All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

The Cinderella Moment – Jennifer Kloester

on July 26, 2013

Cinderella MomentThe Cinderella Moment
Jennifer Kloester
Penguin Teen Aus
2013, 288p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Angel wants nothing more than to be a fashion designer but as the poor daughter of a housekeeper/cook without the financial advantage to back her study and source materials, she knows her best chance is a competition. She intends to enter the Teen Couture competition, run by one of the most influential designers in the world, and she thinks she can win.

But then the unthinkable happens and Angel finds that someone has stolen her designs to submit as her own. Offered the chance to go to Paris, where the announcement for the winner of the competition will be held in order to help out someone else who can’t be in two places at once, Angel allows herself to be convinced to go. She hopes to swap the stolen designs for that entrant’s originals, which she knows are just subpar copies of her own. However the catch is that in Paris, Angel will have to pretend to be someone else, which is a lot harder than it sounds.

Life in Paris is a whirl of shopping, meeting designers and having fittings for the ultimate ballgown, polo, lunches and parties. She begins to feel incredibly guilty about deceiving people, including the woman who thinks that Angel is her granddaughter Lily, whom she hasn’t seen since she was 5. Then Angel also meets Nick, her own Prince Charming and she wonders if he’s falling for her, or the person that he thinks she is.

The trouble with secrets is that they always come out in the end and Angel stands to lose horribly, but not only that she will hurt people that she has come to care about. It’s going to be hard for this Cinderella to get her happy ever after.

The Cinderella Moment is a cute little contemporary young adult story that borrows a little from the fairy tale. Angel is the daughter of a cook/housekeeper for a wealthy man but her and her mother are a part of the family as much as they can be. Angel is best friends with her mother’s employer’s daughter Lily and has always been made feel involved and welcome. Although her mother Simone and her employer maintain a respectful proper distance there’s no such thing between the two daughters. Angel desperately wants to be a fashion designer and spends her spare time designing, sketching and sourcing the best materials she can on her meager budget to put together pieces that show her raw talent. She thinks that she has really begun to put together a great collection to enter into the Teen Couture competition and she is devastated to realise that someone staying in the house has stolen her designs and had them made to pass off as their own. They have money and influence but little talent and Angel feels as though she has to stand up for herself, expose them as the frauds they are.

The irony is that in order to do that, she must deceive herself, pretending to be Lily staying with her estranged grandmother in Paris. Angel struggles in the social settings, not used to some of the customs and I don’t know much about Paris in the summer time for the rich, but the social outings are numerous and exhausting. However the benefits quickly make themselves known – the beautiful clothes she gets to try on and have fitted as a Comtesse’s granddaughter are amazing and she meets the very famous designer who hosts the Teen Couture competition. And then there’s Nick… The attraction between them simmers and they have a great time as he shows her around Paris. Angel can see herself really falling for him and they’re perfect together except for the fact that he thinks that she’s someone else.

I’m not really a high fashion kind of girl. I don’t know (or care) about labels and couture. I like looking at the dresses movie stars wear to events but I don’t really care to know who they’re by or what the fabric is or the cut etc. There’s a lot of that in this book obviously as Angel is obsessed with fashion and she wants to make it her life. I did find it difficult to visualise some of the dresses (I needed some sort of gallery at the end of the book) but the details about Paris (the food, the balls, doing the ‘touristy’ things with Nick) were awesome. A good book always makes you want to go to Paris and experience it for yourself and this one definitely did that.

However, I do feel that the time spent on the book before Angel goes to Paris is too long and then the time in Paris too short. Everything happens with Nick at a breakneck pace and the way in which she successfully integrates Paris society (I know her grandmother is famous and the queen of Parisian society but still). Angel makes several faux pas on her first day but after that she seems to slide in effortlessly and I would’ve thought it’d have taken longer for her to adjust to something so utterly different to home. I thought the last third of the book was by far the strongest, story wise. I actually found myself wishing towards the end that the book had been a little longer! I loved a lot of the reveals that came and the way in which Angel handled herself. She knew that she’d obviously done the wrong thing and been deceptive but I think it was also really obvious that had she not done that, many very important things would never have come out and the characters within the novel would’ve have been able to put past hurts behind them and move forward to embrace happiness. It was kind of a “wrong idea, right results” type of thing and it was enjoyable to watch everything come out.

7/10

Book #191 of 2013

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3 responses to “The Cinderella Moment – Jennifer Kloester

  1. It’s a shame that this novel clearly suffers from pacing problems as I ordinarily really enjoy fairytale retellings! 🙂 I would have preferred that the novel spend the majority of its time in Paris as opposed to devoting so much time to the lead-up to that portion of the novel. This sounds like a cute, harmless little story, although I’m not sure if I would enjoy it. While I’m a ardent fan of fashion, etc I just don’t have much of a desire to read this one. Maybe because I’ve seen it done too many times before?

  2. Marg says:

    At the launch it was announced that there is going to be another book. I can’t quite remember the title but it was something to do with Rapunzel.

  3. Belle says:

    This sounds really fun. I might see if the library has it.

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