Cinder by Marissa Meyer
(Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Genre: YA Science Fiction, Fairy Tale Retelling
In Six Words: Needed Scarlet immediately upon finishing Cinder.
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Why I Started Reading This Book and Final Verdict
My original interest in this book really only came about because Marissa Meyer was at a signing with Leigh Bardugo (whose book I wanted). I knew others had loved Cinder, but I wasn’t really sure it would be my thing. (Cyborgs? Ehhh. Fairy tale retelling? Meh.) Wrong. WRONG! Oh, was I ever WRONG. Cinder hit all the right spots for me, and had me staying up until 1am in the morning to finish the book during a reading slump.
If, like me, you turn your nose up a little at cyborgs, stop. Sometimes I can be kind of an ass about my reading preferences. The conversation in my head goes something like, “Cyborgs? Pooh. No. Fairy tale retelling? Pooh. No.” Well, I’m an idiot. I should not have pooh-poohed this book, because it rocked me out of a reading slump and that’s something that isn’t easy to do. Whatever I thought I didn’t like about cyborgs or fairy tale retellings was a bunch of mumbo jumbo. In fact, as I found myself talking with the boyfriend about this book, I realized it was one of those rare books that actually got a “Cool” response from him rather than a polite “yes, I’m listening to you ramble about books I don’t care about” nod. Cyborgs are cool, y’all.
Unless, of course, you’re a cyborg in New Beijing. Then you’re not cool; you are considered a sub-standard creature. I actually enjoyed this aspect. A lot. Human society has always been plagued by the desire to oppress one group to prove the superiority of another (i.e., you can’t be superior if everyone is equal). Setting up Cinder as a cyborg was a good parallel to the actual Cinderella story, and it also gave the book an added element of tension and suspense. Cinder may be a retelling, but Marissa Meyer has woven such a unique story that it only builds on the original and creates something that is completely its own.
While there were certain aspects of the plot and book that were relatively predictable, I found that this was no real detriment to the overall story. I mean, come on. It’s a retelling. The plot has to go a certain way, you know? And you have to have elements of the story that hold somewhat true to the original story. I enjoyed watching how Cinder discovered these parts that were obvious to me as a reader. I wanted to find out how it all fit together at the end. Reading this was like putting together a puzzle. We know what the puzzle should look like, but the individual pieces are new and somewhat unfamiliar to us. With each piece we add to the puzzle, our excitement builds; we want to see how our individual pieces turn into the full picture.
What did shock me about Cinder, however, was the ending. My word, THE ENDING destroyed me. Not because of what happened, mind you, but because of where it ended. I got all flaily and needed Scarlet RIGHT AWAY. So, in short: Cinder rocked. Don’t let your preconceived notions stop you from considering this book. It is more than a retelling; it is more than a story about cyborgs. And I loved it. *flails*