|When The Clock Strikes Cupid|
|Publisher||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Series||Once Upon A Twist|
|Next||Once Upon A Twist:Cerise And The Beast|
When The Clock Strikes Cupid is part of the Once Upon A Twist book series originally written Lisa Shea. This book was published along with the second book, Cerise And The Beast.
Things have gone topsy-turvy at Ever After High! After Faybelle casts a spell on the midterm hexams, the students unhexpectedly find themselves inside the wrong storybooks!
Cupid thinks it's fairy fableous to be Cinderella-even if it's just for the day! But when she notices her wicked stepsisters secretly sneaking out of the Prince's Royal Ball, Cupid decides to investigate with the help of her friends, Hopper Croakington II and Madeline Hatter. Together, they discover that the stepsisters might not be as wicked as they seem... Can Cupid flip this story on its crown and make it a Happily Ever After for everyone?
The book starts with Faybelle, who is fairy, fairy bored. Wondering how she can bring some hexcitement to Ever After High, she passes by the storybooks for the midterm hexams and gets an idea . . .
Cupid was supposed to end up on Mount Olympus. Instead, she’d landed in the kitchen of a cozy little house. What had happened? Noticing a bubbling pot of stew on the stove, Cupid wonders if Headmaster Grimm did something to switch up her fairy tale hexam. This school year, everyone was required to enter their fairy tale storybooks, in order to practice living out their destinies. But this didn’t look anything like Cupid’s story!
At that moment, a lady and two girls storm into the kitchen. The lady yells at Cupid for not having dinner ready yet, and says that, as her stepmother, she should be respected. Confused, Cupid says nothing. The two girls laugh meanly at Cupid at call her lazy. Their names, Cupid learns, are Prudence and Charlotte. As the girls and their mother leave, Cupid tries to make sense of what is going on. Then she notices her clothes. Her dress is ragged, and the apron she’s wearing is full of stains. Suddenly, everything makes sense. Her clothes, the two mean girls, the lady claiming to be her stepmother . . . Cupid must have landed in the story of Cinderella! Cupid is actually quite happy about this. As much as she enjoys spreading love, it might be nice to take a little break and do some cooking. She could practice her father’s angel food cake recipes!
The next morning, Stepmother, Prudence, and Charlotte enter the kitchen to find a huge breakfast on the table. There are strips of bacon, pancakes and waffles, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit. And everything is heart-shaped! Stepmother is shocked. Usually, she is just served porridge in the mornings. After the meal, Cupid starts on her chores.
After dinner that night, Stepmother hands Cupid two dresses. She is to help Prudence and Charlotte try them on, in preparation for the next ball. Prudence’s purple dress fits perfectly. Cupid tells her that it looks lovely on her, and Prudence smiles. Cupid remarks that the prince will surely ask her to dance. Suddenly, Prudence frowns and says she wants to take the dress off. Then it’s Charlotte’s turn. Her yellow dress fits her well, but she makes a strange request. Charlotte wants the hem of her dress to be hextra long, so that it reaches the ground. Stepmother objects, saying that she just bought a beautiful pair of golden slippers for Charlotte, and it would be a shame if they were covered. But Charlotte doesn’t want to wear the golden slippers, and becomes angry.
Cupid wonders why the two stepsisters are so miserable and unhappy. Since it’s her job to spread love and joy, she decides to find out what will make them happier. Before going to sleep that night, Cupid goes to drop off the altered dresses to the stepsisters. Inside of Prudence’s room, Cupid can hear music blasting. Through a crack in the doorway, she sees Prudence trying to dance with a mop, but she keeps on tripping and falling. Cupid gives Prudence her dress and then quickly leaves. Next, Cupid goes to Charlotte’s room. When Cupid opens the door, she sees Charlotte doing sit-ups. Cupid drops off the dress and goes back to her own room.
