Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Summary:  Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time...

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...

Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.  She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her step-mother.  But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai, 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.  Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for.  (Summary from back of the book and image from

My Review:  I needed this book right now.  I've been reading so much nonfiction for work and somehow also for leisure that my mind was craving something fun, fast, and easy.  This hit the spot.

Cinder plays on the Cinderella story, weaving all the components in, with a twist.  Actually, many twists.  I loved seeing how Meyer managed to pull in all the different aspects of the story, but it was still very fresh.  I'd read, previous to reading Cinder, that people figured out the twist in the story early on.  That's a fair statement.  Within 50 pages I too had predicted the twist.  But, that didn't ruin the story for me.  There are enough other fun surprises that knowing the big twist just prodded me to confirm my hypothesis.  Including the updates of technology, mixed with some futuristic ideas, it really made the idea of how life could possibly be in the future seem real.  There was just enough reality mixed with the traditional tale, combined with new ideas that created a satisfying read.

I truly enjoyed seeing Cinder as a character with more attitude as well--a female who was smart, capable, hard-working (duh), and at the same time selfless.  To me it was an empowering portrayal for females while at the same time discussing the topic of sacrifice for the greater good.  Prince Kai was also a solid pairing for Cinder--sometimes a love interest can be far too shallow.  Both displayed strength, intelligence, and depth, but Meyer didn't break away from the reality that they are both teenagers with tempers and emotions.

Another aspect of the book that was enjoyable were all the Asian nuances and details.  It felt very modern, but kept some of the old traditional symbolism and cultural pieces Asian cultures are sometimes known for.  I loved how it displayed the collectedness, the refinement so beautifully.

This is the first book of the series, so don't get your hopes up for a solid resolution to the problems developed in Cinder.  But, it does leave you wanting more and I'm definitely looking forward to reading book #2!

I would recommend this to my students for sure!

For the sensitive reader:  From what I can remember--I read it so fast it's become a blur--there was only one swear word used twice in quick succession--biblical at that and some people don't even bat an eye to it.

Rating: 4 Stars

Sum it up: A futuristic twist on the Cinderella story.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

Thanks for the review. It has been on my to read list for a while. I think I will have it jump up closer to the top.


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