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Thursday, March 1, 2012

(M MG M) ARC Review: Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lundquist

Be sure to check out my interview with Jenny Lundquist and enter to win an ARC of Seeing Cinderella and a cute bookmark HERE

TITLE: Seeing Cinderella        AUTHOR: Jenny Lundquist
PUB: Aladdin Mix                     PUB DATE: 3/20/12
FORMAT: ARC, 240 pgs
SOURCE: from author

Calliope Meadow Anderson wishes her life could be more of a fairy tale—just like the stories she writes. Her best friend, Ellen, is acting weird, her parent's marriage is falling apart, and to top things off, she found out she needs hideously large and geeky glasses. 
But Callie soon learns they aren't just any glasses—they are magical and let her read people's thoughts. For the first time ever she's answering all the questions right in math class, and gets a glimpse of what goes through people's minds all day, including what Ellen—and her longtime crush—really think of her. 
As if dealing with these crazy glasses weren't enough, Callie tries out for the lead in her school's production of Cinderella and actually gets the part. Instead, Callie chooses to let Ellen have the lead and be Ellen's understudy—just like she has done for their entire friendship. 
Add in a new girl who has something to hide, a secret admirer, a best friend stealer who isn't what she seems, and Callie's year just went from ordinary to extraordinary. 
Can this supporting actress learn to be a leading lady in her own life? Or is she destined to stay in the background forever—even with her super-freaky-magic glasses?

THREE WORDS: Charming, Enchanting, Heartwarming

MY REVIEW: With a magical story, fantastic characters, and wonderful writing, Jenny Lundquist’s Seeing Cinderella has captivated and charmed me completely!

Calliope “Callie” Meadow Anderson starts middle school believing she is as far from being like Cinderella as a gal can get. Her parents’ marriage is falling apart, her classmates call her Polka Dot, her best friend is getting chummy with a new girl, her crush doesn’t even know her name, and she’s stuck with the world’s dorkiest glasses. But Callie’s life gets even more complicated when she discovers that her glasses allow her to read people’s thoughts. Too bad she learns things she never wanted to know…like what people really think of her. Toss in a Cinderella play, a secret admirer and a new girl with secrets, and Callie’s middle school life is anything but a fairytale.

Everyone who has ever survived middle school knows what a tough, confusing, downright frustrating time those couple of years can be, and Lundquist explores this with humor, honesty and a lot of heart. I adored everything about this MG book! Lundquist offers readers such a relatable, entertaining, and well-crafted story, which is both super fun and touching. 

The idea behind Callie’s magical mind reading glasses is fantastically unique and refreshing, but never feels over the top. The writing is smart, hip and pitch perfect for its audience. The dialogue sounds authentic and Lundquist’s middle school world is spot on. 

The main character Callie is adorkably awesome with all of her awkward, endearing charm. This is a character that every reader can relate to, especially us girls, because I think we’re all a bit of a “Callie”. I connected instantly with Callie and felt every ounce of her pain, confusion, joy and heartache. At every turn of the page I found myself nodding enthusiastically and saying out loud “I know EXACTLY how that feels!” or “That happened to me too!”. There’s a great and eclectic supporting cast as well.

 Callie’s fumbling journey from invisible girl to leading lady is full of crushing crushes, mean girls, unexpected realizations and some pretty big life lessons, and Lundquist maps out this journey beautifully. There are some pretty intense and serious real life situations and problems (divorce, cheating parents, child neglect, body image issues, etc) explored in this book, but Lundquist does a phenomenal job of approaching these things in a way that is both appropriate and easy to understand for her intended MG audience, without underestimating that audience or being cheesy. 

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Jenny Lundquist’s Seeing Cinderella is a book that I wish I had as a 12 year old. I would love play the part of the Book Fairy Godmother, and place this novel in the hands of all young girls. This enchantingly sweet, funny and touching book will charm readers of all ages and leave them with a warm heart and a big smile. A definite MUST read!
5/5 Cupcakes

Click HERE to read my interview with Jenny and enter to win an ARC of Seeing Cinderella

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon / B&N / Book Dep.

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