Today, I just finished reading a book about two stepsisters. It’s an adaptation of the fairytale, Cinderella – but with a different kind of twist. If you happen to know Alex Flinn, the author of “Beastly”, an adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast”, which was just recently had its movie version played by Emma Watson, you’ve probably knew this story, too. Coincidentally, the story revolves around a girl named Emma (Emma Watson and other Emmas – my favorite name).
If you know Cinderella, of course you’ll basically think it’s about evil stepsisters and stepmother who always find ways to make the good sister’s life like a living hell. You’re not far from the gist. It really is about the same story; only the lead is not Cinderella but rather the evil stepsister who is actually not so evil. You’re probably getting confused right now but if you’re going to read the book, you’ll know what I mean.
Here’s a little summary for you (it includes some unwanted spoilers though):
Emma, a smart and a quick witted girl, is a beloved daughter of his stepfather. But just like in Cinderella, the stepfather has a daughter from his first wife. Emma then became an instant stepsister to a very beautiful girl named Lisette. At first, Emma thought Lisette will be the sister that she’s been dreaming about – a kind, loving, and friendly sister. But she thought wrong. Lisette made Emma’s life like a living hell (contrary to Cinderella’s story). Lisette took everything Emma loves, including the love of their father and the love of her boyfriend. Only her mother knows what kind of a person Lisette is. So when their father died, Emma’s mother gets revenge to Lisette. Emma didn’t approve of her mother’s ways but she didn’t stop her. There’s also some witchcraft involve. Kendra (if you’ve read Beastly, you’ll know her) is a witch who became Emma’s bestfriend. She helped Emma.
So that’s it (not actually all of it)! Read the book now because that’s not the only thing you’ll get. There are also some additional stories, just like commercial brake stories. Just read it! HIHI
What I liked about “Bewitching”
Basically, the thing I liked the most about “Bewitching” is the part where Alex Flinn shows the other sister’s point of view – Emma’s POV. We’ve known from Cinderella that the evil sisters are bad. But we didn’t know if that’s just a different version or if it’s really the truth of the story. You know that saying, “History only told the winners tale.” Maybe it’s just like that in some part or version of other Cinderella stories. You know what I mean?
I always like stories where the author doesn’t always give just the lead’s point of view. It’s like giving everyone the “benefit of the doubt” (my favorite motto). We’ve never had the chance to get the point of view of Cinderella’s stepsisters. What if in real life, it’s the stepsisters that are being misunderstood and the sisters did really try to become friends or sisters with Cinderella but their mother refuses them to? I just like how this book differs from other versions of Cinderella. I’m not saying you ditch Cinderella for that matter. What I want to say is to give everyone and everything some benefit of the doubt. Because honestly, that’s what this world needs the most (side note).
I also love the part where Emma reads a lot. It kind of speaks to me at some point – because I, too, love reading. She mentioned reading Vanity Fair, Emma, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Candide, Macbeth, Of Mice and Men, Tale of Two Cities, The Merchant of Venice, etc. (These are all books that I haven’t read yet but I’m planning to after this). Her reading habit became her weapon. She gets the guy at the end (spoiler) because she loves reading a lot. (I hope one day I could, too). HAHA
As I’ve mentioned, there are also commercial brake stories. That’s also what I liked about Bewitching. There are stories about Little Mermaid (another spin-off) and about a French dauphin (inspired from a real French history) who’s looking for his bride to be.
Things I learned from “Bewitching”
Unlike in my other book reviews, what I’ve learned in this story is not something about things that you can relate to your daily lives. (At some point, maybe it can).
I learned from Flinn that writing a novel should be a story about what the character wants. And the end of the novel should end with the character getting what he wants or realizes he’s never getting to get it. Or sometimes, she said, like Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, realizes she doesn’t actually want what she wanted all along.
(I’m not going to explain it further. I bet you know what it really means. Write with pleasure, babe!)
Alex Flinn is one of the authors that I really like. I like her stories and her heroines, both in this book and in Beastly. She always made them not so pretty (which give me hope, hihi) but smart and love reading books; unlike in other fairytales – which she claimed she really loves – that has perfectly gorgeous heroines which make them unrealistic. Flinn’s fairytale adaptations – specifically Beastly and Bewitching — are the kind of fairytales I like. It does still have the childish and magical part but the stories are very much entertaining and relatable.