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The Cinderella Moment by Jennifer Kloester

The Cinderella Moment

by Jennifer Kloester

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I’m nothing if not open-minded so despite my lack of interest in fashion I picked up this book, eager for the ‘modern fairytale’ concept, thinking that it sounded like a fun read. I’d been meaning to read it for a while and when I was approved on Netgalley for the companion novel The Rapunzel Dilemma I thought now was as good a time as ever to read it.

The Cinderella Moment is a modern fairytale retelling, complete with Cinderella, her evil stepmother and privileged stepsisters (one evil, the other her best friend). The king is absent (he travels a lot) so the evil stepmother has stepped in to take his place. In step the fairy godmother (or grandmother, in this case) to save the day. In this story, we have Angel, the daughter of the de Tourney’s housekeeper. Angel and Lily de Tourney are best friends, though Lily is decidedly more privileged than Angel this has never gotten in the way of their friendship before. Angel is a talented teenage fashion designer and Lily, the granddaughter of a Comtesse (French aristocracy) and aspiring actress, couldn’t care less for the fashion world that Angel dreams to be immersed into. So when the chance arises for Angel to go to Paris to visit the Comtesse (who hasn’t seen Lily since she was five) while Lily is at a summer school at the London Drama Academy. The only thing is Angel must pretend to be Lily. But they’ve got a plan, so what could possibly go wrong?

The Cinderella Moment is light and fluffy and reads like a romantic comedy or chick flick. It is something I could see myself watching while lounging around with my best friend eating lollies and just hanging out. This is exactly the kind of movie we would watch and we would enjoy it and describe it as ‘cute’ or ‘sweet’ as we talked over it while picking out the next movie. But as book, I felt like this just didn’t work as well because it just felt like something that would never happen, especially as the plot gets more and more involved in only 300 pages. Because as well as the Angel/Lily Swap (which reminded me of the Parent Trap), there’s also a more complex reason for Angel going to Paris, the Teen Couture fashion competition and also the theft of Angel’s designs and the sabotage of her own entry. Add to that some convoluted backstory for Lily’s dad and Angel’s mother (who is conveniently ill when all this takes place so henceforth no parental supervision) as well as the typical romance – there is a lot going on here!

In that sense, though, of being unrealistic it did live up to the fairy tale retelling vibe. It felt very fairytale-esque which is probably why I didn’t dislike it, which I easily could have. But the story felt a bit magical so I let myself get swept up in it and read it in a day (to be fair, though, I was procrastinating my study). I loved the friendship between Lily and Angel, although they were apart for most of the novel you could tell how much they cared for each other. The regal Comtesse, Lily’s grandmother, was my favourite character. She was just so ‘don’t mess with me’ and I liked watching her developing relationship with Angel pretending to be Lily. I really enjoyed the emphasis on family and mending bridges. You could tell the Comtesse’s heart was in the right place even if she didn’t always come across that way.

There was, of course, a love interest because this is a fairy tale and we can’t have a fairy tale without a Prince Charming can we? Nick was nice and sweet but the romance happened very quickly and when they were saying ‘I love you’ I was thinking ‘but you just met?’ Instalove. One of my biggest pet peeves. It was kind of dramatic, too, with super cheesy lines. It annoys me when teenagers don’t talk like teenagers! And also I thought it was strange how much Angel talks to herself out loud. Like, I'm the sort of person who has an inner monologue going all the time just about, but I rarely if ever start talking to myself out loud the way she does. The ending was also super rushed and felt like everything was just crammed into the last couple of chapters. One big showdown of misunderstandings and then everyone gets their happy ever after, with no repercussions for any wrongdoings. But it was happy, okay, and I loved this. I couldn’t help it. As unrealistic as it was, it just made my little heart happy because I am a sap.
( )
  crashmyparty | Dec 9, 2014 |
Sixteen-year-old Angel Moncoeur dreams of becoming a top fashion designer while her best friend Lily aspires to be a famous stage actress someday. Both girls are talented and driven, but they come from different backgrounds. Angel’s mom, Simone, is a housekeeper employed by Lily’s dad, Philip. Philip’s social climbing girlfriend Margot and her spoiled daughter Clarissa stay with the girls while he goes to South America. As Angel is putting the finishing touches on her Teen Couture fashion competition entry, she discovers that Clarissa has stolen her designs in an attempt to pass them off as her own. With a 1st prize of $50,000 and the chance to work in designer Antoine Vidal’s Paris salon, Angel desperately wants to win the competition. When Lily’s estranged grandmother invites her to Paris for two weeks, Angel goes in her place and pretends to be Lily in order to expose Clarissa’s theft.

I really enjoyed reading this modern Cinderella tale! It was interesting to read about a talented girl pursuing her passion. I loved all the vivid descriptions of the gorgeous designer fashions, and I could really feel how much Angel loved creating her own designs.

While the Teen Couture competition was the main plot point, there was a sweet romantic storyline as well. Nick, Lily’s childhood friend, fell for Angel before he knew her true identity, and Angel struggled with how soon she should reveal the truth. I have a weakness for cute boys with British accents, so I was immediately swooning over Nick! I felt like I was there in Paris with Nick as he took Angel to art museums, the Eiffel Tower, and other attractions. It definitely gave me the travel bug and made me want to visit Paris again.

As you might expect from a fairy tale retelling, The Cinderella Moment does have some predictable elements. However, there were also several surprises in the plot, especially toward the end. Family secrets were revealed in a twist that I personally did not see coming. The ending was satisfying and heartwarming.

The secondary characters were intriguing, especially Lily (a.k.a. the best friend ever!). I would love to read a story about her pursuing her acting career. Jennifer Kloester is an author I will definitely keep on my radar, and I hope to see more novels from her in the future. ( )
  SuperLibBlog | Nov 10, 2013 |
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"Angel wants to be a fashion designer, but without money or connections, it's going to be a challenge. So when she gets a chance to head to Paris, Angel grabs it - even if it means masquerading as her best friend Lily. That can't be too hard, can it? But faking things doesn't come easy, and when Angel meets her very own Prince Charming, things start to get complicated. She needs to stop her secrets unravelling if she wants to live happily ever." --Publishers description… (more)

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