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Book Trailer of the Week: Tiger Lily

Book Trailer of the WeekHappy Friday everyone!

It’s time again to showcase a book trailer that has caught my attention.  As a school media specialist/librarian I love book trailers because they help me to promote awesome titles and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Andersonmotivate my students to read.  They’re just awesome and I love them!

This week’s book trailer is for Jodi Lynn Anderson’s new novel Tiger Lily.  I was lucky enough to be a part of the Tiger Lily ARC Blog Tour hosted by Southern Book Bloggers (THANK YOU!) so I got to read this book before the release date which was this past Tuesday, July 3.

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. .. Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

Seriously.  I really, really enjoyed Tiger Lily (you can read my full review here) and think you should check out the book trailer for it now!

I love the colors of the dress/flower on the cover! It is a beautiful cover, one of my favorites of 2012 for sure!

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Bittersweet Symphony: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Hi there!

Today I bring you a review of Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson!  I received this book as part of the Southern Book Blogger’s Tiger Lily ARC Blog Tour, and this was my first time participating in a blog tour ever!

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in theTiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.  Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

I can’t say it enough (I say it a lot on this blog!) but I absolutely adore fairy tales retold!  Now, I have to be honest that I’m not and never was a huge fan of the Peter Pan story, but reading Tiger Lily has caused me to revisit my feelings for this tale.  I was also a little hesitant because we all know that the romance between Peter Pan and Tiger Lily is pretty short-lived, but although my heart broke multiple times while reading it I really, really enjoyed this novel. (Also, look at that breathtaking cover! The colors are just lovely!)

First let me say that Anderson’s prose is gorgeous! Her descriptions of Neverland and it’s inhabitants is at times poetic and lends this story more romance and mystery.  There is very little dialogue as the story is narrated through the eyes of a very loyal and observant Tinkerbell.

Every little detail Anderson gives us is like a puzzle piece that fits perfectly into the story you thought you already knew. Anderson fills in the gaps in the narrative that weren’t answered in the original tale in a way that just makes sense.  The way the world of Neverland is imagined as an actual island somewhere in the Atlantic that you cannot find if you’re looking for it is incredibly creative and mythic.  Also, having Tink as the narrator is such a fabulous idea and allows the reader to see multiple sides of the story that they wouldn’t have seen had the narrator been Peter or Tiger Lily or anyone else.  Tink has the ability to go unnoticed so we see Tiger Lily’s life in the camp with her people and also the Lost Boys’ burrow when no one is watching them.

I never really understood the lure of Peter Pan (the character) before, but reading the story through a different narrator (not Wendy or her brothers) allowed me to see the appeal.  Peter is such an excitingly flawed character.  He is incredibly savage in a way that is both enticing and frightening.  He is also not willing to accept reality, which is both refreshing and frustrating at the same time.  There is this allure to him that I can only describe as the “bad-boy” pull.  Tiger Lily knows that nothing good can come from knowing Peter, but in her fearlessness she is drawn to him none-the-less.  Let me also say, I used to like Wendy.  Now I don’t think I do.  And that’s all I have to say about that – you’ll see!

Despite being a little slow to start, Tiger Lily is vivid, mysterious, beautiful and bittersweet all at once.  There were times where I wanted to put the book down to have a break from the heart-break, but at the same time I couldn’t wait to read more.   If you’re a fan of Peter Pan (Ha! That rhymed!), love fairy tale re-tellings, or are just in for a tender love story you should definitely get your hands on this one!  As far age ages go, the book is good for high school aged readers as I think middle schoolers might get bored with the lack of dialogue.

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson

Publisher: Harper Teen (Scheduled Release July 3, 2012)

Format: ARC, paperback

Length: 304 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Tiger Lily (Pre-order)

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Just Your Average Princess: If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince by Melissa Kantor

Hello!

Have I told you how much I love fairy tale retellings?! I know I have…on more than a few occasions!

Today’s review is a contemporary version of Cinderella and its called, If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? by s Kantor.

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 sIf I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince by Melissa Kantorstepmother 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?

