Just a tiny tickling in the tip-pity-tips of her fingers.

I’m honestly not sure if I would have liked Lindsey Kelk’s Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight had I read it as a child, but I sure didn’t love it now. If you’re looking for an over the top fanciful (and mildly annoying) Cinderella retelling, ‘good golly gosh’ this is a book for you. But, if you find excessive cutesy language and ridiculous characters really hard to read through, I’d skip it.

It’s Not Bad…

I’ll stand by this statement. This isn’t a bad book. I just didn’t like it. The majority of my distaste existed in the form of a talking dog, Sparks. Not only was he painfully annoying, but he kind of existed as the ‘point out the obvious’ character. And while I’ll admit that he, like much of the book, is unique, I just didn’t enjoy it.

Similarly, I’ll say this much: Kelk’s book is very unique. There’s a lot that’s new to the Cinderella tale that you definitely don’t expect. In some ways, it’s very impressive. But it’s also filled with a bunch of silliness that takes a lot away from my ability to appreciate the nuanced pieces. And, that said, I did really like this Cinderella’s prince. I just wish he had been a little bit more involved in the story.

And I wish we’d seen less of Sparks and the fairy godmother, Brian.

An Interesting Ballgown

The artwork in this book is actually pretty great. I kind of loved all of it, and I was especially excited to see the diversity in how the royals were portrayed. The art, like the novel, was quite unique. And while I’ll admit that it wasn’t all to my taste, I think the kids will absolutely love it. And if you’re like me, your favorite moment with both illustrations and story will be hidden underneath the snacks table at the ball.

I Wasn’t Expecting…

I wasn’t expecting a series, I’ll be honest. And in its conclusion, Magic at Midnight kind of fell short for me. I think the fact that this book was setting up for a series is partially why a large portion of the novel didn’t work for me. Cinderella’s entire experience at the castle after the found her, quite frankly, sucked. It was awful the way they got her to go there in the first place. I legitimately cringed the entire time I was reading it.

And the one moment that Kelk had to move this novel in a good direction was completely foiled when Joderick didn’t join in running to the trees — you’ll know what I mean if you read it.

So, yeah. It was okay.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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