Saturday, March 30, 2013

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (no spoilers)

Book: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication: January 3rd, 2012
Source: Local Library
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

My Thoughts:
I thoroughly fell in love with Cinder. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about read this book because I'm a self diagnosed Disney fanatic and I love Cinderella like I love other Disney movies so would Marissa Meyer be able to change the story in a way I enjoyed? I didn't know, but I jumped right in and I ended up loving the book.

Cinder is basically a retelling of Cinderella except Cinder is cyborg and there is a raging lunar war going on. This book is so much more than a Cinderella retelling. Marissa Meyer was able to take bits and pieces from the classic Cinderella story and entwine them in Cinder. It didn't feel like I was reading a fairy tale it felt like I was reading an original work because I was. Although Marissa Meyer was able to be somewhat true to the traditional story she made it her own in Cinder. I really enjoyed that.

Cinder is a futuristic retelling of Cinderella also. It is set in Beijing, China that is now know as the Eastern Commonwealth and has been peaceful for 126 years. The annual festival is coming up to celebrating the ending of World War IV. Cinder will be allowed to go to ball only if her stepmother Adri lets her. Unlike the traditional tale Cinder isn't too worried about going to the ball. This disease called Letumosis is raging throughout the Eastern Commonwealth. Cinder is a mechanic and also a cyborg. Everything changes for Cinder when she meets Prince Kai at the market and he asks her to fix his android. Her life is turned upside down and we have to keep reading to see how she will go about fixing it.

What I really liked about this story that always bugged me about the Disney movie is there was no instant love. Cinder did not just meet the Prince at the ball. There was a built up to their relationship. Prince Kai was  not the normal stuck up Prince we see in every single fairy tale. He was literally such a gentlemen and I really fell in love with his character. Although this book was set in China he is the only person I imagined to be Chinese. Kai was really good looking in my mind and that never hurts to make me fall in love with a character. I also fell in love with Cinder. She is so different from how you would ever imagine Cinderella. She had a robotic leg and arm. She maybe isn't the most beautiful person in the room, but she is willing to do what is right.  Cinder unlike every Cinderella didn't need to be saved she could stand up for herself and was doing everything she could to help her family and Prince Kai.

Adri her stepmother was a witch from the start and as the story moved forward I grew to hate Adri more and more. Cinder's stepsister Pearl was evil as well and I never liked her. She reminded me of Priscilla from the Disney movie (the one in the green). Peony was such a sweetheart and really the only one who treated Cinder right. She was the younger of the two sisters. I really wish what happened to Peony didn't happen, but it was such a driving force in the book that it had to and I can respect that.

The Lunar war is something I see going on throughout the four books and I have seen reviews where they believed this was not necessary  I think it was because what happened to Cinder at the end of the book was all fueled by the threat of the Lunar war and Queen Levana. It would have been a completely different novel without that aspect.

This ending left me railing and I can't wait to read the second book Scarlett very soon. Although I believe Marissa Meyer could have brought Cinder to a full and complete ending the more I think about it I'm okay with the ending she gave us. It was a straight up cliff hanger, but didn't leave you at peace with Cinder either. I would defiantly recommend this book. I thought is was an amazing, original work, and I am so glad that I read this book.

Thanks for reading



  1. I really liked that they went with the one good stepsister plot, something for Cinder to sort of cling to in her family. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Very different from the traditional where both of the stepsisters are evil. What reason does Cinderella have to stay? But Cinder has a reason to stay because she has something she cares about.

  2. I loved Cinder! Kai was almost definitely my favorite character. He was so sweet and very princely, and there was no insta-love (yay!) I also loved Peony and her relationship with Cinder, however brief it was. Excellent review!

    1. Thanks Debz. Everybody has said that the book is amazing and now I totally see why.


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