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

This was an adorable and self-aware retelling of Cinderella.  One of the things I always disliked about Cinderella’s story is that her father dies in the beginning.  I really like how in Kantor’s version, Lucy’s father doesn’t die, he’s just a little (or a lot) absent and blinded to is new wife and stepdaughters’ behavior.  The reader gets the same message, that Lucy’s alone without her being completely on her own forever.

Lucy is a pretty normal teenage girl.  She’s unique because she’s an artist and a basketball fan, which everyone at school thinks is weird.  She’s also the new girl and sits on her own at lunch almost everyday.  So when a popular boy and a group of popular girls suddenly start paying attention to Lucy, she struggles with the excitement of suddenly being popular although she knows she doesn’t quite fit in.  She see’s things happen at parties that make her uncomfortable yet she really wants the fairy tale prince.

I also like the way in which Kantor doesn’t completely villainize the Stepmother, Mara and the “evil” stepsisters.  Yes, Mara and her daughters are at times (most of the time) just a pain in the butt towards Lucy.  They don’t welcome her into their family in a fully loving way, but there are times when they all realize that they have misjudged Lucy and where Lucy is faced with the same realization.  Lucy learns that the reality you expect isn’t always the reality you actually have (with Mara and Conner).  All this said, I do feel like some of the resolution with Mara towards the end happened a little to quick.  Was it really Mara’s behavior, or did Lucy just adopt a different mindset?  Or maybe it was a mix of both?

What fairy tale would be complete without a cute prince for Lucy to fall in love with?  Do not fret! We have a prince, but I can’t say anything more about that without giving important plot points away!  Just pay attention for princely behavior!

If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? is a fun and light-hearted Cinderella story that will appeal to middle school readers and up and is definitely geared towards girls, who will relate to Lucy’s troubles!

Author: Melissa Kantor

Publisher: Hyperion (Sept. 2, 2005)

Format: Hardcover (Library Bound)

Length: 288 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince?

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Treachery of Beautiful Things

Happy Wednesday!  One more day of the school year left! Holla!

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and the purpose is to spotlight upcoming new releases.

This week I wanted to share The Treachery of Beautiful Things Ruth Frances Long‘s debut Young Adult novel.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances LongFirst, take a look at that cover!  Isn’t it gorgeous?!  I’m a total sucker for covers with girls in decadent gowns and this one rivals the best of them! Can I please just wear it for a few hours one afternoon?  I think that would satisfy my gown lust!

Now, on to the summary.  I’m a massive fairy tale fan so I’m intrigued in this book for sure.

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she’s lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack’s help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she’s faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice–and not just her own

 But wait.  Fairy tale?  Yes.  Kinda creepy? Yes!  “The trees swallowed her brother whole…” What in the?!  That sentence alone both excites and scares me all at the same time!
I honestly can’t wait to dig into The Treachery of Beautiful Things and it doesn’t look like I have too long to wait since Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin) has announced this book will be released this coming August 16th!
What do you think?  Are you waiting on The Treachery of Beautiful Things too? Or is another title forcing you to be patient this week?

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Book Trailer of the Week: Pretty Crooked

Happy Friday everyone!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for an audiobook copy of Cinder by Marissa Meyer!

Pretty Crooked by Elisa LudwigBy now you probably know I’m a fan of a good fairy tale retelling. I love seeing an author mix classic stories with newer or modern plot points and I’m pretty much always interested in a book that does this. So, when I heard about Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig I was definitely intrigued!

Here’s the summary:

Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones. Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”-known to everyone as the Glitterati-without them suspecting a thing, is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her-evening the social playing field between the have and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan. But when the cops start investigating the string of burglaries at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could he wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?

I think it looks like a really cute take on Robin Hood! Let’s go ahead and let the book trailer speak for itself!

Pretty Crooked has been in stores and libraries for about a month now, so go out and get it!

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Small Blogs, Big Dreams Giveaway Hop: Cinder Audiobook Giveaway

This giveaway is a stop on the Small Blog, Big Dreams Giveaway Hop hosted by hosted by Forbidden Passions Reviews & Walking on Bookshelves and runs from April 16- April 21, 2012.

A few months ago I read (listened to) Cinder by Marissa Meyer as part of the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge and as part of the 201

2 YA Audiobook Challenge.  It’s a fun read and you can check out my original review of Cinder here.

Cinder audiobook by Marissa Meyer

The Prize: An audiobook copy of Cinder by Marissa Meyer!

