I am honored to be a part of the Cinder and Ella Virtual Book Tour hosted by Cedar Fort Publishing and running from June 1 - June 30, 2011.
My Thoughts: Forget everything you have ever known about the Cinderella fairytale! Melissa Lemon takes an old fairytale and completely revamps it! There are no Fairy Godmothers, no evil step-sisters or step-mother and while their is a Prince, he is not the nice, charming prince in the original story.
Cinder and Ella are sisters. They have two other sisters, Katrina and Beatrice. At one time, they had a happy family, complete with Mother and Father. Then one night the prince came to speak to the Father and things started going downhill after that. The father disappeared, the mother completely shut down, Katrina became vain and demanding and Beatrice became a spoiled rotten little brat. Only Cinder and Ella were functional. Cinder then goes to the castle to work and Ella can't handle her family and leaves. In the meantime, the family forgets about Ella and melds Cinder and Ella into one person.
I really liked the legend about the trees! It was a great concept and I wish the author had gone a little more into the legend. It was a very refreshing and unique concept and was my favorite part about the whole book.
I really liked Tanner (the kind knight). He was sweet and loyal while being completely clumsy! He was so sweet in his humiliation and totally loyal and protective of Ella.
The ending seemed a little abrupt with a missing prince and some questions left unanswered but maybe that means there will be a second book? Regardless, it was a fun and refreshing take on an old fairytale and I think it would be perfect for middle school readers!