I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
Once upon a time, there was a reader who saw something that sparked her interest on Netgalley. The book had two things going for it. For one thing it was a historical set in World War II and for another thing it dealt with fairytales. Two things that should’ve made it a slam freaking dunk-ity doo. Unfortunately, this book was a clunker if there every was one and it turned the excited reader into a sour puss. This is said sour puss’s account of Cinderella’s Dress.
Why? Just why book? You didn’t have to do much. You had everything you needed. A great historical setting and something to really give it an interesting twist. But instead, I felt like I was in an overgrown American Girl novel.
And don’t get me wrong. I did love the American girl series-when I was eight. I still have the four dolls that I got way back in the day and am planning on putting them on top of my bookshelves when you know, I can actually afford to buy a home where I can have my own library, but I don’t want to read a YA book with the same tone. I mean, golly gee…
Look, I know people might have used some of that slang in the 1940′s, but I know that’s not how they talked all the time. My maternal grandparents and great aunts and uncles were from that same period and I have been privy to hearing about some of their tells way back in the day both oral and through past letters. And while there was some slang it wasn’t near as corny as this book made it out to be.
Plus, as an old movie buff I can also attest while there might have been some hokey scenes in older movies, none of them were as obnoxiously hokey as this book.
Or obsess over Frank Sinatra’s blue eyes as much.
Note to self, was Frank Sinatra the original source of all this YA blue eye obsession.
I honestly could get past all the bad slang if there was an interesting enough story or characters behind all of this, but there wasn’t.
Let’s start with the story. Over fifty percent in and nothing had happened. Other than Kate basically insulting lover boy. And really she wasn’t insulting him more like trying defend herself against her sexist boss in order to keep her job. I’m sorry. I get that having the “boys” give up their jobs during the way is a big huge deal, but expecting a woman to give it up so that she can go back to her designated woman’s place just makes me want to hit something. And Slayton presented it in such a way where she made Kate look like well…
So if you make a rant about it…well, you’re against the troops. And you are like a well…
That sort of shit bothers me
Other than insulting the story about lover boy, we get this vague story about protecting Cinderella’s dress. Though other than being a historical object-that no one knows about-we know nothing about it. Maybe this part of the story is developed more in the second half of the story, but I couldn’t really care at that point. I was just too bored.
The boring characters didn’t help.
All Kate did was talk about doing the jitterbug. I guess that was done to establish the setting. But other than doing that, writing lame letters, talking to her relatives who spoke like Boris and Natasha (the Polish versions), and write lame letters to her boy toy I could care less.
All I know about her beau was that he couldn’t go to war becuase he had bad eye sight so he painted fake eyeballs. And then Kate hurt his feelings and he cried, even though it was obvious that she didn’t mean to hurt his feelings.
They were just lame.
Just like every one else in this book.
Look, this setting could’ve been really something to exploit. There is so much drama in this period that it could’ve been really interesting. And I admit I was sort of really interested that instead of having the story jammed pack in the action it took place in the home front, though I do think for logistical purposes it would’ve made sense for a plot about a historical dress to take place in the country it was originally set in. That being said, I could see some potential there.
But was the book about the dress the first half…no. It was all about getting malts after the boys come home.
I wanted something with mystery and intrigue. I got something that was corny beyond belief with a romance that was so bland made me miss all those he man YA novels because at least I could say something about how horrible those relationships were. With Kate and Johnny, I’m just bored when I’m not rolling my eyes.
Usually I don’t feel bad about not liking a book. However, I actually feel a bit guilty here. I think it’s because I had hopes beyond belief that this book would get me out of my slump. But it just didn’t. Instead, it just put me in a worse mood than I was-it probably didn’t help that I read a good chunk of it when I was waiting to get blood work done.