I really enjoyed the Cinder audiobook and actually received it directly from the publisher so a HUGE thank you goes out to Macmillan Audio!  Since I’ve finished listening to it, I decided it was time to share the wealth and let someone else have the chance to enjoy this classic fairy tale retold.

In case you haven’t heard of Cinder (and didn’t see my review), here is a summary of the book.

A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the center of a violent

struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

Hopefully that whet your appetite!

Okay! So, how do you enter this giveaway? Well, there is just one step to enter. All entries must be completed by Saturday April 21, 2012  (midnight Eastern Standard Time).

Fill out the form below. Only name and email address are required – the other options just give you extra entries!

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This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. I will announce the winner on Sunday April 22, 2012 on a special winner post. That person will have 48 hours to email me their mailing address or I will select another winner.

I’m really excited and hope you are too!

Don’t forget to visit Forbidden Passions Reviews & Walking on Bookshelves to see the list of other blogs participating in this Giveaway Hop!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Enchanting Fairy Tales Retold

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to foster community among book bloggers. There is usually an official theme, and sometimes I go with it sometimes I don’t. Today is one of the times where I’m like Stevie Nicks and I go my own way!!! :p

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am a massive fan of fairy tales. Thus, I’m a massive fan of fairy tales retold. I love when authors take a well-known fairy tale, mix in their own creativity, to come out with a completely unique and new story to enjoy. Over the years, I’ve read some that I wasn’t impressed with, and then I’ve also read those that totally enchanted me.

Today’s Top Ten list is broken up into two parts. The first is Fairy Tale re-tellings I’ve already read (and enjoyed), while the second half is some titles I’ve heard are fabulous but haven’t had a chance to read yet.

Already Read:

The Goose Girl by Shannon HaleThe Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson HaddixJust Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgePrincess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Want to Read:

Liesl and Po by Lauren OliverLiesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet MarillierWildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (I’m currently reading this one.)

Golden by Cameron DokeyGolden: A Retelling of Rapunzel by Cameron Dokey

Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon

Peter and the Star Catchers by Dave Berry and Ridley PearsonPeter and the Star Catchers by Dave Berry

Are you a fan of retold fairy tales? Can you recommend any I missed? I’d love some recommendations for future reading. :)

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Fairy Tale Awesomeness: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Hi there! Who likes fairy tales?  I do and I recently read Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier.

High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he’s there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena’s sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom–an impossible union it’s up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar’s grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can’t imagine–tests of trust, strength, and true love.Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Like I mentioned before, I love fairy tales.  I’m always a sucker for them. All the time.  This one had been sitting on my “To Read” shelf for a few years and I’m so glad I finally got to it because although it took a little for me to get into, once I was hooked, I was hooked!  Completely enthralled!

In Wildwood Dancing, Juliet Marillier masterfully weaves together multiple fairy tales giving this story its own unique appeal.  I can’t tell you which fairy tales Marillier uses without giving away major plot lines and twists, but I will say that the main one is The Twelve Dancing Princesses which has been one of my all time favorite fairy tales since I was a child.  In fact, the main reason I love this fairy tale so much is due to an animated show that used to be on Nickelodeon in the 90s when I was a kid.  Does anyone remember this series?  It was called Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics and this particular episode was The Word Out Dancing Shoes.

I used to love when that episode came on!  Well, Wildwood Dancing reminded me  a lot of this episode!

One of the main things I really enjoyed about this story is the setting.  Marillier places her characters in Transylvania, a region in Romania, circa 1500 – right smack dab in the middle of the medieval era!  I love how Marillier pulled in the rich Transylvanian folklore to make her story stronger.  Wildwood Dancing combines historical fiction, folkloric fantasy, romance and drama all into one big bowl and mixes it all together to create fairy tale awesomeness.  Seriously.

Although this is a take on The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this story only has five. Jena, the main character, is a smart and opinionated  young woman who is used to being the practical one. She is, although not the oldest sister, the mother-like figure to them all; she keeps an eye on her sisters when they travel to the magical Wildwood on full moon nights.  Her main flaw, which Jena comes to realize, is her constant attempt to control everything, especially change.  Jena is both the traditional princess who follows rules and a more modern girl with some spunk.

