sleeping in the sooty fireplace/kitchen or in the drafty tower room where the staircase seems to deft physics. One push and goodbye Cinderella.
Lucy = spider-infested (I’m assuming) basement with a blow-up mattress.
Cinderella = rodents who most likely have rabies; especially the fat one.
Lucy = well, she gets some friends and they teach her how to dress like a slut. Maybe she would be better off with the rabies...
Prince Charming
Cinderella experiences love at first sight and is whisked off her feet, which is probably a good thing considering I don’t think that glass would make for comfy footwear. It could also be argued that she saw a good opportunity and took it. I know that I would have done the same just to get out of that house. You know, unless I took the first point into action and was thus made independently wealthy.
Lucy gets hit on by the school hunk after wowing him with basketball facts. Basically she becomes a guy friend who said basketball player could publically kiss. But then there’s the dark horse entry complete with red sneakers and a tuxedo. I’d choose door number two. Swoon!
Happily Ever After
Cinderella has an unknown future but I would imagine that it involves a lot of alcohol and dealing with scullery maids who aren’t in the scullery... if you get my meaning. I think that the Prince might develop a bit of a “hero complex” and take to helping the staff.
Lucy makes her own happy ending but only after getting to the ball. I find no complaints there.

In my opinion, Cinderella takes all this abuse at home, right? She’s obviously not paid for what she does, so she stays and plays the servant bit (minus a monthly salary) for what, exactly? To be belittled and treated like dirt? The girl needs to grow a backbone. I would imagine that there is no way in hell that everything was left to the money-hungry old crone. But I digress, this is exactly what I hated about Lucy in the beginning of this novel. She took all this abuse – the girl sleeps on an AIR MATTRESS for eight months in the flipping BASEMENT – and doesn’t try to rectify the situation. I waited chapter after chapter for her to flip a shit on everyone and demand a proper bed. And a dresser. Maybe a closet. Then, when she finally does, she backs down and becomes all docile again. Then, shit really hits the fan and I couldn’t help but cheer; she was way overdue for a teenage rebellion and the parental units should have just been happy she didn’t end up going overboard and being the next Sixteen and Pregnant contestant.
Now, Cinderella aside, I really enjoyed this novel. I read it in one sitting because it was just so fun and consuming. I did not want to stop – I just needed to see what would happen next and I waited for Lucy’s rebellion to kick in.
I loved how art acted in this novel. Hell, I just love how it was incorporated. It allowed the reader to see this entirely different side of Lucy; this confident side where she can be snarky and speak her mind. Where knowing basketball made Lucy popular, knowing art made her come into her own person.
I really enjoyed this novel and I look forward to reading other novels by Kantor – especially if they’re based on fairy tales. I’m giving this novel a 7.5/10.

I received this novel from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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