I got a free download of The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back from Amazon. In exchange, I offer the author this, my honest review.
At the outset, let me say that I really do not read that many “romance” stories. I suppose this is largely due to a couple factors—the first being that so often they seem to be the same story, regurgitated with new names; and the second being, I suppose, that I’ve long since outgrown them. But, I’ve been shaking it up a bit of late, reading some of this and some of that. And, when it comes to The Ugly Sister Strikes Back! I am so happy that I picked this one up!
Mattie Lowe, so named she believes because her mother hated her, is the ugly stepsister of Ella, against whom Mattie has a list of grievances. The guys all fell for Ella, she was completely unselfish, she had a beautiful name, spent hours helping around the house (and thereby putting the housekeeper’s job in jeopardy—something Mattie would not do because she was not selfish like that), and had the ability to make everything look amazing. But the greatest wrong was that Ella was dating Jake Kingston, Ella’s perfect counterpart—and Mattie’s love interest.
I must—simply must—stop to tell a short story. My eldest and only son is about 6’3”. As a tall woman myself, I remember from my own dating days of yore how few tall men there are out there! And so, during my son’s dating years, I used to tell him: “Don’t waste it on a short girl.” Ha ha ha! So, what did Sariah Wilson have right there in Chapter 1? Mattie, noting Jake’s 6’2” height thinks: “[b]eing 5’11” made me sort of a tall guy connoisseur and it always aggravated me to see all that height being wasted on teeny-tiny girls like Ella!” Oh, Sariah Wilson, did you speak to me! And, oh, did I laugh! And, the laughs just kept coming!
The best part of this story—aside from its humor—which was precious and real—was that it was a happy story. It was a story about discovering the beauty of differences between people, of reaching out to those you may envy but who have your best interests at heart, of facing the truth that some relationships (like Mattie’s with her mother) were just not meant to be, of facing your greatest fears, of discovering you may just be an ugly duckling waiting for your day to reveal your true beauty, and so on and so on. Wilson captured the angst of “teenagedom” with rare humor (as opposed to the common moodiness). For anyone looking for a quick, fun, satisfying, engaging, “can’t-put-it-down” read, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Oh yes! And one more thing! It was a YA story that was truly written for the YA crowd. It wasn’t smutty or negative. It was a story I could—can—did—heartily recommend to my own teen daughters!
Well done, Sariah Wilson! Very well done, indeed! I will definitely be looking to read your other works!
Oh yes—one more thing! This would make a great movie!
Also posted at www.Oathtaker.com, on Goodreads and on Amazon. Linked to two review groups on Google+, Tweeted and the cover Pinned.