Cinderella Lopez
Berta Platas
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Buy *Cinderella Lopez* by Berta Platas online

Cinderella Lopez
Berta Platas
St. Martin's Griffin
288 pages
March 2006
rated 1 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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To fulfill a promise made to her father on his deathbed, Cynthia Lopez agrees to live with her two stepsisters, Ami and Lila, until she turns twenty-five - at which point she will inherit his large estate. Little does Cynthia realize that she has consigned herself to life in hell with that one little promise. Without quite realizing how, Cynthia finds herself becoming the general dogsbody of her two high-maintenance, scandal-prone stepsisters, who are famous television VJs.

Itís a thankless, payless, recognition-less job that Cynthia nevertheless performs with smooth competency, time and again saving the day, the station,and her sistersí careers. And then sensible Cyn meets mysterious Eric, falls in love,and begins to wake up to the cold, harsh reality of her life. Caught in a struggle for love, life and identity, Cyn struggles to stand up for herself even as her bitchy stepsisters sharpen their well-honed claws against her.

Cuban-born Berta Platas has carved quite a niche for herself by writing romantic comedies with a definite Latina flavor. While the Latina part comes out strong and true in this novel, there is little to smile or even laugh about in this tedious tale. Perhaps in order to establish the Cinderella parallel, Platas gives central character Cyn little backbone and an unusually high tolerance for abuse at the hands of her Las Diablas stepsisters.

But here is where the similarity ends. While the Cinderella of yore had no other options, in todayís time and given Cynís competence at her job, there is little reason (not even the risk of losing her inheritance) for her to endure almost ten years worth of abuse. And then this spinelessness of hers spills over into her love life, causing meaningless confusion. Platasí lack of characterization is made up in part by her accurate depiction of the MTV culture and some brief witticisms.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2006

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