Damsel Distressed

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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.