Finding Cinderella: A Novella

Finding Cinderella: A Novella

by Colleen Hoover


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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a novella about the search for happily ever after. This printed edition includes exclusive new material—a new epilogue and an essay written by the author.

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love has conditions: they agree it will last only one hour, and it will be only make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them seemed perfect only because they were pretending it was. Moments like that happen only in fairy tales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in love-at-first-sight is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Unfortunately for Daniel, finding true love doesn’t guarantee a happily ever after . . . it only further threatens it.

Will an unbearable secret from the past jeopardize Daniel and Six’s only chance at saving each other?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476783284
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Series: Hopeless Series
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 237,739
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Hopeless, Maybe Someday, Maybe Not, Ugly Love, Confess, November 9, It Ends with Us, Without Merit, and All Your Perfects. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit

Read an Excerpt

Finding Cinderella

  • I slide open my balcony door and step outside, thankful that the sun has already dipped behind the building next door, cooling the air to what could pass as a perfect fall temperature. Almost on cue, the sound of his guitar floats across the courtyard as I take a seat and lean back into the patio lounger. I tell Tori I come out here to get homework done, because I don’t want to admit that the guitar is the only reason I’m outside every night at eight, like clockwork.

    For weeks now, the guy in the apartment across the courtyard has sat on his balcony and played for at least an hour. Every night, I sit outside and listen.

    I’ve noticed a few other neighbors come out to their balconies when he’s playing, but no one is as loyal as I am. I don’t understand how someone could hear these songs and not crave them day after day. Then again, music has always been a passion of mine, so maybe I’m just a little more infatuated with his sound than other people are. I’ve played the piano for as long as I can remember, and although I’ve never shared it with anyone, I love writing music. I even switched my major to music education two years ago. My plan is to be an elementary music teacher, although if my father had his way, I’d still be prelaw.

    “A life of mediocrity is a waste of a life,” he said when I informed him that I was changing my major.

    A life of mediocrity. I find that more amusing than insulting, since he seems to be the most dissatisfied person I’ve ever known. And he’s a lawyer. Go figure.

    One of the familiar songs ends and the guy with the guitar begins to play something he’s never played before. I’ve grown accustomed to his unofficial playlist since he seems to practice the same songs in the same order night after night. However, I’ve never heard him play this particular song before. The way he’s repeating the same chords makes me think he’s creating the song right here on the spot. I like that I’m witnessing this, especially since after only a few chords, it’s already my new favorite. All his songs sound like originals. I wonder if he performs them locally or if he just writes them for fun.

    I lean forward in the chair, rest my arms on the edge of the balcony, and watch him. His balcony is directly across the courtyard, far enough away that I don’t feel weird when I watch him but close enough that I make sure I’m never watching him when Hunter’s around. I don’t think Hunter would like the fact that I’ve developed a tiny crush on this guy’s talent.

    I can’t deny it, though. Anyone who watches how passionately this guy plays would crush on his talent. The way he keeps his eyes closed the entire time, focusing intently on every stroke against every guitar string. I like it best when he sits cross-legged with the guitar upright between his legs. He pulls it against his chest and plays it like a stand-up bass, keeping his eyes closed the whole time. It’s so mesmerizing to watch him that sometimes I catch myself holding my breath, and I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I’m gasping for air.

    It also doesn’t help that he’s cute. At least, he seems cute from here. His light brown hair is unruly and moves with him, falling across his forehead every time he looks down at his guitar. He’s too far away to distinguish eye color or distinct features, but the details don’t matter when coupled with the passion he has for his music. There’s a confidence to him that I find compelling. I’ve always admired musicians who are able to tune out everyone and everything around them and pour all of their focus into their music. To be able to shut the world off and allow yourself to be completely swept away is something I’ve always wanted the confidence to do, but I just don’t have it.

    This guy has it. He’s confident and talented. I’ve always been a sucker for musicians, but more in a fantasy way. They’re a different breed. A breed that rarely makes for good boyfriends.

    He glances at me as if he can hear my thoughts, and then a slow grin appears across his face. He never once pauses the song while he continues to watch me. The eye contact makes me blush, so I drop my arms and pull my notebook back onto my lap and look down at it. I hate that he just caught me staring so hard. Not that I was doing anything wrong; it just feels odd for him to know I was watching him. I glance up again, and he’s still watching me, but he’s not smiling anymore. The way he’s staring causes my heart to speed up, so I look away and focus on my notebook.

    Way to be a creeper, Sydney.

    “There’s my girl,” a comforting voice says from behind me. I lean my head back and tilt my eyes upward to watch Hunter as he makes his way onto the balcony. I try to hide the fact that I’m shocked to see him, because I’m pretty sure I was supposed to remember he was coming.

