Damsel Distressed

Title: Damsel Distressed
Author: Kelsey Macke
Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: October 2014
Pages: 336
How I got the book: Got it from a friend on my e-reader

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, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.

When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous 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.

Stand alone or series: This is a stand alone book and it seems to be de first book from the writer.
Why did I read this book: Because of the summary and a friend of mine who read it. She didn’t give it the highest marks, but she enjoyed it anyway. I liked how this book was described kind of like a fairytale,  but different. I love books that make references to fairytales.

Cover impressions: Not that special, but wow, there isn’t a girl on it ! And I like all the swirls and letter type. The combination of the black with the pink is also pretty.


First things first, did I regret spending my time on this book? No. Was it the most original book ever? No not at all. But still, I enjoyed reading this book. It was easy to read and I felt with the main character. So, nice writing for your first book I say.

Of course, this kind of story has been done like a hundred times, maybe even more. Girl likes boy, boy likes girl, there are some obstacles, they almost lose each other, but in the end they find each other back and live happily ever after. Or, as the mother of the main character phrased so beautiful, “For a happily ever after: ‘The End’ is just the beginning”. I liked that. When two people find each other it is not the end, it is a beginning of something new. They are just getting started with their own story. But.. of course when reading a book that is the ending, in most cases at least. It won’t be very exciting if nothing happens and when things go wrong again it kind of sucks. Especially when they have been throw so much already. But, back to our topic.  

I did expect more fairytale kind of stuff in there, so that was a slight disappointment. Yes there is a stepsister called Ella Cinder, and our main character Imogen lost her mother at a young age,  her father is almost always gone.. But it was not original, this kind of thing happens all the time. Her best friend turned into her prince, who was not very princely. Yes, he saved her time after time, stayed with her even though she went through a lot, but he did not sweep me of my feet. He was just a normal, familiar guy with not much depth.

I liked their friends though, the gay couple Brice and Jonathan were cute and had much more going then you expected in the first place. Mainly Jonathan showed some depth. But… besides one memory it all stayed quite superficial. During the story with Imogen  you see her changing and evolving more into herself. I would have liked if the other characters would have evolved with her. For example her stepsister, who is the big bad b*tch in this plot, but why is she acting this way? At the end you get some kind of an explanation.. but not very satisfying to my opinion. But who knows, maybe there will be another book about her own story. Same goes for her parents (father and stepmother), they all stay to the surface. No explanations about their background or anything.. I really missed that.
Mainly because of that I really missed some depth and excitement during this book. Everything was simple and predictable, which makes it an easy read, but not a good story.

One if the good things though, was how she told about depression. How Imogen experiences everything when being a depressed teenager. Because on top of being a normal teenager with mood swings and hormones,  she has a serious depression. She did it well, our writer, showing us how insecure she is, how she expects everything to go wrong.  You are in the mind of a depressed girl, to show others what it is like to have to deal with that. How hard it can be to see something positive in this world and how easy she can be influenced by the behavior of the people around her.  How easy she can fall. 

But in the end.. it goes better. She is not fixed or completely healed, but she is dealing. And I liked that, because that is way more realistic then that she is completely cured out of nowhere.  

So my rating. I liked reading this book, it was easy to get through. Yes it was predictable and expectable, and almost all the characters didn’t develop much personality.. But it is nice to read in between other novels. So I think an 3 is a nice rating.. I would not push you to start reading this book RIGHT NOW, but if you have some time left and are not in the mood for something heavy.. why not hmm. 


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