Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to Someone Who Doesn't Read CINDERELLA

Welcome to A Week of Cinderella!  Grab some promotional buttons for your blog HERE and stop back all week long for fun guest posts, exciting author visits (because, after all, Marissa isn't the ONLY author with a kick-ass Cinderella to celebrate!), giveaways, reviews, and a blog tour stop for CINDER!
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week's theme is "Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To Someone Who Doesn't Read X."  So of COURSE I'm going to choose "Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to Someone Who Doesn't Read CINDERELLA."  Because...what else exists this week?

[Actually...I apparently don't know how to read and have posted January 17th's theme today.  Oops?  Oh well, too late  now!!  Sorry!!]

In no particular order:

1) CINDER by Marissa Meyer
I said these were in no particular order, and that's true, but since the idea for A Week of Cinderella came about through wanting to celebrate Marissa's debut novel and honor a great fairy tale heroine, how can I NOT start us off with a mention of CINDER?  While this book is about Cinderella, this is NOT the ash girl you thought you knew.  It's a sci-fi adventure that blends fantasy, romance, and fairy tales into an intergalactic battle.  Plus, Cinderella is part-cyborg.  Um, AWESOME!

2) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
As I mentioned on Sunday, this is the book that introduced me to all the ways in which Cinderella could be DIFFERENT and not the traditional story I thought I knew.  It's the only MG/YA novel on my Top 5 All-Time Favorites List (And yes, a lot of that probably IS nostalgia talking).  I love the fact that Ella knows her prince beforehand and that she has such a unique story to share with us!

3) SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott
I'm reading this right now.  It's definitely the darkest version of Cinderella I've ever read.  It even incorporates social issues; Suzume's past is so tragic that she cuts herself in order to feel emotions, for example.  And, oh yeah, it takes place in a land called 月の光の国 (Which, for all of you who can't read that, says Tsuki no Hikari no Kuni or The Moonlit Land), which is a fantasy blend reminiscent of China and Japan (But especially Japan).  Having lived in Japan for two years, this book makes me want to go back so very, very badly at the moment!

4) PRINCESS OF GLASS by Jessica Day George
I love this innovative version of Cinderella.  This rendition definitely shows off a different side of Cinderella that you never see, one full of ambition and pride.  I also love the way it blends with one of the sisters from the fairy tale THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES, which was retold in George's PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL.  And this cover is to die for!

Did you know that in one of the older, more obscure versions of Cinderella, one of the stepsisters attempts to assassinate Cinderella?  I never knew this until I stumbled across Jim C. Hines' awesome novels.  The books bring together Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty like never before and turn our seemingly-delicate heroines into some kick-ass balls of girl power!

6) THE FAIRY GODMOTHER by Mercedes Lackey
What's a Cinderella to do when her prince never comes?  Maybe he's too old for her, or too young, or already married, or been murdered.  What if it's impossible to achieve one's Happily Ever After?  While the first book in the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series starts off in traditional, spectacular Cinderella-fashion, it quickly turns into something more as our would-be Cinderella finds out there's more to life than a botched destiny.  She becomes a fairy godmother instead, using her magic--and Tradition--to bring about the Happily Ever Afters of others since she can never achieve her own HEA...or can she?

7) ASH by Malinda Lo
This is one version of Cinderella that has everyone talking!  Nobody expected it when Malinda Lo burst onto the scene, setting everything we thought we knew about Cinderella upside down and twisting her destiny onto a separate, better path.  Lo is brilliant at creating lush, sweeping fantasy and tying readers up in the plight of her characters.  The journey she takes us on is fresh, new, and fully unexpected--but in a good way!

8) THE ROUGH-FACE GIRL by Rafe Martin with illustrations by David Shannon
This one is a picture book, yes, but still a favorite of mine.  This is a retelling of the Algonquin Native American version of Cinderella.  I always love seeing the way this tale is told in various cultures, and this is one of my favorite renditions.  One of the biggest reasons this version resonates so well is because it's about seeing the truth that makes up a person:  Not their outer beauty and perfect ballgown, but a beautiful soul and a spirit that sees the best in everything.  I love all that this version stands for.

9) BOUND by Donna Jo Napoli
What is the truth behind Happily Ever After?  What defines happy?  BOUND is one of the harshest, coldest, saddest versions of Cinderella I've read.  It was, at times, hard to read, but definitely worth the experience! I also love the traditional Chinese feel to this novel and like seeing a Chinese retelling of this traditional tale that I might have never otherwise known about.

While he may be best known for WICKED, CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER is my favorite of Gregory Maguire's novels.  It was this book that introduced me to the fact that a fairy tale could be told from more than one point of view.  Why does it always have to be through Cinderella's eyes?  Her stepsisters are human, too.  It was amazing seeing the way the world is viewed from the other side because when one story says half-empty, the other says half-full.

I would love to know what YOUR Top Ten are, so please leave me a link! I’m always up for reading an amazing novel!


  1. An interesting blog, one so particularly defined, retelling of Cinderella. The ones listed seem intriguing. I am curious. How did you come to love the Cinderella story? And, which version sparked your love? And which was the first re-imagined Cinderella story did you start with?

    Elaine Sangiolo
    Book Marketing Manager: Cathedral of Dreams, A Kingdom's Possession
    Booktrope Publishing

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. There's a third Princess book coming out from Jessica Day George this year! I can't wait - it's Little Red Riding Hood this time around.

    Great list this week! And sticking to Cinderella, is Queen of Glass on your To Read list for this year? It's going to be AMAZING!!!

  4. Interesting list! I've always wanted to read Ella Enchanted. I actually almost bought it last weekend. I've seen the movie, but I have a feeling that the book is better (as they usually are).

    I keep hearing good things about Cinder, but a novel on cyborgs threw me off for some reason. I need to give it a shot though.

    Top Ten Tuesday @ The Caffeinated Reader

  5. Love this unique list! I've been meaning to read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister for a while - I hope I get to it this year.

  6. I really enjoyed reading Ash, such a great book & very unique. At first I didn't really got it, but then it just hit me and I thought "WOW, what a fantastic book". :) I haven't read most of the books on your list, so I'm adding a few to my tbr list. THanx. :)

  7. I've only read Cinder from your list and I SO agree, I LOVED THAT BOOK! I do not love the wait until the sequel, though. I am desperate to read Shadows on the Moon soon, because a) Zoe is Aussie (woo!) and b) It sounds fan-freaking-tastic. Plus Japan! Who wouldn't be fascinated? :D

    Soo many great suggestions here, I really must look further into these - thanks!

  8. Oh, I LOVE Fairytale re-tellings! Anything by Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale is a winner in my book! Ella Enchanted is one of my favorite books ever!

  9. OOH OOH!!! I wish I'd known about this event before now. I'm a fairy tale freak (was even my specialty in grad school). I'm always thrilled to see more recs in this vein, so thanks for the list!

  10. I'm not a huge fan of the Cinderella story, but Ella Enchanted is one of my all-time favorite books! Interesting list. I'll have to check some of the other titles out.

  11. The Fairy Godmother what a beautiful cover. I added a number of these to my to-read list.

    1. I first fell for THE FAIRY GODMOTHER because of that cover, too! *Swoon*


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