Posts tagged ‘Cinderella’

These Are My Confessions

I used to hate to read.  Hated it. Like I simply Did. Not. Read. Ever. My mother was terrified that I would grow up to be functionally illiterate, something she laughs about now. But at the time—elementary school to be exact—she was sure that I was heading down a path that would lead to an early marriage, a gaggle of children, some sort of criminal record, and an inability to read or write.

Which sounds pretty dramatic now, but in her defense I think she had good reason to fear.  I would never pick a book up—unless I was stealing it from the teacher’s personal collection or the library—and I was quite popular with the little boys in my class. Yup, I was a little delinquent child headed down a path of book hatred. Luckily for all of our sakes, in sixth grade I had a teacher who changed everything:  Mrs. Passinteno.

Yada yada yada. I know what you’re thinking, “Okay now she’s going to go all Freedom Writers on us and talk about the power of one teacher in changing a life.”  But no, I’m not going to cue the dramatic “she can read!” music. I’m just going to say that Mrs. P gave me my first taste of romance.

Okay, so here’s the deal. Children grow up with fairytales, right? Right. They are in all the picture books, television shows, and movies.  Come on, I still have my Little Mermaid pillow case from when I was little. Now, what is the central element in a fairytale?

Romance.

Prince, princess, evil something, love. That’s the plotline of all of these stories.  And yet, all of the books my teachers tried to make me read growing up were about Girls in America and Boys that are Hardy.  Silly stupid plots about children being children that just were not interesting.  Reason? They were “age appropriate.”

Screw that. If you’re gonna let a little girl watch all the Disney films then give her a break and write some age appropriate children’s books with romance.  Sweet young love.

So when I finally got into Mrs. P’s class and she gave me my first Ann Rinaldi book, I realized something important: book didn’t necessarily have to be boring. Shocker. They could be fun and dramatic. Their stories could be like the stories that I loved on TV–visual, emotional, engaging…romantic.  From the first moment I opened that worn, used, falling apart paperback copy of A Break with Charity during one of our class’ reading periods, everything changed.  Books were not for stealing anymore, they were for savoring.  I devoured every single one of Ann Rinaldi’s books—up to that point–in a month and then moved onto other classics like Garth Nix, Phillip Pullman, Robin McKinley.  These authors understood my desire for a touch, a hint, of love and affection  in my books.  Genius.

So yeah. Romantic plots are the reason why I am not the very thing my mother feared I would become. A grand book thief with huge library fines.  By seventh grade I was reading other romantic plotlines — less age appropriate– with Mary Higgins Clark, Iris Johansen, and Elizabeth Peters, but I think my mother is eternally grateful to Mrs. Passinteno anyway.  She laughs about how once I started reading, I couldn’t be stopped, skipping the normal young adult books and heading straight to adult fiction before sixth grade was even finished.  My question: if Barbie has her Ken, Cinderella has her Prince, and Cory has his Topanga, then why do people insist that books should be romance free? Nothing else in our culture is. . .

September 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

It’s Your Last Chance…But Not to Dance

It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I am sitting around in my p.j’s and bathrobe staring at my computer screen.  I know I should feel pathetic, but really, I don’t.  I’ve just finished all my work for my senior year of college.  I am done.  I am graduating.  In a week.  To leave the ivy covered walls of Higher Institution behind for a cramped single in the middle of NYC for Columbia Publishing Program assuming they got my deposit check which I am now worried about…

Now that I am done with the million papers that I had to write in order to graduate–Voodoo, slasher films, stories about being born again and my father–I have time to think about the epicness that is about to happen: Senior Week.  A week of drinking.  I mean a week of partying before graduation. I mean a week of solemn contemplation about what it means to be a graduate and leaving behind youth for responsibility. Sure.  But mainly, I am thinking about a tradition at my college: Last Chance Dance.

My future...

Oh the Last Chance Dance.  Basically, senior year you submit a list. A list of names. Of people. Of people in your year, who you didn’t hook-up with a underclassman but would really like to.  And then the school takes your list and cross-references it with other people’s list to pair people up for a last hook-up. It’s kinda of like a bucket list of guys or girls that you want cross off the ol’ to do list.  So while technically it’s a “last change dance,” it’s more of a “last chance to play tonsil hockey with that cutie from your dorm sophomore year.”

Is anyone else hearing vibes of fairy tales here? I mean there’s a dance….pretty much a ball.  A matchmaking school…pretty much your fairy godmother.  And there’s a time limit…you graduate the next day–aka turn into a pumpkin…pretty much the tale of Cinderella.  Oh yeah.  This is going to be good.

Problem? My list is non-existent.  I know I’ve had four years to think about it, but I procrastinated and then exams came and now my Last Chance list is due, and I don’t know what to do!  I’m like an unprepared Cinderella.  Thankfully, I have a team of mice ready to make this night a night to remember.  And by “mice” I mean my dearest friends! We’ve decided to all swap lists and fill each other’s out…here’s to hoping my prince doesn’t turn into a frog.

Romance Connection! Ironically enough, my upcoming reviews for RT BOOKREVIEWS is a sexy Cinderella story.  Perfect timing to get me prepared for my Last Chance Dance. But for those of you who’re feeling in a romantic fairy tale mood like me but aren’t getting an advanced copies in the mail, here are some other romance suggestions that will inspire your own Cinderella story!


What about you romance read? Have a favorite Cinderella story not mentioned here? Send me some suggestions!

May 12, 2011 at 7:13 pm Leave a comment


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