Review: Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey

Title: Before Midnight (A Retelling of “Cinderella”)
Author: Cameron Dokey
Publisher: Simon Pulse (S&S)
Pub. Date: 2007
Genre: MG to YA
Main Themes: Identity, Love, Friendship, Family, Retellings, Wishes
Pages: 193
Plot (from back cover):
“Etienne de Brabant is brokenhearted. His wife has died in childbirth, leaving him alone with an infant daughter he cannot bear to name. But before he abandons her for king and court, he brings a second child to be raised alongside her, a boy whose identity he does not reveal.
The girl, La Cindrillon, and the boy, Raoul, pass sixteen years in the sevants’ care until one day, a very fine lady arrives with her two daughters. The lady has married La Cendrillon’s father, and her arrival changes their lives.
When an invitation to a great ball reaches the family, La Cindrillon’s new stepmother will make a decision with far-reaching effects. Her choice will lead La Cendrillon and Raoul toward their destiny – a choice that will challenge their understanding of family, test their loyalty and courage, and, ultimately, teach them who they are.”
I found Before Midnight to be an interesting version of Cinderella’s story. Cameron Dokey puts a whole new twist on an old favorite!
Dokey’s version of Cinderella is completely different than the Disney version that many are accustomed to. It was odd at first – I kept expecting certain events to occur, but Dokey successfully revamped this old tale. I was pleasantly surprised to find that in this version, Cinderella doesn’t have an evil stepmother! Instead, there is a whole new villain, and, this time, readers get to see a bit of the person behind the villain.
There really wasn’t as much romance in this book as I would have liked. I assumed that the love story would be a main part of the plot, as I associate love stories with fairy tales. This was disappointing to me, but there was a touch of romance, so I was completely crushed.
Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 9
Writing: 10
Romance: 5
Originality: 10
Total: 44/50 (B+)
I would recommend book to fans of retellings and will definitely look into other books in Simon Pulse’s Once Upon a Time series. Readers should keep in mind that the romance in these books is minimal, but they are quick, fun reads that offer vastly different and original retellings!
This review is part of Once Upon A Week, hosted by Today’s Adventure!

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5 thoughts on “Review: Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey

  1. Ohh, this sounds good! I only recently started reading a few fairy tale retellings and really enjoyed them. So the Once Upon A Time series sounds interesting, will have to check it out!

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