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Book Tour & Review: “Valley of the Moon”

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Book Review: “Cinderella’s Dress” by Shonna Slayton

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Cinderella's shoes_500Description

Cinderella’s Shoes

by Shonna Slayton

Release Date: 10/06/15

Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

The war may be over, but Kate Allen’s life is still in upheaval. Not only has she discovered that Cinderella was real, but now she’s been made Keeper of the Wardrobe, her sole responsibility to protect Cinderella’s magical dresses from the greed of the evil stepsisters’ modern descendants. 

But Cinderella’s dresses are just the beginning. It turns out that the priceless glass slippers might actually exist, too, and they could hold the power to reunite lost loved ones like her father—missing in action since World War II ended. As Kate and her boyfriend, Johnny, embark on an adventure from New York to Italy and Poland in search of the mysterious slippers, they will be tested in ways they never imagined.

Because when you harness Cinderella’s magic, danger and evil are sure to follow…

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First book in the series: Goodreads

 

About the Author

shonna slaytonShonna Slayton is the author of the YA novels Cinderella’s Dress, (Summer 2014) and Cinderella’s Shoes (Fall 2015) published by Entangled Teen. She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

Author Links:

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Review

World War II has been over for a couple years and Kate’s father has been declared missing in action and then deceased.  Why, then, isn’t Kate able to accept his death?  Although the descendants of Cinderella’s stepsisters are horrible, but perhaps there is some truth to their insinuation that the missing glass slippers might be able to be used in finding people.  Perhaps there is some hope for Kate’s dad after all. Now, if only she could make it to Italy and Poland…

Shonna Slayton’s Cinderella’s Shoes is the continuing story of Kate as she grows up, falls in love, and searches out the mysteries behind her family history and the treasures of the Polish Cinderella.  Kate, her boyfriend Jonny, and the owners of the dresses travel to post-WWII Europe to spend the summer.  As they battle the evil stepsisters’ descendants, they grow as individuals and as friends.  It was beautiful to see.

One thing that surprised me when I read the first book, Cinderella’s Dress, and that continued into this book, was that the story does not solely focus on the dresses or the shoes.  Instead, a major part of the book was spent in daily experiences with only hints as to the importance of the treasures.  You watch Kate and her friends grow up and live their lives in and around WWII—letters to soldiers, fashion trends, refugees, and the like.

After reading the book, I could tell the author did her research into the time period.  The aftermath of WWII in Europe was clearly evident when Kate visited.  Although the war was over, the people had much struggle to do in order to make peace against prejudice and to rebuild their lives after the war decimated their homes and families.  Reading in such a manner about people who hid illegal refugees in their barns or who had survived the labor camps was not something I will soon forget.

Lidka is a character that will stick in my mind for a while to come.  The young woman worked in the black market during the war and was later forced into the horrible labor camps.  Although her experiences and motivations made her hard to like, I feel she exemplified some of the people surviving WWII.  Not only that, but Lidka, as hard as she was inside, was still a young woman in need of love and compassion, and the author did a good job of showing the facets of her character through the story.

As for the shoes, they were an important part of the story.  The novel is focused on them because they provide the key to finding Kate’s lost father, or at least, that’s what she believes.  But the characters learn that shoes are not the most important thing.  Rather, it is people and the peace between them.

Overall, the novel quite enchanted me.  The rich historical details brought the story to life and taught the characters lessons and the dresses and shoes added the bit of magic necessary to make it truly a tale of Cinderella.  But let us not forget the fairy god-mother.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.