Overall Content



Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking


Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty


Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood


Potentially Intense Themes



Jennifer Donnelly

Isabelle should be blissfully happy– she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe…which is now filling with blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she’s turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: It takes more than heartache to break a girl.

Excerpt taken from book flap.



H***- 11


A**- 4

B****- 3

D***- 4

Bas****- 1

Religious Cursing-



G**- 21


Derogatory terms etc-

Nasty little monkey


Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking

A woman can smell rum on a man. 

A woman is given brandy to drink to assist with pain from a large wound. 

A man blames his drunkenness on seasickness. 

A daughter gives her mother brandy to calm her. 

A man pours himself cognac to ease dread he’s feeling. 

A man drinks a lot of champagne and makes a poor decision. 

A drunken man sways violently after guzzling wine. 

A man sleeps at his desk with a decanter of cognac next to him. 

Two people want to give a man cognac when telling him bad news. 

A woman smells cigars. 

A woman suggests to a man that they have a drink. They drink. 

Two men drink brandy and smoke cigars. 

A group of men are smoking. 

A man and woman share a drink together. 

Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty

A woman kissed her sister’s husband.  

A man looks a young woman up and down lingering on her hips and breasts. He later asks if she would like to hold his tool? 

Two young teenagers kiss. When older, they kiss again, the young woman grabbing his shirt and pulling him close. 

A man (supposedly unknowing) kissed a married woman. 

A young woman says a man tried to put his hand up her skirt during a dinner. 

A young woman pulls a young man toward her and kisses him hard, full of “fury and wanting.” Later she puts her hand on his chest and kisses him. Later, another kiss. 

A man steps on a woman’s dress to put a small fire out and it pulls off the bottom half. 

“You’re…with a good pair of hips to carry sons and a fine bosom to suckle them. You’ll breed well.” 

A young woman takes a young man’s face in her hands and passionately kisses him. 

A young woman imagines jewels on cleavage. 

“Maybe she needs a good crack across the backside, too!”

A man relieves himself near a young woman who is hiding. 

Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood

An intruder brandishes a sword. He steals a map. 

A young woman’s heel bleeds and drips on the floor. It was cut off. Her shoe is filled with blood. She left bloody footprints on the floor.  Her sister gets her toes cut off. Their mother does the cutting. When she steps, her sock fills with blood. 

A man waves his gun at a disobedient monkey. He takes aim but slips, knocking himself out and shooting the gun. A fire-breather accidentally lights the drapes on fire. The fire causes a cannon to fire, putting a hole in a nearby boat. 

A woman slaps her daughter for spilling and it leaves a welt. 

A man and his followers are raiding villages and many people are refugees. This is a big story line throughout the book and it’s talked about often. 

A young woman is a bully. She is very aggressive, not just using rude comments but throwing rocks also. This is a reoccurring theme throughout the book.

A cart rolls by with many men in it, bleeding, limbs missing and screaming. 

A father leaves his daughter with a large scar down her arm when she refuses to attend the convent. Another woman has a scar from a priest throwing a rock at her neck. 

A man is stealing chickens, he has broken a rooster’s neck. A young woman grabs a sword and thrusts it at him, gashing his arm. He grabs his sword and she chases him, gashes his thigh, and they fight. A gunshot is heard and the man notices two of his fingers are gone and bleeding. Another shot scares the horses. 

A woman carries a dagger. 

A young woman is gouged by sharp owl talons in the neck. 

Small children throw an egg at a woman’s back. One then throws one at her face. Many others join. So she throws them at the kids. 

A group of people are throwing mud and rocks at a house. They then torch it with 3 women inside. A large piece of wood falls, destabilizing the burned house and slicing a young woman’s arm. The three woman battle the burning house to get outside.  

A young woman finds the body of a man, sitting up with a very bloody shirt. His throat had been cut. She then finds a field full of villagers bodies, some had gaping holes, some shot or stabbed, bayonet holes and the village was burning.  A man sees her and comes toward her with a sword and blood on his shirt. He swung his sword, not wanting her heart but wanting her head. He swung but she blocked and gouged him. 

Two people walk up a drive with bloody, dirty clothes. A woman screams. 

A man says a young woman needs a good crack across her mouth and he will give it to her. 

A woman stands in front of a man with a knife. She throws it at him. 

Two men debate strategy on an attack. They plan on killing the leader and his wife, wounded soldiers, villagers and more. 

A woman is tied up and gagged. 

Guns are being pointed at two women. A man comes toward them with a sword. The men are thrown.

Soldiers carry rifles. 

Gunshots are heard. A man sees a spray of blood across the outside of his tent and hears the wet “thuk” of a blade in a body. He is then struck down with a sword to the chest. He falls to his knees, blood spreading out then falls. Men flow through the camp killing with swords and bayoneted rifles, then burning tents and smashing supplies. A man and young woman sword fight. She gashes his cheek, he lands a blow to her back then her leg, and kicks her ribs, hearing a crack. He then smacks her cheek, knocking her over. She spits blood, and is very wounded. 

A man’s head is cut off with a sword. 

Potentially Intense Themes

A human skull is the pendulum in a clock. 

A woman dances on stage for her job and a judge gives custody of her kids to her drunk husband because of the dancing, calling her immoral. 

A mother is getting forgetful and confused. Many situations happen where it is evident she has lost or is losing her memory.

A focus on being pretty is a large focus for part of the book.

Death (in person form and a skull for a head) visits wounded soldiers. 

As a joke, a woman puts a noose around her neck and flails and spins like she’s dying.

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