Reasons for Inclusion: Black characters, trans woman protagonist, f/f romance.
Ella knows she’s a girl, but to her stepmother and stepsisters, she’s just their brother Cole, no better than a servant. And then the princess invites the family to the ball. Ella’s sisters don’t want her to go, but they can’t deny that she was personally invited. With the help of a mysterious woman with a magical talent for dressmaking, Ella outshines them all. And when she arrives at the ball, everybody accepts her as a woman without question.
This is a wonderful book, a sweet and hopeful romance full of lovable (and hateable) characters, detail both mundane and extraordinary, daily chores and beautiful dresses, love and friendship and acceptance.
And one of the best things about it, in my view, is that it’s not about gender or race. This world is black-normative, and Ella being trans doesn’t matter at all to anybody outside of her backward-minded family.
This is a wonderful tale (and a short read too!) and I highly recommend it.