By Xavier Neal
Perfect body. Perfect car. Perfect life. So, what could a girl like that ever want from a guy like me? The guy with holes in his sneakers. The guy who can barely afford to eat. The guy with an unexpected secret. What could a princess like that want from me? After all fairy tales don’t exist in real life…do they?
Connor is an 18 year old single father trying to graduate school and get a full scholarship so he can give his daughter a better life. He goes without so much just so his daughter, MaKayla, doesn’t go without. Stuck in a crappy home life with a drunken whore of a mother, their living arrangement is not ideal and something he’s desperate to get them away from. But he has to keep the faith as that’s what his father taught him before he died. Gianna is an ex-model who got into some really bad situations while trying to get the attention of her rich parents. They’re always busy and seem more interested in their careers and social events than spending time with their only child.
Connor and Gianna are paired up in drama class, much to their mutual dislike. Connor thinks Gianna is a spoiled, rude, selfish and judgemental bitch (he’s not wrong) and Gianna thinks Connor is nothing but a bum. They hate each other at first, but it’s not long until they realise they have some things in common and start opening up to each other. Both have experienced rough teen years which have forced them to grow up quicker than they should have.
Given there’s not much in the synopsis, I didn’t have much to go on when I started reading Cinderfella and it took me a while to figure out this was not about college students, but about high school students. Overall I quite liked this book. Connor is amazing for such a young man, stepping up to the plate when MaKayla’s mother abandoned her, being the parent in the flimsy relationship he has with his mother, all while trying to finish school and provide for himself and his daughter. Gianna starts out as the bitchiest teen ever, but she changes for the better after spending time with Connor and MaKayla. The relationship seemed to move very quickly, despite the lack of sex, but we are ultimately talking about teens so I guess that’s to be expected. I also liked that despite being a YA, there’s none of that teen drama that has you rolling your eyes. Don’t get me wrong, there is drama, but it’s a more grown-up drama relating to their current situations and previous choices. I think my only real issue is that MaKayla sounded years older than her actual 3 years. But she was an absolute sweetheart.
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