An intriguing historical twist on a beloved fairy tale.


Trapped in a life of servitude to her cruel stepfamily, Cendrillon enters a competition to win the prince’s heart even though she truly loves his brother.

It’s 1682, and 15-year-old Cendrillon de Louvois has moved to Versailles with her father. It is a dream come true, but becoming a courtier is more complicated than she imagined. Cendrillon struggles to fit in until she befriends Auguste, the king’s illegitimate son. When her father dies soon after remarrying, her new stepmother and stepsisters make Cendrillon do household chores, ending her dream of court life and her relationship with Auguste. When the king announces that his son, the grand dauphin, will choose 25 girls to woo before selecting one as his bride, Cendrillon joins the competition; despite her dislike of the prince, she is desperate to escape her stepmother. Joining the ranks of possible brides—against her stepmother’s wishes—brings her back into contact with Auguste, and their mutual attraction is reignited, forcing Cendrillon to choose between love and freedom. Featuring characters based on actual historical figures from King Louis XIV’s reign, this is an entertaining retelling of “Cinderella.” Between her move to Versailles and courtship by the prince, readers get a good look inside the French court through Cendrillon’s story. Characters read as White.

An intriguing historical twist on a beloved fairy tale. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-32665-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.


The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Exactly what the title promises.


A grieving teen’s devotion to romance films might ruin her chances at actual romance.

Liz Buxbaum has always adored rom-coms, not least for helping her still feel close to her screenwriter mother, who died when she was little. Liz hopes that her senior year might turn into a real-life romantic fantasy, as an old crush has moved back to town, cuter and nicer than ever. Surely she can get Michael to ask her to prom. If only Wes, the annoying boy next door, would help her with her scheming! This charming, fluffy concoction manages to pack into one goofy plot every conceivable trope, from fake dating to the makeover to the big misunderstanding. Creative, quirky, daydreaming Liz is just shy of an annoying stereotype, saved by a dry wit and unresolved grief and anger. Wes makes for a delightful bad boy with a good heart, and supporting characters—including a sassy best friend, a perfect popular rival, even a (not really) evil stepmother—all get the opportunity to transcend their roles. The only villain here is Liz’s lovelorn imagination, provoking her into foolish lies that cause actual hurt feelings; but she is sufficiently self-aware to make amends just in time for the most important trope of all: a blissfully happy ending. All characters seem to be White by default.

Exactly what the title promises. (Romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6762-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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