SIL Review: Someone Else’s Fairytale by E. M. Tippetts

The ever-popular Sister-in-Law (or SIL as we affectionately call her) is back!

How Excited Was I to Read Someone Else’s Fairytale by Emily Mah Tippetts? 7 – I’m a sucker for normal-girl turned princess/famous paradigm made famous in such classic like Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Or Notting Hill (a favorite of my in-laws and husband… and me).


Spike!!! [note: image added by Mary, not SIL, oops!




How Excited Am I Now? 4 – I don’t regret reading this book (it was cheap, vacation read) but I do regret giving as much energy into wanting to like this book.

Book Rating: 5 (this is a low for me and it kinda hurts y’all)

Book Jacket: Jason Vanderholt is Hollywood’s hottest actor. Chloe Winters hasn’t bothered to see most of his movies. When they meet by chance, he is smitten and Chloe becomes the woman every other woman in America is dying to be, but it just isn’t her fairytale.

Review: The first third of Someone Else’s Fairytale is fantastic. The middle third isn’t terrible. The final third is like watching the results show for American Idol. You know that it should only take 5 minutes to announce the ending, but it just keeps dragging on and on… and on…

Chloe is a likable character for the most part. She’s incredibly smart (valedictorian at her college), dedicated (dual majors, works full time, applying for a PhD program), and practical. Oh and there’s some kind of dark past haunting her, wait, make that TWO dark pasts. Jason is the quintessential Hollywood sweetheart heartthrob bad boy-turned-wanting a normal life guy. Along the way there is a potential romance between Chloe and her male best friend, her troubled mother, Jason’s own dark past, her TWO dark histories, and most frustratingly- her stubborn practicality.

For as smart as Chloe is she is really stupid. And insecure because she doesn’t want to have sex before marriage and apparently this has always been a turn-off for guys and of course every guy is exactly the same. She is very insecure about Jason’s wealth and how friendly and inclusive his family is towards her. For the first part I genuinely feel sympathy towards her. There are several story lines laced throughout the beginning of the book. I’d be confused too. Jason is too sweet at times.

Unfortunately Tippetts spends the first half of the work resolving almost everything which leaves the second half in a ill-paced waltz of Chloe’s (now) whiny insecurities, Jason’s overbearing sweetness, and a side story about his troubled niece thrown in keep some semblance of a plot going. The ending is sweet and predictable, neatly tied up, but I still found myself disappointed.

Sister-Factor: 3 – Jason has a twin sister and her presence (and the presence of her stepdaughter) carry the plot along more than the Jason-Chloe dynamic at times. Oh, and the TWO major secrets of Chloe’s life involve (possible) siblings???

Re-Readability: 3 – Maybe I’m just too old for this book, but I hope not. Sadly, this is not a book I’ll probably ever open again.

Recommended For: Beach read?

If You Liked This Book You Should Also Check Out: Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Notting Hill, Ever After, The Princess Diaries (I’m quickly learning Meg Cabot is a standard here), Ella Enchanted, The Princess Bride, Stardust, Twilight (I hate that I find Meyers a better author than someone- IMO).

However, if you just really like the “Cinderella” archetype, I’d recommend reading The Annotated Brothers Grimm and The Annotated Hans Christian Anderson both by Maria Tartar. My senior thesis was deconstructing the “Cinderella” archetype in literature. Both are really cool works on the fairy tales you thought you knew. Not recommended if the sanitized versions of the stories are etched into your soul.