    On the off chance that Guitar Boy is still watching, I make it a point to seem really into Hunter’s hello kiss so that maybe I’ll seem less like a creepy stalker and more like someone just casually relaxing on her balcony. I run my hand up Hunter’s neck as he leans over the back of my chair and kisses me upside down.

    “Scoot up,” Hunter says, pushing on my shoulders. I do what he asks and slide forward in the seat as he lifts his leg over the chair and slips in behind me. He pulls my back against his chest and wraps his arms around me.

    My eyes betray me when the sound of the guitar stops abruptly, and I glance across the courtyard once more. Guitar Boy is eyeing us hard as he stands, then goes back inside his apartment. His expression is odd. Almost angry.

    “How was school?” Hunter asks.

    “Too boring to talk about. What about you? How was work?”

    “Interesting,” he says, brushing my hair away from my neck with his hand. He presses his lips to my neck and kisses his way down my collarbone.

    “What was so interesting?”

    He tightens his hold on me, then rests his chin on my shoulder and pulls me back in the chair with him. “The oddest thing happened at lunch,” he says. “I was with one of the guys at this Italian restaurant. We were eating out on the patio, and I had just asked the waiter what he recommended for dessert, when a police car rounded the corner. They stopped right in front of the restaurant, and two officers jumped out with their guns drawn. They began barking orders toward us when our waiter mumbled, ‘Shit.’ He slowly raised his hands, and the police jumped the barrier to the patio, rushed toward him, threw him to the ground, and cuffed him right at our feet. After they read him his rights, they pulled him to his feet and escorted him toward the cop car. The waiter glanced back at me and yelled, ‘The tiramisu is really good!’ Then they put him in the car and drove away.”

    I tilt my head back and look up at him. “Seriously? That really happened?”

    He nods, laughing. “I swear, Syd. It was crazy.”

    “Well? Did you try the tiramisu?”

    “Hell, yeah, we did. It was the best tiramisu I’ve ever had.” He kisses me on the cheek and pushes me forward. “Speaking of food, I’m starving.” He stands up and holds out his hand to me. “Did you cook tonight?”

    I take his hand and let him pull me up. “We just had salad, but I can make you one.”

    Once we’re inside, Hunter takes a seat on the couch next to Tori. She’s got a textbook spread open across her lap as she halfheartedly focuses on both homework and TV at the same time. I take out the containers from the fridge and make his salad. I feel a little guilty that I forgot tonight was one of the nights he said he was coming. I usually have something cooked when I know he’ll be here.

    We’ve been dating for almost two years now. I met him during my sophomore year in college, when he was a senior. He and Tori had been friends for years. After she moved into my dorm and we became friends, she insisted I meet him. She said we’d hit it off, and she was right. We made it official after only two dates, and things have been wonderful since.

    Of course, we have our ups and downs, especially since he moved more than an hour away. When he landed the job in the accounting firm last semester, he suggested I move with him. I told him no, that I really wanted to finish my undergrad before taking such a huge step. In all honesty, I’m just scared.

    The thought of moving in with him seems so final, as if I would be sealing my fate. I know that once we take that step, the next step is marriage, and then I’d be looking at never having the chance to live alone. I’ve always had a roommate, and until I can afford my own place, I’ll be sharing an apartment with Tori. I haven’t told Hunter yet, but I really want to live alone for a year. It’s something I promised myself I would do before I got married. I don’t even turn twenty-two for a couple of weeks, so it’s not as if I’m in any hurry.

    I take Hunter’s food to him in the living room.

    “Why do you watch this?” he says to Tori. “All these women do is talk shit about each other and flip tables.”

    “That’s exactly why I watch it,” Tori says, without taking her eyes off the TV.

    Hunter winks at me and takes his food, then props his feet up on the coffee table. “Thanks, babe.” He turns toward the TV and begins eating. “Can you grab me a beer?”

    I nod and walk back into the kitchen. I open the refrigerator door and look on the shelf where he always keeps his extra beer. I realize as I’m staring at “his” shelf that this is probably how it begins. First, he has a shelf in the refrigerator. Then he’ll have a toothbrush in the bathroom, a drawer in my dresser, and eventually, his stuff will infiltrate mine in so many ways it’ll be impossible for me ever to be on my own.

    I run my hands up my arms, rubbing away the sudden onset of discomfort washing over me. I feel as if I’m watching my future play out in front of me. I’m not so sure I like what I’m imagining.

    Am I ready for this?

    Am I ready for this guy to be the guy I bring dinner to every night when he gets home from work?

