Damsel Distressed

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    • Abstract:
      Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters'story. Those girls don't get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing.Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after-in fact, she doesn't think they are possible. Ever since her mother's death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy. When Imogen's new stepsister, Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she's been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace--the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant--aren't enough to save her from her pain this time. While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story. And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.
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Booklist Reviews 2015 March #1

Life has been no easy thing for clinically depressed, plus-plus-sized Imogen, and her father's remarriage after her mother's death hasn't helped. She finds solace in working tech for her school's musical with her best friend (and secret crush), Grant, and has made strides with her health, until her new stepsister, Carmella Cinder (or "Cinder, comma, Ella," as she introduces herself), comes to live with them. Disgusted by Imogen's problems, the beautiful, emotionally manipulative Carmella does everything she can to undermine her. When a theater emergency thrusts Imogen into the spotlight, Carmella intensifies her attack, sending Imogen into a tailspin and testing the strength of her friendships and faith in herself. Imogen's struggles with mental illness add depth to this otherwise standard fairy-tale twist, with characters such as Brice, the costume-designing "fairy godmother," and the not-so-evil stepmother Evelyn rounding out the supporting cast. Readers are also linked to a digital album, Imogen Unlocked, written for the novel. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.