The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson
Click for author's website.
Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.I purchased this book for free on Amazon. It is currently being offered for $2.99 (7/20/13).
But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?
Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.
Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.
Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.
And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.
Mattie Lowe lives with her spacey, artistic father and perfect stepsister Ella. Ella has blonde hair, is a cheerleader, volunteers all her free time, cleans religiously, and to top it all off: is dating Mattie's supercrush Jake Kingston.
Mattie, on the other hand, is not involved at school, has fuschia hair, draws manga, and has one friend who just also happens to be enamored with Ella. When she gets tired of not having her own happy ending, Mattie take matters into her own hands. She decides to run for class president against steamy Jake, who is loved by everyone. The odds are stacked against her.
Mattie can be snarky, but honest and real. I fell in love with her almost instantly. She is relatable. For older readers, we get to relive the awkwardness of a first crush. Younger readers get to experience it for the first time. Mattie is more the awkward, geeky loner in school and I think a lot of people can relate to that easily. The reader can cheer for Mattie's wins and cringe with her upsets. Although she has a jealous streak when it comes to her sister Ella, Mattie always takes the right path. For example, she would remind herself that she can never date Jake now because of the Sister Code. We don't find this moral fiber in a lot of high school books lately.
My one hang up resides in the title and summaries of others. You are lead to believe the novel will be about tension between Mattie and Ella, perhaps Ella does something that Mattie has to get back at her for. Not the case. At all. Both girls are incredibly mature and easily resolve their differences. The conflict truly lies between Jake and Mattie and the run for senior class president.
This book was well written and easy to read, instantly having the feel of a comfy old sweater. I hadn't even meant to start reading it one night, but once I did I finished it in just a few hours. Sariah Wilson really does a fantastic job of bringing you back to your awkward high school crush days, full of jitters and feelings galore.
I recommend this one as a quick read that will have you rooting for Mattie from page one! I rated this book on my Goodreads as a 4, but really a 4 1/2.