As you might guess from the title, this is a retelling of Cinderella with a trans girl as the main character. Also, what a beautiful cover!
I very much enjoyed this story and the way it made me feel. It’s very sweet and generally feel-good (aside from the wicked stepmother and sisters, obviously). Ella is a damsel who helps herself out of distress (with a little help from a fairy godmother) and I liked that as well. It’s very much fairytale territory, with a few hand-waves of logic required to really believe in the story, but the whole idea of fairytales in this context is to deal in wish-fulfillment, and this does it well.
Ella goes to the ball as her true self and falls in love with a princess. And nothing stands in their way. We don’t learn if their relationship would be acceptable in their society or if it has any chance of lasting, but maybe we don’t need to. Ella gets to be herself, escapes the horrible excuse for a family that have treated her like garbage and wins the heart of the woman she loves. It didn’t really matter to me that everyone (aside from her family) seemed to accept Ella without question – in fact, it was kind of refreshing.
So yes, Cinder Ella is a fairytale, and some of its logic relies heavily on magic and on people being much more accepting than they are in reality. If you’re the kind of reader who needs everything explained, this might not be the tale for you. But if you’re looking for a break from heavy politics and issues and just want a story where the trans girl ends up happy, Cinder Ella might be the antidote you’re looking for.