Title: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back
Publisher: Fire&Ice Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor
Publication Date: August 15,2012
Copy Provided By: Author
Tour Host: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.
But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?
Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.
Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.
Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.
And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.
Ella is smart, beautiful, charming and talented with the most gorgeous guy in school as her boyfriend. Mattie on the other hand has the brains and the talent but unlike her well loved stepsister Mattie keeps everyone at an arms distance preferring to blend in rather than stand out. Now a senior and Sick of being an outsider looking in Mattie decides to take the bull by the horns and make her Senior year the best ever with or without Ella's help.
I loved Ella and Mattie. Mattie thinks Ella has this perfect life and because of that has this hilarious list of reasons she dislikes her. Mattie's inner dialogue regarding Ella is one of the best parts of the book, so misguided though! It is funny how we perceive without knowing and when Mattie comes to the realization that maybe she was a bit er stubborn and foolish before I felt so proud of her character!. Ella on the other hand just wants to be close to her sister but the wall Mattie has built up has made it impossible for her to do so without feeling like she's intruding in her personal space. Lots of miscommunication between these two but the way it resolves makes me happy. I also really enjoyed Mattie's friend Trent he was super sweet, quirky, bad boy exterior fluffy interior type of guy. Jake might've ruled the school so to speak but I'm all Team Trent!!
The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back *swoon* how I love thee. I'm admittedly not a big contemporary reader but the moment I saw this book I knew it would be mine! Fun, flirty and fabulous The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back reminds me so much of all those cheesy high school drama-comedies from the late 90's early 00's. If you've ever seen She's All That this sorta reminded me of the premise except this one is much, much, much more enjoyable and this is coming from a fan!
It's super hard not spoiling this book for you. I could gush on and on about it but then you'd have no reason to read it for yourself and trust me when I say you should read this one!
Overall, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back was definitely worth reading. I loved the world, the characters and the writing. As stated above somebody should make a movie out of this. With the books broad appeal it would be a hit not only with Teenagers but Adults as well which is why I will be rating The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back ★★★★★.
What inspired you to write The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back?
Mattie herself. One night while in bed, I had this snarky voice in my head talking about her oh-so-perfect stepsister, and that was that. I got out of bed and started writing as fast as I could – and was up the whole night writing everything down. I loved the idea of telling the Cinderella story from the perspective of the ugly stepsister.
Who designed the cover for The Ugly Stepsister Fights Back(it's great btw)?
Scarlett Rugers. http://booksat.scarlettrugers.com/ I just can’t say enough great things about her. So professional, and she did such a great job, and she actually read the book! Not many cover artists do that!
Did you have to do any type of research for your book?
Not a whole lot. I did have some real places in there – the masquerade ball was at a real hotel, and the sushi restaurant Jake takes Mattie to is also a real place. I could have made them fictional, but I thought it would be fun to use real places. It was also helpful to get menus and see pictures to describe them. I had to do some manga research as well, but one of my brothers is really into it, and he was helpful.
Who is your favorite Fairy Tale Character?
I don’t know that I have a favorite. I do have a favorite story, and that’s Cinderella. I think every great romance is based on that one story.
Look to your left, What is the first thing you see?
My fish. I have a little dresser right next to my desk and on top of that is our fish tank. I like watching them swim around while I’m supposed to be working.
For those readers who might not know your work, Can you tell them a little bit about yourself?
I’m Sariah Wilson. I grew up in California, spent the last 13 years in Ohio, and have recently just moved with my family to Utah. I have four children and have been married for 16 years (amazingly enough, to the same person). I have a degree in history and a desire to travel the world, but not the resources to do so. (I did get a chance to go to central America and visit a lot of Mayan ruins, which was amazing since my first three traditionally published books were set in those areas.) I like watching TV and movies, reading, cross-stitching and baking.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
My publisher has these readers that review manuscripts and give their input to the editorial board. With my third traditionally published novel, one of the readers just absolutely hated my book with every fiber of their being. They completely savaged and trashed the book. It was so bad, I remember that I couldn’t even really read it – I had to skim it and speed read it because it was so painful. The best compliment I’ve ever received was when I submitted my first manuscript – and the reader that time said that I was going to change the face of publishing for that niche. That was an incredible compliment.
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers trying to get published?
“There’s a word for a writer who never gives up…published.” J.A. Konrath. Read early, read often. Anyone who wants to be a writer who doesn’t spend a lot of time reading is making everything harder on themselves. I would also recommend going to conferences and joining professional organizations to learn everything you can about writing. And practice, practice, practice. Just like we expect a top athlete to train or a concert pianist to practice or a celebrated artist to sketch, you should spend time every day practicing your art form.
One last question. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
I have a planned novella that features Mattie and Jake at their prom, and a sequel set four years in the future that stars Ella. But I keep getting drawn into a YA time travel that is the book of my heart, and I would love to finish that one.