Aug 19, 2013

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publishing Date: January 3, 2012
Pages/Format: 387, Hardcover

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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: WILD

I started reading Cinder when I needed something lighter, and also because I'd met Marrisa Meyer like five times and still hadn't read her books. So I finally picked it up, hoping to love it because I love fairy tales and I'd heard so many good things about the book. While I think it didn't really live up to the hype for me, it was still a good book.

I didn't really have many issues with Cinder. (Although it took me a while to get used to the font, which is not my favorite.) The writing was nice, and I enjoyed the voice, but I think hype and anticipation kind of hurt it. I think there was just something kind of missing, kind of like that Wow Factor. Don't get me wrong--I liked the book. I did. But I just don't think I loved it. Also, I was sort of waiting for something to happen. Yes, things did happen, but I wanted more (especially more scenes with Kai and Cinder together). And the POV switch-offs seemed kind of sporadic, and I would have liked a pattern to them.

One thing I really liked was the characters and how they were portrayed, as well as being able to compare them with their originators in the original Cinderella tale. Cinder--a cyborg mechanic--was a great MC (though the book wasn't told in just her POV). She was so like Cinderella: the unwanted stepdaughter, she does all the work, etc. She has an evil stepmother (I HATED her), a not-so-nice stepsister, and a nice stepsister--which I liked. It was nice for their to be at least one person who treated Cinder kindly and showed her respect in her own home. And instead of mice for friends, Cinder had Iko, a robot-type with a wonderful personality.

There's also a prince, who I simply adore: Prince Kai. He doesn't seem like the typical Prince Charming, though he is definitely nice to those who aren't evil, and he's stinkin' cute in my book. (Actually, him and Cinder are so stinkin' cute together.) I think that both Kai and Cinder will be big players throughout the books, and with Kai being a royal, he has great potential. Of course, there can't be any kind of fairy tale without a villain, and that would be Queen Levana. And she most definitely plays the part. I look forward to seeing what her evilness will do throughout the series.

As a retelling, Cinder was great. It had a lot of truth and relation to the original story of Cinderella, while still managing to have its own flair and be original. It's he first book in a series (The Lunar Chronicles) that will have multiple characters from fairy tales being retold and crossing paths. I also like the world--in Cinder, we're in New Beijing, so Prince Kai is Asian. (I THINK Cinder is originally from Europe.) There's a lot of talk in the YA world right now about diversity, and if you want that, then read this series. The book is light and fun, but it's told in a way that's not all cutesy or cheesy (not that I don't like that), and it's done well.

While Cinder may have fallen short because of hype and it was kind of predictable at parts, it was still a good book. Of course, I just wish I would've loved it. Toward the end, I was very engrossed. (I may have made noises, and my sister may have told me to "shut up" more than once.) The last few chapters are what really made me like the book, totally making me react to all that was happening. I await reading Scarlet, and seeing what more The Lunar Chronicles will bring.

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? Maybe.
Would I purchase it? Already have it!
Would I recommend it? Yes.


  1. I'm wondering what you'll think of sequel Scarlet. Though Cinder didn't impress me, Scarlet completely blew me away and converted me into a huge fan of this series!

  2. I really liked this book. I've heard from several bloggers who weren't wowed by Cinder that they fell in love with Scarlet - I might love that book even more than Cinder too. There are some great new characters and there is much action, so I hope that book will surprise you :D



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