In this funny and big-hearted story by the author of The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, three best friends make a pact to transform themselves into the glamorous women they've always wanted to be.
Nola Devlin has a secret identity. By day she is an overweight, frumpy, and overlooked editor at Sass! (the "celebrity magazine with an edge!"), but by night she slips behind her keyboard and into her alter-ego: Belinda Apple. Belinda is thin, gorgeous, British and the author of a trendy advice column- she is, in effect, the latest Carrie Bradshaw. Not even Nola's two best friends or her self-absorbed sister (who worships Belinda as the "sister she never had") know her secret.
When "Belinda" jots off a column about how easy it is to lose weight, Nola is shocked when her best friends take her own lies to heart and urge her to follow Belinda's weight loss program. Since Nola can't reveal herself as the real Belinda Apple, she bites the bullet and joins her friends in making the "Cinderella Pact"- a last ditch attempt to lose weight (again!) and transform their lives for good.
But as the pounds come off, things don't turn out the way the three friends expect. Their journey of self-discovery leads to the return of an old love and the unmasking of new problems. Meanwhile, Nola finds herself torn between two different men as she stomps out fires caused by her deception as Belinda Apple and falls in love with the man who just might be her prince - or the rat in coachman's clothing.
I have watched the movie adaptation of The Cinderella Pact about ten times over the past few years, so when I found out, only years after watching it for the first time, that there was a book, I knew I had to read it. As different as both versions can be, I think they're pretty much just as good, which doesn't happen often! Then again, the last time I watched the movie, I was probably 14, so maybe it's much worse than I remember it to be.
I already knew and loved (or hated) some of the characters from the movie, so I was happy to see that they were very similar to the ones in the book. Nola and her friends are amazing ladies and I was glad to see even more of their friendship when I read the book. I could understand their motives for getting healthier, because it's obvious how difficult their lives have become, not just because they can't get their favourite table at a restaurant. Seeing their journey through weight loss, especially Nola's, was very motivating. As I saw how much they struggled, I couldn't help but want to push myself more into everything I do.
The one point that I think is better in the movie than in the book is the romance. While I keep swooning whenever I watch the movie, the romance in the book just seems too quick and not deep enough. I couldn't see the chemistry between the characters and it only seemed like Nola "falling in love", instead of a love story. I was a bit disappointed, since it's one of my favourite parts of the movie. Also, Chip's character isn't very complex in the book, in my opinion, which didn't help the romance aspect.
Luckily, I found myself laughing just as much as I do whenever I watch the movie. Nola is a funny character to follow and her misfortunes made me laugh quite a bit. Because of that, it was the perfect summer book and I'm glad I finally picked it up.
I would recommend both the book and the movie, since they're both great!