Summary (from Scholastic):
The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales!
Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia?
A Grimmtastic girl named Cinderella is starting her first week at Grimm Academy on the wrong foot. Cinda’s totally evil stepsisters are out to make her life miserable. The Steps tease Cinda, give her terrible advice about life at the academy, and even make her look bad in front of her new friends, Red, Snow, and Rapunzel! But when Cinda overhears the Steps plotting a villainous deed that could ruin Prince Awesome’s ball, Cinda, her new friends, and a pair of magical glass slippers have to stop them–before the last stroke of midnight.
Overall, I would say that this was a okay book. It was written by the same people who do the Goddess Girls series. Unfortunately, I started to read this book right after I finished Goddess Girls: Persephone the Phony and I think because I liked Persephone the Phony so much it made Cinderella Stays Late seem a little less great then it would be if I didn’t have such high expectations for it. About halfway through the book I got bored and I ended up having to take a break before I could finish it. For some reason, I didn’t particularly like the character of Cinderella as much as I think I should have. I think this dislike probably comes from me comparing this Cinderella to the Disney’s version of Cinderella. I always have extremely loved the princesses of Disney because I thought that they personified good qualities in people. This Cinderella was a tom-boy, who didn’t seem to have any blaring obvious redeeming qualities, which I guess made her more relatable to the little girls reading about her, but as I previously stated I prefer the Disney version. In addition, I didn’t find myself rooting for Cinderella and her love (or as they call it “like”) interest Prince Awesome (which by the way, what kind of name is Prince Awesome?). Instead of Prince Awesome, I was rooting for Cinderella to choose Prince Foulsmell, who I thought was a more interesting character. To be fair though, I usually root for the underdog. Of course, I knew Cinderella would choose to like Prince Awesome instead of Prince Foulsmell (bummer).
Back to the story line though, it wasn’t a bad story, but it more than like an introduction to the series. This was a retelling of Cinderella’s traditional story, except with the twist that she is a new student at the Grimm Academy where they consciously know they are fairy tale characters. That was another strange thing about this book; the continuity was a little off. All the characters know that they are fairy tale characters collected from stories collected by the Grimm Brothers and other known figures of l
iterary fairy tales and nursery rhymes. The odd part is that the stories that happen to the characters (at least to Cinderella, because that is the only book that I have read) are the same (or rather really similar) to the original fairy tales. What made Cinderella a fairy tale character was her story, but at the beginning of the book Cinderella’s story hadn’t happened yet so she can’t be a fairy tale character then so why does she go to Grimm Academy? Regardless, the discontinuity isn’t a big deal and without really thinking about it, people won’t even notice.
Despite the criticism I’ve given the book, it was an okay book and I would recommend it to a young girl (or boy, really) to read.