Before I write this, I have a few things to say; 1. I did NOT think it was a sequel to Ella Enchanted, a mistake many seem to have made. 2. I am 14, but have been reading adult novels since third grade, so I would appreciate not being stereotyped as a young idealistic believer of fairy tales(and back off the others, too. So they like fiction, big deal, it's their opinion. Don't belittle their understanding or intelligence.) 3. I LOVE books with tough fem chicks most of the time. I dislike books sometimes just because they have wimpy female characters.
That said, I have to say, I didn't like this book very much at all. As many have said, it is amazingly predictable. There was no character developement(besides learning the "truth" about the prince, but by paying attention from the beginning, when she mentions that he wouldn't be interested in her day, you know he's a loser.). Ella started uncomfortable with castle life, and stayed that way. Every chapter ended with her reiterating the question,"Am I really happy?" Sorry Ella, but no, things aren't all roses, and if you had stopped to think before you showed your stepmother up, you wouldn't have to dig out of a "crap hole" as you so nicely put it.
Oh, hey, was it just me, or does the mention of French(or any other real language) in a completely made up world seem strange? If you're coming up with new countries and cultures, come up with a new language. Not so hard, right? Just what I think though, it's not a huge problem.
Speaking of new cultures, the castle life seemed absolutely ridiculous. I find it hard to believe that Anyone is as airheaded as those ladies-in-waiting of hers. Allt eh characters overplayed their parts in my opinion. It seemed very melodramatic, and unrealistic.
Misery. This whole book was about complaining. About castle life, dungeon life, stepdaughter life, runaway life, and refugee life. Perhaps it was wrong of me to wish for a happy ending. The author certainly didn't deliver. This story warranted another chapter to conclude it, or at least an epilogue(set after a wedding maybe???) Instead, she ends up once more thinking about how her life didn't turn out happily ever after, and not even telling the by now thouroughly depressed readers whether or not she's decided to give poor pathetic Jed a chance.
Does anyone know if sliding down banisters was common in classic Cinderella stories? I first ran into it with Ella Enchanted, and seeing the same youthful passion in this book piqued my interest. I wonder where she got the idea. I'm not trying to accuse Peterson Haddix of anything, just curious, because I really don't know anything about it.
I didn't enjoy this book, although I really thought I would, because I'm a huge scifi/fantasy fan. But this book just didn't do anything for me. I finished it of course, because I'm not one to just drop a book, but I was pretty mad at the reader by the end of it and started coming up with my own Cinderella story to help ease the hurt fairy tale section of my mind. Read this, if you're willing to give mediocre peices of writing a chance for the sake of the original story. Otherwise, I'd advise readers to look elsewhere for a good read(Tim Zahn and Robin McKinley are wonderful, and McKinley even does fairy tale rewrites, so you might try her.)
Anyone who actually read all that gets a shiney star sticker and a big bag of fairy dust. ^^