I’d seen a number of reviews about CINDER, but it was actually Marissa Meyer’s WriteOnCon vlog that convinced me to go request it. Plus there’s the fact that I love anything Cinderella. In movies alone, I have the Disney version, “Ever After,” “A Cinderella Story,” and “She’s All That,” plus several others that fit the general plot. Book-wise, I just reviewed the MG SEEING CINDERELLA a couple of weeks ago. No matter how many times I see or read a Cinderella story, I’m always ready for another one.
That being said, it took me a couple of chapters to wrap my head around the whole cyborg thing. I think my concept of a cyborg was tied up in the Star Trek movies my parents and brother made me watch as a kid. But once I figured out what cyborg meant in CINDER, I was totally on board.
With my MMGM reviews, I typically list the five things I loved most about the book, so I’ll do that with this one, too.
1. The retelling – With the premise of this book, I didn’t expect it to stick as close to the original tale as it did. The key characters are there–the prince, the evil stepmother, the two stepsisters. By the end, you might even consider Dr. Erland to be the fairy godmother. I also loved the new twists on plot mainstays like the pumpkin, borrowing her stepsisters’ accessories for the ball, and losing her slipper.
2. Beyond Cinderella – But what I really love is that this book goes beyond Cinderella, telling Kai’s story, too. He’s a boy who has to become a man before his time, and the decisions he makes impact the whole planet. Wow. What a guy to fall for.
3. It’s no fairy tale – This book doesn’t pull any punches. The main characters have to deal with some majorly scary and devastating things during the course of the story, and their emotions and reactions jump off the page. I’d give an example, but then I’d have to tell you what happened to elicit the response, and I’m not going to spoil it.
4. The underlying mystery – I’ll confess I figured out the end twist from the first time it was mentioned. Sorry that’s vague, but if you’ve read this, you’ll know what I mean. But I think Marissa Meyer did that on purpose. The point isn’t for the reader to be surprised–although some might be–it’s for us to watch all the clues fall into place for Cinder. Every time she almost found out and something interrupted the reveal, the tension built for me. Every puzzle piece interconnected perfectly until the last piece revealed all. Brilliant.
5. The ending – OMG, I loved and hated the ending all at the same time. Loved it because it was perfect for the book. Hated it because I wanted to go read the next one right away and it doesn’t come out until February. There are so many possibilities for where the next one will go and so many questions I want answered. I. Can’t. Wait!
Well, I guess I have to wait. Who else loves this book? If you haven’t read it, go get it now!