The following day, the official invitation to the prince’s ball is delivered to their house. Cupid is forbidden by her Stepmother to attend. Instead, Cupid has to help Prudence and Charlotte get ready. But the stepsisters are not eager to get dressed. It almost seems like they don’t want to go to the ball! Puzzled, Cupid thinks things over as the sisters and their mother leave for the ball. Just then, something occurs to Cupid. Any moment now, her fairy godmother should arrive!
Sure enough, her fairy godmother appears. Except, her fairy godmother is someone she knows – Maddie! Maddie tells Cupid that, according to the narrators, it was Faybelle’s fault that the stories got all mixed up. Then Cupid fills Maddie in on her mission. She wants to follow the stepsisters, and is hoping that Maddie can help. With her fairy magic, Maddie transforms a teapot into a carriage, and turns Cupid’s old dress into a beautiful gown. Some doves are turned into horses, and the two of them are off to the ball.
At the castle, Cupid quickly spots the stepsisters. Charlotte keeps looking at the time with a bored expression on her face. Meanwhile, Prudence watches the people on the dance floor, tapping her foot in time to the music. Someone asks her to dance, but she refuses. As Cupid puzzles over their strange behavior, she runs into someone else she knows – Hopper! He’s now the prince of Cinderella. Cupid wonders why he’s hiding in a corner. Hopper is too nervous to ask anyone to dance with him. Cupid points out that he’s the prince, and that this is his ball. Hopper spots a girl who looks like Briar, and works up enough courage to ask her to dance. However, when they’re dancing, the Briar look-alike compliments Hopper on his amazing dancing skills. This makes Hopper flustered. Afraid he’ll turn into a frog, he quickly runs away. Side-tracked, Cupid looks around for the stepsisters, but they’ve left the ball. Cupid decides to leave too. On her way out, she finds a red sneaker on the steps. She gives it to Hopper for safe-keeping.
That night, Cupid can’t sleep. She gets up to make some tea, and finds Stepmother in the kitchen. Stepmother can’t sleep either. She apologizes to Cupid for not letting her attend the ball. She had been so focused on Charlotte and Prudence. All she wants is for them to be happy, but they never seem to enjoy the balls. Cupid understands, and forgives her.
The next day, Cupid has a plan formed in her mind. She goes to Prudence’s room and asks her for a favor. Prudence claims she never does favors for anyone, but eventually, her curiosity gets the better of her. Cupid asks Prudence if she would practice dancing with her. Prudence immediately lights up. She loves to dance, but she has her own style that’s different from the way others dance. Cupid tells Prudence that having her own style is a good thing, and that she shouldn’t care about what anyone else thinks. Just then, from the window in Prudence’s room, Cupid notices Charlotte sneaking across the lawn. Cupid asks Prudence if she knows what her sister is up to, but she is clueless as well. Cupid follows Charlotte to a field. Gathered there is a group of boys playing bookball. One boy calls to Charlotte, wondering what took her so long to get there. Charlotte frantically looks around in her book-bag for something. Suddenly, Cupid knows what Charlotte is looking for. She summons Maddie, who goes to get Hopper.
Before long, Hopper and his guards arrive with the shoe. Stepmother is excited, for whoever fits the shoe will surely marry the prince! When the shoe fits Charlotte, she reveals that she doesn’t want to marry the prince, and would rather be playing bookball than spending time at balls. Stepmother says that she juts wants her to be happy, and if playing bookball makes her happy, then that’s all that matters. Prudence suddenly asks Hopper to dance. Hopper is so surprised that he turns into a frog. But Prudence doesn’t mind. The two of them start dancing in the middle of the living room. Prudence is finally confident enough to dance in front of other people, and Charlotte doesn’t have to keep her passion for bookball a secret any longer.
Cupid, Maddie, and Hopper are transported back to Ever After High. They passed the hexam! Cupid remarks that she didn’t help anyone find love in their fairy tale. Maddie disagrees. She says that Cupid helped the stepsisters love themselves. And that was the most important kind of love in the world.