I will say that the beginning of the story was slightly slow and difficult to get into, but once the story picks up you’re in for good.  I listened to the audiobook, as part of the 2012 YA Audiobook Challenge.  It is narrated by Kim Mai Guest and was enthralled.  I’m quickly realizing that Kim Mai Guest is my favorite audiobook narrator out there.  I’ve happened to listen to three or four books narrated by her and am constantly amazed at her range and ability to speak with difficult accents so well.  She’s kind of my audiobook idol. :)

Wildwood Dancing comes highly recommended to those who love fairy tales and fantasy, but I definitely suggest the audiobook because Mai Guest is a master at accents and this is her narration best!

Author: Juliet Marillier

Publisher: Listening Library; Unabridged (January 13, 2009)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins

Narrator(s): Kim Mai Guest

Series: First in a series of two

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Wildwood Dancing

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I’m a Fairy Tale Fan: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Hola! It’s time for a book review!

Cinder by Marissa MeyerA forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the center of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

I adore fairy tales. Always have. I also love fairy tales re-told. I love a well done retelling of a favorite classic, and they’re even better when there is a little twist thrown in. Cinder is Marissa Meyer’s debut novel and she has created a science fiction Cinderella and done it very well. What a bold and cool idea! Actually, parts of it reminded me of one of my favorite sci-fi shows of all time, Firefly. It was mainly the use of the Chinese language and the science fiction backdrop, but also the mix of the super sterile futuristic settings (like the research hospital) and the dirty, crowded medieval town-ish setting (like the market where Cinder’s booth is located). Additionally Cinder reminded me a little of Kaylee, from Firefly, who is a tomboyish mechanic but is also sweet and feminine like Cinder. Kaylee Firefly

Cinder is a fun character. I like that she is both smart and strong but also deeply insecure and vulnerable. She knows who she is and works with what she has, but also is sharply aware of how the rest of the world views her. Cinder feels the pain of people treating her like she’s nothing, but doesn’t let it consume or inhibit her. Sometimes I thought she was a little whiny, in the way she buts heads with her evil stepmother, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story. It could have been the narrator’s interpretation of Cinder that I just wasn’t fond of. Overall, however the narrator, Rebecca Soler, did a great job and I actually liked her better in this story than others I’ve heard her narrate.

The story is set in a futuristic, and slightly dystopian, China. The city of New Beijing is exactly what I would think a crowded plague ridden city would be like – crowded, dirty, and bustling. But, on the other hand, New Beijing is also a bastion of technological innovation and scientific research. Knowing that China is a major world power today adds to the believability of this setting. Also, an Asian retelling of Cinderella makes the story more exotic than your average everyday European backdrop.

Romance. Yes it is a huge factor in every fairy tale. To be honest though, I wasn’t that impressed with Prince Kai. Maybe, there will be more of him to appreciate and get to know in the following books, but for now I think his character was a little bit lacking. Oh well.

I’ll also add that I loved the plot twist. Although I did suspect it earlier on, my guessing didn’t ruin the story for me. Actually I was so excited that I yelled, “I knew it! I knew it!” while driving (and listening).

Speaking of listening, I received the audiobook version of the Cinder from Macmillan Audio, which was so nice of them! Thank you to MacMillan! So, this book counts toward both the 2012 Debut Author Challenge and the 2012 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge. YAY!

Cinder is a read that will be enjoyed by older middle grade readers and up who are looking for a new and interesting take on a classic fairy tale.

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Macmillan Audio (January 3, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 10 hours and 6 minutes

Narrator(s): Rebecca Soler

Series: First in a series, The Lunar Chronicles

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles

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Book Trailer of the Week: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

It finally came, the The Hunger Games movie! And for now all I can say is: I LOVED IT! Yup, will post more about this later as I process the greatness for a few more hours. :) It is officially Spring Break in my neck of the woods so let’s talk book trailers!
Cinder by Marissa MeyerThanks to MacMillan audio I’m currently listening to Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Cinder had such amazing press and I’ve heard/read nothing but good things about it. I’m currently on Chapter 14 and I’m really digging this futuristic take on a classic fairy tale, Cinderella. Check out the book trailer below to learn more about it!