    Am I ready to fall into this comfortable life with him? One where I teach all day and he does people’s taxes, and then we come home and I cook dinner and I “grab him beers” while he props his feet up and calls me babe, and then we go to our bed and make love at approximately nine P.M. so we won’t be tired the next day, in order to wake up and get dressed and go to work and do it all over again?

    “Earth to Sydney,” Hunter says. I hear him snap his fingers twice. “Beer? Please, babe?”

    I quickly grab his beer, give it to him, then head straight to my bathroom. I turn the water on in the shower, but I don’t get in. Instead, I lock the door and sink to the floor.

    We have a good relationship. He’s good to me, and I know he loves me. I just don’t understand why every time I think about a future with him, it’s not an exciting thought.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Finding Cinderella: A Novella 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 290 reviews.
    nanapie More than 1 year ago
    I found a wonderful and enchanting story with this book. it is only 92 pages on my tablet and I was surprised at how it drew me in. I would recommend this book to anyone who want a great short read.I hope the author gives me more of her books
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Colleen Hoover Is GENIUS! I loved this Novella!!!. I wish it would have been a whole book. So thankful that Colleen took to time to give this gift to us. LOVE these characters! Impatiently awaiting the arrival of her next book. READ THIS!
    KittenKyle More than 1 year ago
    I could have read many many many more pages about Six and Daniel.  Great book!  What a treat.  Thank you Colleen for this.  They have a beautiful story and feel blessed you shared it with us.  I see them so happy  and living there life together.  Love all your books.  You are an amazing author!!!  Keep writing so we can all keep reading.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book I just so cute. I highly recommend it.
    Dawnw6 More than 1 year ago
    WOW! I had not read any of Colleen Hoover's books before - but i certainly will be reading all of them in the very near future!! Thank you Colleen!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    There are not enough words to describe amazing... colleen hoover is a writing genius! Cant get enough of her stories, I always want more.
    Marianna-ALustForReading More than 1 year ago
    Dear Colleen Hoover: you are amazing! I have not yet read one of your books that I did not love. In Hopeless and Losing Hope, we get a few glimpses at Holden's best friend Daniel and Sky's best friend Six. While I honestly never gave much thought to Six, I loved Daniel and his sense of humor. So I was really looking forward to their story. Finding Cinderella is a novella about the journey of Daniel and Six from an anonymous school closet encounter to friendship and love. When they officially meet one year after their rendezvous, they don't understand how they can feel such an intense connection so quickly. They are so good together and I loved their back and forth banter. Daniel is absolutely hilarious, as is his family that we meet. When they finally figure out who the other is, there are some heartbreaking moments and painful truths revealed. I wanted nothing more for them to work it out and get the happily ever after they deserve. This is another gem from Colleen Hoover. Fans of her Hopeless series will absolutely love it. And a big huge thanks to her for making it FREE! So go grab it and enjoy.
    clahain1 More than 1 year ago
    I have mixed feelings about the current "novella" trend in fiction. Shorter works featuring secondary characters from a successful full-length novel or covering a discrete span of time before/after the action of the original can make sense from both a creative and a marketing standpoint. Problem is the novella  is a specific prose form that isn't always easy to carry off. Longer than a short story, shorter than a novel,  it requires careful plotting to get the pacing right. Stuff too much into it and the reader will likely feel rushed and disoriented. Provide too little content and they wonder what the point of the exercise was other than to make a few more bucks for the writer. With FINDING CINDERELLA author Colleen Hoover gives us a glass slipper that fits.  The story focuses on one specific story line--the coming together of Six and Daniel, secondary characters from Hoover's popular HOPELESS and LOSING HOPE. Setting aside the would-it-really-happen factor, Daniel has an intimate encounter with a classmate in a school maintenance closet. It isn't a truly anonymous situation, there's an emotional connection beforehand, but circumstances don't allow Daniel to explore it. The girl tells him she's leaving the school.   Fast-forward about a year, Daniel meets Six. She's the best friend of his best friend's girl. Six spent the previous school year in Italy. Hoover lets us know that it wasn't a good year for Six. This early foreshadowing is the main reason the piece works as a novella. Without it the big reveal at the end would be pure melodrama. Instead, we watch Daniel and Six come together knowing full well that she's Cinderella and never expecting the final twist that will threaten their relationship, a complication that works because it is based in that initial encounter. This is tight plotting. Does Daniel resonate as a character for me? No. He's jaded and man-whorish. Bad enough qualities  in a grownup. Unconvincing in a young person from a basically decent family--no history of parental abuse or addiction or any other trauma to account for it. Speaking of parents, I also don't buy the progressive parenting that riddles this particular neighborhood. It struck me as too author-engineered. Yet, I did like FINDING CINDERELLA and plan to check out the full-length novels Hoover drew from.
    quibecca More than 1 year ago
