author : shonna slayton
pages : [paperback] 340
Being a teenager 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.
Just in skimming over the Goodreads page of reviews for this book, I can see that it’s one people either utterly hate or love. I’m DNFing this book at 202 pages because I realized that there’s a second book in this possible series, nothing is happening, and apparently no new information about these Cinderella dresses is going to be shown in the next 100 pages. I’m determined to spend 2016 reading as many amazing books as possible–books that I don’t feel like I’m trudging through or skimming over, just on the brief, dim hope that something interesting is in those distant pages.
Cinderella’s Dress looked awesome. I had it on my TBR list for a few years. It isn’t the typical fairy tale retelling we see today; instead, it takes objects from that familiar fairy tale, that have been passed down through the generations and . . . Well, I don’t know what the significance of these dresses would end up being, because nothing ever happens to explain what’s going on with them. Why they’re so important. Why vaguely evil people are trying to steal them away.
Most of the book has nothing to do with them. Kate, our main character, is pretty interesting because she’s struggling to get into a business that is typically only seen as a man’s job. I never thought much about window dressing before, and I honestly don’t know if it was really such a huge deal in the 1940s as it is in this book, but it’s Kate’s dream. I can appreciate that. What I can’t appreciate are the lengths she’s willing to go to in order to try to get this dream for herself. She’s willing to insult and isolate herself from her friends, which . . I’m not sure why she thought that was a great idea, and she got nothing out of it. Even worse (the moment that made me stop and finally decide to DNF) was when Kate decided to do something she knew would torment her great-aunt who suffers from dementia. Even in the midst of her great-aunt’s fit, Kate isn’t evenconcerned for her. She’s just worried about how much attention is being brought to them and thinking to herself Oh, I never expected that kind of a reaction. Yes, Kate. You did. You meant to shock her.
There were some elements in the book that had real potential–I loved reading the letters Kate wrote to the soldiers she knew. But then the war ended, I think, in the middle of the book. There was no real concept of time, for me, because the letters and chapters weren’t dated. It was only because Kate mentioned something about years passing (not that she seemed more mature for it) that I realized how much time had been skipped over.
I think that this book was so frustrating to me, ultimately, because it could have been so great. Instead, nothing really happened in the 200 pages I read, so I feel like I didn’t even read the book that was summarized for me.