Drusilla by Melissa Frost

Drusilla by Melissa Frost
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (127 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

What if Cinderella isn’t the sweet and tortured angel everyone believes? Instead, what if she’s the most popular girl at school who is hell bent on making sure her ugly stepsister doesn’t stand in the way of her popularity? A new story unfolds through the eyes of Drusilla…

Being sisters with bright and beautiful Ella is an unending nightmare for Drusilla. That is until the sisters accidentally open a portal to another dimension. The unlikely duo is forced to team up against a swarm of angry sprites, a clan of territorial gnomes, and a few other unlikely creatures. Their new portal comes with a fairy godmother, and there’s even a bona fide fairy tale prince up for grabs. It might take impossible odds to bring these two together, but it’s a story that proves even the ugly stepsister can sometimes be the hero.

Drusilla has a lot to learn before she can hope to find her happy ending.

One of the things I appreciated the most about the characters was how brave they were. Whether they were trying to find the courage to talk to someone they had a crush on or fighting creatures from the other side of the portal, they never backed down from anything important. That’s exactly the sort of thing I enjoy finding in books. It helps the plot continue to flow smoothly, and it’s also something that doesn’t happen nearly enough in young adult fiction.

I didn’t like how pushy Drusilla’s love interest was in this story. His refusal to respect many of the boundaries she tried to set with him made it hard for me to hope that they’d end up together. While I could have forgiven him for making that mistake once or twice, the fact that he did it over and over again without seeming to learn from the past wasn’t a good sign.

The otherworldly creatures who started spilling through the portal were wonderful. Some of them were downright scary, while others seemed like they’d make good neighbors if you didn’t mind some of their eccentricities. The best part of these scenes, though, was how clearly all of the creatures were described. I could imagine exactly what all of them looked and sounded like because of how much time the author spent talking about them.

Drusilla’s personality and character development needed work as well. She had very few flaws, and the flaws she did have were minor and had little effect on the plot. I wanted to like her, but the portrayal of her as someone who was good at nearly everything she tried made it hard for me to relate to her. She was so close to being perfect that there wasn’t a great deal of depth to her personality. It’s difficult to improve on perfection, so she didn’t really change or grow through the storyline either despite having all kinds of exciting things happen to her.

The dialogue was nicely written. It had clever moments, and there were also a few times when I grinned at the references to classic fairy tales that were snuck into certain scenes. I appreciated the fact that the characters understood they were making these references, too. Having them in on the joke only made everything funnier than it would have been otherwise.

I’d recommend Drusilla to anyone who enjoys modern twists on classic fairy tales.

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