The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson – A Review

I don’t normally read “high school” books or young adult.  I’m learning because there are several writers in my critique group that do write young adult and I am trying to expand my horizons.  I will also point out that I do not read romance novels of any sort… remember the kid in The Princess Bride when he tells his grandfather to skip the kissing parts… that’s me.

I picked up this book thinking it would be a quick, easy read that could be put down whenever something pressing came up.

I was wrong.  From beginning to end, I loved it and I read it in a day.

The characters were entertaining, interesting and very “real”.  I could see them walking the halls of just about any high school.  They grow as people, blossoming into intelligent young women as the book moves through their senior year.

The story line was good… who hasn’t had a crush on the hunky guy that sits in front of them in one of their classes?  And who doesn’t have a slightly dysfunctional family to deal with?

I was expecting this to be a revenge story based on the title and was surprised to see it was more a “coming of age” book.

The kissing bits were few and far between, spattered in to fill pages when it was appropriate, while the focus was more on “becoming” by the two main characters (The Sisters).

It was also a clean read, something that is becoming more and more rare, even in the world of young adult.  Not that I think that is particularly problematic (after all, Of Mice and Men and The Great Gatsby were both required reading in my high school), but it is good to know that a “romantic teen book” can be all that and not have lurid sex scenes with kids pushing the limits.

I gave it a 4-star Amazon review because I’m stingy… I would have liked more book, another 20 or 30 thousand words to tell me what life was going to be like when they left for college.  I checked for a sequel and didn’t find one, which was disappointing.  However, the book would have earned a 5-star review if it had been read by someone who wasn’t me (there was still kissing and I thought the teen obsession with the hunky boy was a little creepy and stalkerish and I’m against teaching our teens to stalk each other).  Of course, teens still stalk each other and they are creepy, so my removal of that promising 5th star was probably callous.

If you are looking for a good “girl oriented teen book”, I would highly recommend this one.  If you aren’t, I’d still suggest reading it just for the joy of being reminder what it was like to be a teen, in high school, with a crush and too much time on your hands.

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  1. Maria D.

     /  September 15, 2013

    Thanks for the review! I’ll have to look this up


  2. I’ve always liked reading (and writing!) young adult. 🙂



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