The companion novel to Cinders, Charming by Mette Bach focuses on the alternate point of view of the love interest in this Cinderella story retelling. Another hi/lo title, this book seeks to increase interest and confidence in young readers who have struggled by appealing to common interests of today’s teenager and using easy to read language. I am one hundred percent on board with the concept and hope that having books like these out in the published world will help a variety of kids really begin to enjoy reading and improve their skills. I can’t say how often this will happen for kids seeking out books on their own, but at the end of the day it’s still a wonderful idea.
I definitely liked Cinders much more than Charming largely, I believe, due to the fact that Char’s thought process was not one I could identify with all that much. I appreciated her love for music and found her focus on the negative feedback on her videos very realistic, but at times I felt somewhat annoyed by her. Add in the fact that she later belittles education–something her counterpart did not do in her novel–by suggesting that she doesn’t need to attend college due to her dream of succeeding as a musician and this book was pretty much ruined for me.
I have a huge problem with this. And while Char’s parents are portrayed as awful people for refusing to give her the money they set aside for her college tuition in order to afford an apartment/house situation with her girlfriend, I found myself siding with them. If my child wanted to throw away the money set aside for their education, I’d be pretty infuriated, too. Now, I’m not saying that putting down someone’s dreams is the way to go, but it is never okay to throw away education opportunities. Char could have still attended college, she could have even gone and majored in music. But the idea that it’s okay to throw away tuition money and refuse to go to college is not one I am even remotely okay with promoting. I’m sure Ash, who had to fight tooth and nail for her scholarship, wouldn’t appreciate the fact that Char had every opportunity and decided not to use it.
And it is for that reason alone that my suggestion would be to skip this book entirely and read only Cinders.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.