Something non-YA for a change :)
Author: Aubrey Rose
Title: Me, Cinderella?
Release date: 24th of June 2013
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 234 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from the Amazon.com for Kindle
One kind deed can change your life forever...
Brynn Tomlin could never afford to follow her heart. But when she sees a stranger shivering in the snow outside of the college library, an inexplicable urge leads her to buy him a hot cup of coffee. It's just a small act of kindness, a few words of conversation. Brynn should be focusing on her finals, after all, not on the man who looked up at her gratefully with piercing blue eyes.
He could have been anyone - a janitor on break, a graduate student, a bum. But the man standing outside in the cold turns out to be Dr. Eliot Herceg, one of the most brilliant minds in mathematics and heir to a fortune. After years of reclusive isolation, he now finds his heart awakening to the kind girl whose name he does not know.
Brynn has spent her life trying to forget her desires, and Eliot's deep wounds have taken nearly a decade to heal. After so much hurt, will either of them be able to open their hearts again?
While I can name several flaws in this book, which would usually be deal breakers, starting from the abrupt ending to the somewhat of a doormat heroine who played the martyr role too well (which I didn’t like, at all), I was left charmed by this retelling and enjoyed the story to bits. All the positive and negative components came together and formed a dark and slightly too realistic fairy tale – I loved it!
I thought the overall heavy atmosphere full of melancholy, sadness and grayness while remaining in a somber mood, despite a joyful scene or not, was masterfully created. This was in turn enhanced by the foreign setting of Budapest in Hungary during midwinter – cold and full of ancient painful history and cruelty. The slow pace with heaps of angst was exactly what made this story special, although, it can come across quite depressing to read at times.
I didn’t feel that this story was entirely focused on the love and happiness aspect of Cinderella, the themes of redemption, making peace and learning to cope were much more prominent than a couple with different backgrounds finding their way to one another. While some plot elements were based on the fairy tale, quite uniquely by the way, they didn’t overwhelm and take over the story, this book definitely did its own thing, but used Cinderella as a main reference.
The romance was sweet, slow and tender, with caution in every step and lots of scars on both sides needing to heal before a healthy relationship can work out. I didn’t like the push-pull side of the romance, but I understood why when things got too intense Eliot and Brynn pulled back before taking a step further. They didn’t jump into anything, although, they experienced the “insta attraction” at first meet.
I have to have a separate paragraph for the handling of one specific detail I must compliment. I’m horrible at math and I’m not even ashamed to admit it. While it’s great to read about people immersed and living for this science topic, I don’t want to read anything in detail because the whole math vocabulary just leaves me scratching my head, it will make me feel like in school in front of the class without knowing the answer to the question the teacher is asking again. The amount of math talk was entirely in the limits of my tolerance, enough to leave an impression that the speakers know what they are talking about and enough so that I won’t feel like a boot.
Brynn – I liked her intelligence and academic ambitions, she wasn’t just a girl, but she was a girl who aced in math. While, overall, I liked her and she was quite daring with some things, she was also incredibly self-conscious, self-sacrificing and careless concerning herself. I appreciated, however, how she wasn’t willing to give up on Eliot even while he was reluctant. Also, I loved how quickly she took to the lost kitty and cared about its wellbeing – animal lovers or people who even care a little are always on a high place in my eyes.
Eliot – Well, talk about a tortured broody self blaming emo hero, BUT, it all worked out in his favor and I was quite intrigued. I thought it was appropriate how Brynn couldn’t erase the demons of his past entirely and even by the end, he hadn’t changed much from the person we first met. They have a long road ahead of them, despite having won the first battle.
I’m not going to lie, this story has its issues and will probably not do it for everyone, but why not give it a chance and discover that it just might be something exactly to your liking!