This entertaining twist on "Cinderella" centers on a centuries-old witch who sometimes helps her friends.
Kendra’s family died in the plague in 1666, the year she discovered she was a witch. Throughout the centuries, Kendra occasionally uses her powers to aid people, but not always to good effect. So Kendra hesitates when she meets Emma, a girl tormented by her new stepsister, Lisette. Lisette, the Cinderella character in the story, turns out to be the evil one, with dorky, bookish Emma the victim. Gorgeous, talented Lisette cares for no one but herself and successfully, it seems, steals Emma’s beloved stepfather’s affections, her jewelry, her clothes, her room and her car, and she seems to have her sights set on Emma’s new boyfriend. Kendra, however, recounts several stories of magic gone bad, and isn’t sure she ought to intervene. When finally she does, the story takes a delightfully surprising twist. Flinn throws in retellings of "Hansel and Gretel," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Princess and the Pea," along with the overriding Cinderella scenario, and she keeps the narrative moving along in sprightly fashion. It all adds up to plenty of fun that should appeal to many readers, particularly those who will delight in seeing the familiar tales in their new clothes. It’s often touching, with an undercurrent of wry comedy, some history and a bit of a moral thrown in, as in any good fairy tale.
Clever and enjoyable. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)