Publisher: Harlequin Teen
My rating: 3.5 stars
What was once the grand Halsey Hall has fallen into ruin, forcing Jane, her mother, and her sister, Maude, into just a few rooms. Though Mamma pretends that they are still living like ladies, Jane and Maude work hard to put a little food on their table and clothes on their back. When Mamma returns from a visit to the city with a husband, Harry, and new stepdaughter, Isabella, things start changing. There is a promise of a return to the life they had lived so long ago Jane can barely remember it. Then Harry dies and the winter is long and cold. Isabella doesn't help, and Jane wants to give up . . . and then the invitation to the ball arrives.
I love retold fairytales, and Cinderella has always been one of my favorites. Barrett's re-envisioning of the "wicked" stepmother and "ugly" stepsisters brings life and charm into the story. She keeps the basic elements, then adds in so much more to the story. I like how by the end, you like everyone. Everything was based off of a misunderstanding between people who came from different backgrounds and are proud.
Though the publisher might make you think differently, there is no sex, nor any mention of sex. I have read a few books published by Harlequin Teen and some of them have been good (like this one) with very little mention of sex, if any at all. Great for those teens that want some romance, but don't (or their parents don't want them) to be subject to sex.
*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.