Title: Cinder and Ella
Author: Melissa Lemon
First published October 27, 2011
273 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9781599559063 (ISBN10: 1599559064)
When Ella’s mother passes away, she is left to live with her father and stepsisters who make her life miserable. One day, Ella’s father disappears, and she is forced to live with her cruel stepmother.
Meanwhile, Cinder is a servant at the royal palace, longing for her own happy ending. Fate brings the two girls together, and they embark on a journey that will transform their lives and the kingdom forever.
Melissa Lemon’s Cinder and Ella is a unique take on the classic fairy tale, filled with magic, hope, and the power of love.
About the Author
Writing has been Melissa’s passion since childhood. Her love for storytelling started early, as she can remember holding a pencil in her hand and putting her imagination onto paper.
Her creativity has led her to twist fairy tales since fifth grade, with one story about George of the Jungle journeying to Neverland. When Melissa is not writing, she enjoys making music, reading, baking, and running.
She shares her home with her husband, three daughters, and a feline companion named Matilda. Additionally, Melissa’s dedication to writing has caused a deformed, calloused finger, serving as a testament to her commitment to the craft.
In Cinder and Ella, Melissa Lemon weaves a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale Cinderella that is sure to capture the heart of readers of all ages. First published in 2011, this young adult novel is a delightful mix of romance, self-discovery, and emotional healing, that brings a fresh perspective to the timeless tale.
Lemon sets the story in a contemporary setting, following the lives of two teenagers, Ella and Cinder. Ella is a young girl who loves to read and write, while Cinder is a high school football star.
They both have a difficult past, with Ella having lost her mother in a tragic accident, and Cinder having a strained relationship with his stepmother and stepsisters. When they meet online, they form a deep bond that leads to a life-changing adventure.
Lemon’s writing is beautiful, with a lyrical quality that elevates the story beyond the traditional Cinderella narrative. She explores themes of grief, identity, and the power of connection, creating characters that are relatable and authentic.
The pacing of the novel is well balanced, with enough tension and conflict to keep the reader engaged, and enough moments of tenderness and humor to provide a sense of lightness and hope.
One of the strengths of the book is the way in which Lemon subverts some of the traditional gender roles and expectations of the fairy tale. Ella is a strong and independent character, who is not defined by her relationship with a man.
Cinder, too, is not simply a handsome prince, but a complex and flawed individual who learns and grows throughout the story.
There are some minor flaws in the book, such as the occasional predictable plot point, and the reliance on some clichés of the genre, but these are outweighed by the overall quality of the writing and the depth of the characters.
Cinder and Ella is a recommended read for young adults, and anyone who enjoys a good romance or a fresh take on a classic story. It is a book that reminds us of the importance of empathy, kindness, and the healing power of love.
On a scale of one to ten, I would give it an eight.