I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
Being a teen-ager during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dress 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 dress, life gets complicated.
Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart, shipped off to boot camp, 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. (source)
I love a good fairy tale. Princess, magic, romance... they're my favorite. It's what drew me to this book when I received an email from Entangled Publishing requesting reviewers. The opportunity to read a book that combines historical fiction with one of my favorite fairy tales? Count me in.
This book had a great premise, but I do think it could have been carried out better. It took a long time to get to the action. Yeah, we needed backstory - but I felt like the backstory was too drawn out and Slayton spent too many pages rehashing things that she had already told us. I found myself getting bored - something I did not expect going into this book. Along with that, it was super hard to follow the passing of time. Slayton does provide us with a date in the beginning, but she doesn't keep us updated with when each chapter is taking place. At one point, I honestly felt that several years had gone by, but in reality, I don't think that this story could have spanned more than two. I also thought that Kate had graduated from high school (and was also wondering when this had happened, since the fact was never mentioned), and then she and Josie started talking about prom. I found myself re-reading some parts several times, because sometimes, characters would appear with little to no introduction and I didn't understand how they'd gotten there. Basically, Slayton skimps on details that help give the reader a sense of direction - and it led to me feeling lost frequently.
I did really enjoy how Slayton developed Johnny and Kate's relationship. There was absolutely no insta-love; instead, their relationship was drawn out with careful detail. They had their struggles, but they overcame them. They got to know each other beyond each other's physical attributes and truly fell for one another's personalities - a rarity in romance. I did feel that at times, Kate made unbelievably stupid decisions - not only in her love life, but in general - but somehow, everything worked out in the end and I liked her so much as a character that I was able to forgive her for this flaw.
One final critique - as much as I felt the beginning of this book was too drawn out, I felt that the ending was too abrupt. Is this book a part of a series? Because with the ending we got, it needs to be. There were too many loose strings. The Burgosovs are still out there and eventually, we all know they're going to want that dress back. And on the subject of the Burgosovs, I definitely feel that we should have met more of them than the two thugs. And the way that they came to an end was just way too perfect to really be believed. Also, do Kate and Johnny really end up together? I hope so, but I don't feel like that was really cemented, either.
Ultimately, this book had a fantastic premise, but I don't think that it was carried out quite as well as it could have been. I hope that there's a sequel, but if I were to read it, I'd want it to be a vast improvement on this one. Cinderella's Dress wasn't a terrible book to read - there were aspects of it that I actually quite enjoyed - but it most definitely could have been better.
Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in exchange for my honest review.