Golly Gee, This Was Really Boring: Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Stayton




Once upon a time, there was a reader who saw something that sparked her interest on Netgalley.  The book had two things going for it.  For one thing it was a historical set in World War II and for another thing it dealt with fairytales.  Two things that should’ve made it a slam freaking dunk-ity doo.  Unfortunately, this book was a clunker if there every was one and it turned the excited reader into a sour puss.  This is said sour puss’s account of Cinderella’s Dress.

Why?  Just why book?  You didn’t have to do much.  You had everything you needed.  A great historical setting and something to really give it an interesting twist.  But instead, I felt like I was in an overgrown American Girl novel.

And don’t get me wrong.  I did love the American girl series-when I was eight.  I still have the four dolls that I got way back in the day and am planning on putting them on top of my bookshelves when you know, I can actually afford to buy a home where I can have my own library, but I don’t want to read a YA book with the same tone.  I mean, golly gee…

Look, I know people might have used some of that slang in the 1940’s, but I know that’s not how they talked all the time.  My maternal grandparents and great aunts and uncles were from that same period and I have been privy to hearing about some of their tells way back in the day both oral and through past letters.  And while there was some slang it wasn’t near as corny as this book made it out to be.

Plus, as an old movie buff I can also attest while there might have been some hokey scenes in older movies, none of them were as obnoxiously hokey as this book.

Or obsess over Frank Sinatra’s blue eyes as much.

Note to self, was Frank Sinatra the original source of all this YA blue eye obsession.

I honestly could get past all the bad slang if there was an interesting enough story or characters behind all of this, but there wasn’t.

Let’s start with the story.  Over fifty percent in and nothing had happened.  Other than Kate basically insulting lover boy.  And really she wasn’t insulting him more like trying defend herself against her sexist boss in order to keep her job.  I’m sorry.  I get that having the “boys” give up their jobs during the way is a big huge deal, but expecting a woman to give it up so that she can go back to her designated woman’s place just makes me want to hit something. And Slayton presented it in such a way where she made Kate look like well…

So if you make a rant about it…well, you’re against the troops. And you are like a well…


That sort of shit bothers me

Other than insulting the story about lover boy, we get this vague story about protecting Cinderella’s dress.  Though other than being a historical object-that no one knows about-we know nothing about it.  Maybe this part of the story is developed more in the second half of the story, but I couldn’t really care at that point.  I was just too bored.

The boring characters didn’t help.

All Kate did was talk about doing the jitterbug.  I guess that was done to establish the setting.  But other than doing that, writing lame letters, talking to her relatives who spoke like Boris and Natasha (the Polish versions), and write lame letters to her boy toy I could care less.

All I know about her beau was that he couldn’t go to war becuase he had bad eye sight so he painted fake eyeballs.  And then Kate hurt his feelings and he cried, even though it was obvious that she didn’t mean to hurt his feelings.

They were just lame.

Just like every one else in this book.

Look, this setting could’ve been really something to exploit.  There is so much drama in this period that it could’ve been really interesting.  And I admit I was sort of really interested that instead of having the story jammed pack in the action it took place in the home front, though I do  think for logistical purposes it would’ve made sense for a plot about a historical dress to take place in the country it was originally set in.  That being said, I could see some potential there.

But was the book about the dress the first half…no.  It was all about getting malts after the boys come home.

I wanted something with mystery and intrigue.  I got something that was corny beyond belief with a romance that was so bland made me miss all those he man YA novels because at least I could say something about how horrible those relationships were.  With Kate and Johnny, I’m just bored when I’m not rolling my eyes.

Usually I don’t feel bad about  not liking a book.  However, I actually feel a bit guilty here.  I think it’s because I had hopes beyond belief that this book would get me out of my slump.  But it just didn’t.  Instead, it just put me in a worse mood than I was-it probably didn’t help that I read a good chunk of it when I was waiting to get blood work done.

Overall Rating: D.  It only got a passing grade because of its premises.  Such a pity.


2 thoughts on “Golly Gee, This Was Really Boring: Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Stayton

  1. Saw your ‘read my real thoughts on the matter elsewhere’ on GoodReads and wandered over to see what you thought. And after seeing exactly what you thought – I owe you and another reviewer a big thanks. A friend (who frankly, while I love her dearly, really isn’t someone I view as trustworthy in the realm of book reviews – the girl actually fought, argued and continued to rant at me once when I disagreed with her assertion that while “Dracula” was ‘okay’, is was an obvious attempt to ride on the coattails of ‘Twilight’. Once I stopped laughing and saw she was serious I nearly cried… love her, but my cat is better read!) has been nagging me to the point of insanity to buy a copy (she hasn’t actually READ it herself, but figures I can tell her what is going on and she could then wait for the movie) because “history! dresses! (I’m a costumer at times for various genres, so clothing stories will catch my eye) fantasy! mystery! It’s PERFECT for you, you HAVE to get it!” and I had nearly weakened and ordered a copy. But between the two really fairly argued reviews laying out the massive issues and weaknesses in the story – I pulled it out of my amazon order and you saved me $9! Thanks for the balanced review. Frankly, the tone, while annoyed with the story was never insulting or rude (so many Goodread reviews are just ‘this f#%*ing SUCKS’ and no real ‘hey, this is how I viewed it’) I can’t see how even the author could be angry. Will definitely be taking a rummage through your blog in the future, it looks like a fun and well constructed one! (And always nice to find folks who too dream of owning a house with a library and a place to put a few treasured bits of the past on display. Only one American Doll for me, but there are a few other goodies I look forward to showing off. While I currently DO own a house, it won’t be where I stay forever. In a few months the hunt for a new home begins, and on the list of ‘must have or no dice’ is a room I can build wall to wall shelves, a window seat, a fireplace and all the life’s little necessities! Currently, books just live… everywhere. Stacked and shelved in every room. Which… frankly, even after a proper library is found – will still be the case. A room without books is something that will always make me twitchy!) So a massive – and sadly long winded thanks and hello. Sorry about the blithering. The scary thing is, if this was spoken in person… the above written would seem short & concise. When it comes to books, I’m a bit of a burbling fountain.

  2. Pingback: Be Careful What You Wish For: Fire Wish by Amber Lough | Howdy YAL!

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