Book Review: Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke

Posted October 10, 2014 by Nori in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Damsel Distressed
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
Pages: 336

Let me start off by saying that I loved the premise of this book before I even started reading it. Damsel Distressed incorporates a completely different twist on the average Cinderella tale and I knew that the book was going to be either a big hit or a total miss. Seeing as I did not enjoy the last fairy tale adaptation that I read, I was hoping for a hit.

To my delight, I thoroughly enjoyed Damsel Distressed. The main character, Imogen, is not a poor girl who has to do all of the chores in the household, nor a caterpillar waiting to turn into a butterfly. Instead, she is an overweight high school girl with depression. Carmella, the Cinderella character in this story, is actually drop dead gorgeous, while also being a complete and utter b*tch. Yes, you read that correct. The Cinderella character in this book is actually the antagonist. How is that for a twist?

Throughout the book Imogen’s depression flairs up and down triggered by Carmella’s tormenting. Most books try to keep the protagonist’s story light and easy, but Kelsey Macke decided to switch it up. I liked the fact that Imogen isn’t the normal Cinderella or stepsister character. Instead, she is someone completely different than I’ve previously seen in a YA book. Imogen definitely has more struggles than the average character, and I viewed her as the underdog. Whenever I sense an underdog, I always feel more empathetic towards the characters, which allows me to be pulled into the story even more than I already am. All of the struggles that each character went through allowed me to fall more and more in love with the story. After all, everyone has to overcome obstacles in their lives; that is what makes us human. The author appears to have hidden that message in the novel.

While I loved the underdog element incorporated in this book, that wasn’t the only thing that I loved! I was very impressed with how well I was able to relate to the secondary characters. Imogen’s best friend Grant, who was a sweetheart, was a great example of this. Of course, like most YA books, Imogen and Grant have been friends ever since they were little. This meant that Grant had grown up with Imogen and her depression, and was often able to tell when she was starting to go into a downward spiral. Whenever that happened, he was always there to try and comfort her. My love for sweet and sincere Grant knows no bounds. I am definitely adding him to my list of book boyfriends!

You may ask, what happens in the end? Does Carmella get her Cinderella ending or does the stepsister finally get her turn? I am not going to answer these questions because I want you all to experience this amazing book for yourself. The only thing that I will say is that I was very satisfied with the ending.

While this story may be slightly gloomy and depressing in some parts, the cute and funny moments made it a very enjoyable read. I would highly recommend this book and give it 5/5stars!

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