Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
JDG has got to be one of my favorite authors in the fairytale retelling department. Her first Westfalin Princesses novel was Princess of the Midnight Ball and retold the 12 Dancing Princesses. Princess of Glass follows one of the 12 Westfalin sisters, Poppy, as she travels to another kingdom and stumbles upon a Cinderella story. What I like about this particular retelling is that it's Cinderella from the point-of-view of an antagonistic outsider. Poppy and Eleanor (Cinderella) aren't exactly nemeses, but you can tell that they're not best friends either. Seeing the whole Cinderella tale from another princess' point-of-view was interesting, and makes me wonder why it hasn't been done before.
Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer
Not a huge fan of chick-lit, but Robin Palmer novels are the exception. Her Cinderella is a kooky, sarcastic high school student, and even though it's been years since I read this, she's still one of my favorite heroines. She's just so goshdarn adorable, and the character's voice is a memorable one. Robin Palmer's style of writing is irreverent and relatable, and her books are definitely ones you should pick up ASAP.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
For those of you who have been living under a rock and haven't heard of The Lunar Chronicles, they're sci-fi fairytale retellings, and the first novel of the lot is Cinder. I've been meaning to give this a reread, hopefully before the fourth novel comes out. As you can tell from the cover, our Cinderella is, yes, a cyborg. A Chinese Cinderella Cyborg. How epic can you get? Marissa Meyer is an excellent worldbuilder, creating a setting that's both futuristic and mythological at the same time. If you're into traditional fairytales, maybe this wouldn't be your cup of tea, but if you're looking for a novel that turns tradition on its head, then this is for you.
Ever After (1998)
This retelling focuses not so much on the ball and the glass slipper than on the relationship between Cinderella (or, in this case, Danielle) and the prince, which we can all agree was the flaw in the original tale.
In Ever After, our prince and our heroine bond over books, philosophy, and escaping from bandits. Instead of being a stock character, Prince Henry is a passionate nerd who loves to argue. Also, instead of being set in a frivolous, colorful, imaginary kingdom (although I have no problem with those worlds), the film was set in 16th century France. It gave the story a more grounded-in-reality vibe, which is saying a lot, considering that it is a fairytale retelling. There are no fairy godmothers, no talking mice, and no pumpkins that turn into carriages. Instead there were family heirlooms, best (human) friends, and -- surprise! -- Leonardo da Vinci himself filling in the role of fairy godmother. There's not much more to say, except that you guys should all go and watch this. Immediately.
And that's it for my Cinderella post! I did manage to see it last weekend and theaters, and my, it was beautiful. As an interior design/home decor nerd, I was drooling at the production design. And that dress. Now that was a Cinderella moment. And, okay, for Frozen fans, there is a short that comes out right before the film, which I highly enjoyed--it involved another Elsa song, snow babies, and Kristoff singing. FINALLY.