Feature image by @mygaybookcase
The magical story of Cinderella has been told and retold as long as anyone can remember. Each retelling expands the meaning of rags to riches and happily ever afters, and sometimes it sends our beloved characters on a new journey. Whether you’re a fan of the original or excited for a new world of glass slippers and evil stepsisters, try these Cinderella retellings on for size.
Sometime After Midnight by L. Philips
Cameron, a real-life Prince Charming, is left alone at the end of the night with a blurry photo of Sharpie-decorated Chuck Taylors. Did he imagine having a wonderful time in a dingy LA club, sharing his love for obscure indie bands with a guy named Nate? To Nate, the night was very real, but so was the harsh reality that Cameron is the heir to the record label that destroyed his father’s career. So naturally, when Nate learns of this, he runs away that night, leaving Cameron to wonder what happened and who the mystery boy was. Instead of going door-to-door in town, in this modern Cinderella tale, Cameron with the help of his socialite twin sister, shares the photo on Instagram, turning their lives upside down. When Nate sees the post of his all-too-familiar shoe, will he continue to run, or step out and claim his prince?
An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
While Sophie Beckett is the daughter of an earl to the outside world, in her home, her stepmother has relegated her to the role of servant. Never in her life did Sophie assume she’d be able to go to Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball, or that she’d meet Prince Charming himself: Benedict Bridgerton. If only spinning in the strong arms of the debonair didn’t have to end once the clock struck midnight. Little did Sophie know that she enchanted Benedict, allowing him to think of no other. Now he’s sworn to find and marry the mysterious Sophie.
If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
Cindy currently works for her stepmother, an executive producer of America’s favorite reality show, Before Midnight. She’s lost her parents, but life with her stepmother and siblings isn’t so bad. Cindy, who just returned home after graduating with her degree in fashion, specializing in shoe design, wants to make her splash on the world. When someone on the Bachelor-like show bails and the role needs filling, Cindy agrees to join, hoping to wear some of her designs and show the world her style. It turns out she makes a different statement: she’s the only plus-sized woman in the dating competition. Soon Cindy grows into an inspiration for women everywhere and gains love in the process. And while some might not enjoy the attention she receives, Cindy is learning that if the shoe doesn’t fit, she can create her own.
The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin
Cinderella followed all of the fairytale rules diligently, and since she’s gotten her perfect ending to the man of her dreams. Yet, does happily ever after truly last? That’s the question Cinderella ponders, after two children and thirteen and a half years go by. After one too many fights, a fed-up Cinderella escapes the palace for the woods, where she’ll seek out magic from a witch. But Cinderella is at a moral crossroads. Reality is slowly hitting her that maybe she never did have a happily ever after, because what was really there was an inattentive, negligent husband, a nanny goat raising her children, and a sense of emptiness. So when the Witch is preparing the final ingredients in her cauldron, Cinderella doesn’t want her love back—she wants her Prince Charming gone for good.
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
When the Prince went in search of his one true love—the one who would fit the glass slipper—Isabelle took advantage of a prized opportunity. Because she’s not Cinderella; instead, she’s the ugly stepsister who sliced her toe to fit into Cinderella’s shoe. Her stunt doesn’t take the Prince long to notice or to turn her away in shame. Isabelle thinks it’s what she deserves in a world that only cares about beauty. Her mother’s expectations to be pretty have forced her to cut away herself to survive, and become plaint. Yet all it does is make her mean and hollow, that is until she gains the chance to prove to herself and others that there is more than just being the ugly stepsister.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Two-hundred years ago, the original Cinderella found her Prince Charming. Since then, girls must attend the Annual Ball that allows men to select their wives. But sixteen-year-old Sophie, a young Black queer girl, is about to change it all. She would much rather be with Erin, her best friend before attending the ball. When Sophia escapes after a forced attendance, she heads straight for Cinderella’s mausoleum. There she’ll meet Constance, and together, they’ll work to end the reign of Annual Balls and missing girls before it’s too late.
Thickerella by Tanzania Glover
Tillar Reed lost her father too young, too soon. It has caused her to grow up quickly, throwing away any dreams of fairy tales, romance, and true love’s first kiss. Tillar has moved onto become a successful Black woman living in Atlanta, that is until she receives a call to return home to save her father’s home. When she meets her Prince Charming, Cameron Logan, he is everything she dreamed of in stories as a child. But since life hasn’t been too kind to her, can Tillar learn to believe in happy endings, or has she outgrown glass slippers?
The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine
Fatherless and living with a strange cruel woman and her two daughters, life couldn’t get any worse for Blue de la Cour. If she makes the wrong move, she’ll lose even more, including her magic. Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata is the one unlikely person who can help her, but Kellan has issues of his own. He must find a bride and stop the political violence running through his kingdom. When signs of magic appear to kill people and children go missing, Blue and Kellan work together to stop the threat, and find love in the process. Yet can their love overcome Blue’s lower class status and a kingdom that might never accept her—or could it be a real happily ever after?
Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers
The gender roles are reversed in this tale as Princess Delia searches for a prince to marry or else risks losing her beloved planet. Yet Delia yearns for true love, hoping to find another way of saving everyone. Running off to look for answers, she steals a spaceship with a stowaway on board. Aidan too is on the run, trying to make it away from the kingdom with a few valuable trinkets, not a princess.
The Shadow in the Glass by J.J.A. Harwood
Ella constantly dreams of life outside of being a lowly maid. She’s forced to work under the lecherous gaze of her so-called stepfather, her only haven is inside that a good book. She sneaks away to the library to read by candlelight, and one night at the stroke of midnight, her fairy godmother grants her seven wishes. Each magical wish she makes comes at a price, and she’ll have to decide if it’s one she’s prepared to pay.