Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Cinderella's Dress, by Shonna Slayton

Cinderella's Dress
Title: Cinderella's Dress
Author: Shonna Slayton
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dresses is even tougher.
Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she's working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dresses, life gets complicated.
Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart, Johnny, stuck in the middle of battle, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.

After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve. -Goodreads
2 Stars

*Thank you Entangled Publishing for providing me a copy for review.*

DNF at 75%.

Slayton's Cinderella's Dress is a lovely example of amazing concept, bad execution.

Go on, read the synopsis yourself. It's trivial how a book with so much promise can be so lacking. You have historical fiction, which I love, fairy tale elements, which I adore, and a hint of feminism. What's not to love?

Perhaps it was the high expectations I had going into Cinderella's Dress. However much I hate DNFing books I receive for review, reading this became such a chore that it was impossible not to put down.

I'm not normally one to complain about the personality of a character, but come on, Kate was a freaking pathetic protagonist. A majority of the stupid stuff she does in this book are so obviously used as a plot device and not as a characterization of the protagonist herself. I mean, when you have something like this:
"That shoe was brand-new!' Kate felt her eyes tear up. The shoes weren't even hers-she hadn't earned them. She blinked rapidly. With made-up eyes, she had to be careful, or all that mascara would run down her face."
The 32 Most Iconic Eye Rolls Of All Time

How can you not face-palm? Insipid, seriously.

Then, you have the reason for which I requested this novel: the plot. Or lack thereof, I should say. The book starts off well enough, but as we delve deeper into the history of the dress, my expectations get lower and lower. The novel is extremely slow from the get-go and nothing truly happens for a bulk of the book (until my stopping point at 75%, in fact).

What irks me is that absolutely no development takes place in the span of the uneventful plot - it was pretty much Ms. Stupidity writing letters to her father and lover and roaming the streets complaining of her job-less life. With the amount of complaining that occurs, you'd think that I would feel a shred of sympathy for her - obviously, I don't. Also, yay for flat characters.

There wasn't anything terribly bad about the historical fiction aspect, which I think the author at least partially succeeded in, but the good stops there. The author fails in capturing the fairy-tale premise this book promises and writes of a curse (I think?) that was lackluster at the very least.

While I was not the biggest fan of Slayton's novel,  I can't bring myself to hate it; hence the two stars. I feel that the topic was genius but the author was too inexperienced to succeed in bringing it to life.

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