Seventeen-year-old Char has studied music, but didn't think of it as a future until she posted a video of herself singing and it went viral. So now, instead of going to queer youth events or taking part in the Gay Lesbian Alliance, Char spends her time figuring out how to get enough online fame to fuel a singing career. When one of her videos is bombarded with vicious online comments she is pleased to find an app that offers support and encouragement to people who are being bullied online.
Using the handle Charming, Char gets to know the creator and moderator of the app, who calls herself Cinders. Cinders inspires Char to reconsider her obsession with having the ideal online presence and concentrate on who she really is. But when Cinders turns out to be Ash, a shy girl who goes to the same school, Char must find a way to show Ash how much she means to her.
With a modern female version of Prince Charming as the main character, Charming expands the story of the fairy-tale prince to one of a teen girl who learns the true nature of fame and love.
METTE BACH was born in Denmark and raised in Delta, BC, the suburban setting for Cinders and Charming. Her lifelong interest in fairy tales led her to imagine the Cinderella story as a realistic modern queer romance. She is the author of Lorimer's teen novels Femme, Killer Drop (named a Best Book for Kids and Teens by the Canadian Children's Book Centre), and the Real Love books Love is Love and You're You. Mette runs a meal program for homeless and at-risk youth and lives in Vancouver.
"These [Real Love modern romances, written at a fourth grade reading level, effectively tie in contemporary themes like bullying and social media while presenting relatable characters embracing their sexuality."
"[Charming and Cinders] are engaging stories that fill a need for reluctant readers seeking positive, inspiring stories of same-sex relationships."
"Clearly the LGBTQ+ community is central to the novel. As well, the issue of how social media is used and abused is key ... both [Cinders and Charming] deal with complex modern themes and complicated challenges which will resonate with young adult readers."