Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Maguire spins Cinderella into a realistic historical Holland as seen through the eyes of one of the stepsisters. The sense of magic is still there but the average people can be just as terrifying as the imagined goblins. The three girls lie at the heart of the story instead of just the one and they are joined by a cast of believable and sometimes despicable others. The trials and tribulations are tough, and none of these girls are perfect in any way nor are they what they seem. Filled with wonderful surprises and twists. This is definitely not a happily ever after bedtime story but you still come out with a sense of wonder if nothing else at the power of storytelling.