Review: Seeing Cinderella
Author: Jenny Lundquist
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary Fairy Tale Retelling
“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?“
Hello a book that geeky and awkward middle school me would have adored (and the middle schooler still inside did adore). I too got glasses in middle school, while dreading how much they would make me even less “attractive”. I enjoyed books and writing stories and often didn’t want to open up about home stuff to my middle school friends. Callie and I had a lot in common.
The writing flowed smoothly and was fun to read. Callie was a well developed character who learns the true lesson, one I wish all middle schoolers could realize: everyone is unsure and awkward but we all have different ways of covering it up.
When she can start seeing people’s thoughts she learns the truths that people don’t say out loud. She gets better at reading between the lines and she realizes who has her best interest at heart.
As a true middle schooler, she is so self-absorbed in what is going on in her own life (aren’t we all a lot of the time?) that she misses obvious clues that others around her are struggling and need help.
It isn’t a Cinderella retelling in the sense that it hits you on the head with obvious similarities. Aside from Cinderella as the play and Callie’s obsession with the fairytale, the true Cinderella story is much more subtle.
What a fun read!