    This one is hard for me to review, because I really, really don't like giving a book a bad review.  So I am going to start out with what I liked about this book. The story itself was a good story.  There were some great friendships in this book as well.  Daniels family is absolutely hilarious, and embarrassing.  I loved it.  Six is a very insecure girl who has a lot to deal with.  Her struggle was interesting to learn about. I am sorry to say that is about it.  The book starts out with an encounter in a dark closet between two strangers, who end up having sex.  Really?  I think this is labeled as a YA, but my Ipod showed children/teen.  Well, if that is the case there is no way on gods green earth I would allow my child or teen to read this book.  There is way to much talk about sex and the language was not my cup of tea. Although the story was a good story, I could have done without all the language and talk about teenage sex.  ***Having said these things - I honestly appreciate the Author's craft for writing.  I appreciate all the had work and time put into her book, so that people like me can read them.  I may not have liked the content and that is a big determining factor for me in books, her writing is beautiful.*** Source:  I bought this book for myself off iTunes.  I am not affiliated with iTunes in any way.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book. Content:  Lots of language and lots of talk about sex, and actual sex.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Amazing short story!!! Hope to read so much more about Daniel and Six!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was so adorable and romantic. I loved it...but i would not suggest this book for kids under the age of 14. :) ;)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This may have been a great - 5 star - read except for the swearing. All the swearing made it dull.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    For horny teens- I agonized through the first chapter then ditched it; a waste of time
    hrattien More than 1 year ago
    Two slightly strange teenagers and a story that seems to be disjointed. Not terrible, but not particularly good.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love reading romances. In most books they dont take the time for you to really make you fall in love with the characters love, you end up just likeling them. But this book made you not just like the main charaters but made you fall in love right beside the main characters. In this book you couldnt help but laugh, smile, and stare at the screen/page in shook. It also made your heart break and your hear mend. This book may not be the longest but definitely worth the time! Cant wait to read another one.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Short and sweet, this is a love-at-first-sight type story wrtten from a high school boy's perspective. I enjoyed the playful banter of the main charachters' dialogs. I would like to read more of these quirky, likeable kids' lives. Were we ever that young and that in love?
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Just wow. I fell in love with daniel and six. I only hope colleen continues their story as well as sky and holder at college. This made me laugh and cry. I couldnt put it down. I just wish there was more...please colleen MORE
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another awesome Colleen Hoover Book. Finding Cinderella novella is a must read, and I would recommend reading Losing Hope and Hopeless first, also awesome books. I've read all of Colleen Hoovers books and she makes you fall in love with all the characters as she artfully develops each character's personality fully. I've never been able to put any Hoover book down once I start reading it and Finding Cinderella was no exception! Just Awesome, please write more about Daniel and Six, they we so funny and there just has to be so much more to say about them and their lives with Sky and Holder :)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Oh my goodness. This book was good. Maybe it was becuase I was reading this at 1:00 in the morning or I have a bad taste in books, either way I think this book waa pretty awesome,
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A beautiful story about finding love through a chance encounter
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I wish here was more!
    Lovz-Books More than 1 year ago
    “It only feels perfect because we’re pretending it’s perfect.” (237) After one year, the boy was all about searching for the girl he had a passionate interlude in the closet. Right off the bat, the concept became interesting. “In reality, people are who they are and they’ll never really change. So why the hell are Val and I even wasting our time on this exhausting relationship if we don’t even really like each other? (266) The character dialogue was reminiscent of Holden Caulfield—very entertaining. I loved the brutal honesty of the protagonist, Daniel. It was funny sometimes. I agreed with Daniel about the purse. Girls who don’t carry purses don’t carry make-up and perfume. That’s what made Six so beautiful and perfect for him. I liked that Six was as straight-forward as Daniel. Those two were so compatible in a lot of ways. But was Six “Cinderella”? I wondered. There was a good twist near the end. At times, it got a little too sappy with all the romantic love, but it was an enjoyable story nonetheless. I was especially impressed by how the author was able to accurately depict the thoughts of the teenage male brain.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The After series by Anna Todd which if you liked this book read the after series!!!!!!! Ok so this is a spoiler so watch out. This story is about a guy named Daniel who met a girl in a maintenance closet and pretended to fall in love with her so it could make her feel better so he called her Cinderella. Then she left and a year later she comes back and becomes friends with Daniel's friends and her name is Six and he soon figures out she is his Cinderella. -Launah Cunningham
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Loved this unique story, told in the male POV. For a novella, emotions and drama runs very high. The story only focuses on the main events, which left me wanting to know more about our MCs. What motivated these high school kids to hate everyone, to be so jaded? Why was the female's family never around or mentioned?
    Trinh More than 1 year ago