A contemporary, magic-free retelling of “Cinderella” featuring a vegan, feminist, gender-questioning, biracial Latinx who joins a Harry Potter–inspired Quidditch team.
It is the last summer before college, and Ellen Lopez-Rourke has been (totally unjustly) grounded by her father and stepmother—so her plan to hang out with her two best friends, Melissa and Xiumiao, falls apart. Even worse, Xiumiao decides she needs to move on from her hopeless crush on Melissa and spend the summer doing her own thing. Melissa and Ellen join a local Quidditch team—the only way Ellen’s parents will allow her out of the house—and Ellen finds herself amid a fiercely inclusive, all-gender, full-contact sport that allows her to explore different sides of her identity. Meriano’s novel is a layered, skillful work that thoughtfully explores the complicated dynamics of a family in conflict due to divergent views of the world, allowing the protagonist to navigate toxic elements of her home life while finding her own voice with the support of friends, both new and old. The story fortunately does not avoid painful, relevant conversations about art, fandom, and problematic creators while showcasing fans who fully love yet critically engage with art. Ellen is of Mexican and Irish descent in a book richly inclusive of many genders, sexualities, races, and cultures. This clever, subtle reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is both subversive and empowering.
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 304
Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020