Saturday, April 5, 2014
Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen
Cautions: several instances of minor language throughout, Premarital sex between consenting adults off screen, and talk of being drunk.
Recommendation: Great idea, good execution. A little long.
Once upon a time, I was a little girl. And like most little girls growing up in the 1980's I was nourished on a healthy diet of Disney Princesse movies: Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella and Belle... you name it I watched it. Fast forward a few years to my teenage and young adult years and you will see that I was experiencing what can only be described as the "Disney Princess Syndrome"... Yes, I expected to be treated like a princess and get my very own "Happily Ever After". Now as an adult, I have two little girls of my own (and a little boy, but this is about the Disney PRINCESS syndrome not prince syndrome, so... we'll talk about him in another post). And for better or worse, my little girls are being brought up in a Disney world. In fact, just this morning we were watching Disney Junior and yesterday we played Disney online, and next week we might even re-purchase Annual Disney passes. Ah! Walt Disney, you are a mad genius.
Clever Cindi Madsen took this whole idea of Disney Princess Syndrome and based a book on it. This book is about a girl named Darby, who was suffered from the Disney Princess syndrome, but had grown up and discovered that it wasn't true. Instead she learns that there are no perfect men or perfect marriages. Poor Darby goes through a series of relationships that in some way or another let her down. A few good relationships are sprinkled in, but each one seems to end and leave her in worse condition than she was before. And then she meets Jake... and he challenges all the rules she's set for herself.
What I liked:
Darby created a "case-file" of her failed relationships... Each equated to a different Disney princess. They were each so cute, so funny and I just loved each one! It was also funny to see how some of thees-boyfirend stories overlapped and how each played out. Sometimes "flashback" scenes can detract and distract from the main story, but not in this book. Each "case-file" built the story and explained why Darby was the way she was. I loved the "cute-sweet" (the cute/funny/awkward scene where the main characters meet) scene where Darby and Jake meet. So darling and funny! I liked Jake, he was patient and kind and just... great! Loved the scenes with him in it.
And of course, I loved the premise of this book! I wish I had thought of it first!
What I didn't like:
Darby was a little too jaded for my taste (in terms of relationships), to the point that it was a bit unbelievable. She also said a few things that put me off and made it difficult for me to relate to her. For example, in her conversations with Kyle she bashes communication in marriage. Later in the book she gets upset with her boyfriend for not talking to her sooner about certain situations (even though she made it pretty much impossible, but that's beside the point). So I was left thinking, okay Darby, which is it? Communicate or not? Mostly, I think Darby just likes to be contrary when it comes to the male sex. And then there's her viewpoint of her brother Devon's marriage to Anna... which was just so sad. Her view of marriage and relationships in general is sad throughout most of the book. Maybe it's because my degree is in Marriage, Family and Human Development, but it was really difficult for me to be on Darby's side through alot of the book. I kept thinking, "Jake... you are a catch! RUN!" But the biggest of all my problems with Darby was her dislike of children in general. Several times in the book she mentions how much she dislikes children, babies, crying, and her lack of maternal instinct.
For the most part, the ending was fine. It didn't make my toes curl or anything, but I am glad that most of the loose ends were tied up, that Darby was able to work through some of her issues, and that her viewpoints were at least heading in a better direction.
I enjoyed this book. The premise was original, the characters were interesting and the ending was satisfying. This book felt a little too drawn out for me, but that might be because I just finished a few short story books recently, so maybe it's just long in comparison? I could've done without the minor swear words thrown throughout the book- I really didn't think they were necessary. And one last thing: even though I know that adults in the non-mormon world have pre-marital sex, this was another thing I didn't feel was necessary; Them getting together and "living happily ever after" would have been enough- I didn't need to know that they did it. (Even though is was done behind closed doors so technically clean).