Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy - Book Review #32

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The Cinderella Society
by Kay Cassidy

When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother…

Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret society of popular girls dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover. It’s all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win. Determined not to let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion. Finally, a chance to belong and show the world what she’s made of.

… be careful what you wish for.

Jess’s transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a high stakes battle of good vs. evil, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.

What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?

When I first heard about The Cinderella Society I was expecting a pure and unleashed Girl Power spilling out of the pages. And what did I get? A self-help book retold for brain-damaged.

From the begging of the book I couldn’t get away from the feeling that The Cinderella Society reminded me of closely controlled sect. To almost every question Jess asked she got the answer that she doesn’t have clearance for that. She was also watched all the time and told what she’s supposed to do and what she isn’t, what she supposed to think and what was wrong. This all reminded me of brain-washing. And when they started to talk about The Battle… my verdict was final – this sort of organization cannot represent the good in the world and probably will be unwind somehow in the end by Jess. Oh, how wrong I was. Turned out that The Cinderella Society is a society of hypocrites, proclaiming their main goal to be a freedom of the Reggis (regular people, not member either of The Cinderella Society or Wicked group) from the control of the Wickeds (the opposition of The Cinderella Society - Cindys), but at the same time controlling their members.

The thing I couldn’t understand was why the group that focused on girls’ empowerment was called The Cinderella Society. Cinderella wasn’t even a bit close to self-empowered character. It seems like either author herself realized that, or someone pointed out to her, but fortunately we get an explanation why the group was called The Cinderella Society. Unfortunately, this explanation is at least unsatisfying and mostly lame.

And don’t even get me started on the names – Cindys and Wickeds, Charmings and Villains, Reggis. I mean how pathetic is this?

The scene that I liked in this book was when Jess is going against Cindys’ rules, while trying to do what she really believes in. Regrettably, after that she is returning to the Cindys with a tail between her legs, apologizing. They take her back, patting her on the head and telling her not to worry, everyone makes mistakes and promising to train her (read - brain-wash).

I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, maybe with exception of twelve years-old girls with extremely low self esteem. Though, I’m still not sure if this book will do more damage than help.


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