Today’s review is about a title I’ve been really quite excited to read. It’s Cinder, by Marissa Meyer.
DISCLAIMER: This review may contain little spoilers.
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This was the april title of the BookTown Bookclub, one of the bookclubs I’m in. I must confess that I was really really looking forward to this title. It’s one of the most cherished books on Tumblr and all the love made me curious (again).
This is the first title in the Lunar Chronicles. These books are retelling of the original princess stories and fairy tails. As you might have guessed by now, Cinder is a new version of Cinderella. After WW IV, the world regrouped in six kingdoms. In New Beijing lives a mechanic girl called Cinder. But she’s not human: a hoover accident left her badly hurt and only science could save her – she’s a cyborg.
First of all, I want to say that I didn’t hate this book. It was everything I expected, unfortunately. A bunch of clichés and special girl syndrome. But there were a few good things.
All the important details of Cinderella are there: adopted girl with a terrible stepmother, the “carriage” and the ball. But they all have a little twist: one of the sisters is good, the carriage is actually an orange VW beetle and Cinder leaves her own foot at the staircase (literally). There’s a constant effort by the author to remind us that this is, in fact, just another Cinderella story. I think retelling such an important and relevant story is something very courageous but it sounds awfully forced. Sometimes the story tries to take its own way, and it’s quite good! But then we’re forced into tons and tons of Cinderella and story tales references, which makes everything quite unbearable.
The characters are simply ok. I really didn’t care that much for Cinder. Despite being the main character, she’s merely an important piece in everyone else’s plan. She fails at everything she tries to do on her own. Queen Levana, the ruthless leader of the Lunar people (habitants of the moon), is a very predictable and normal villain. All her traits (fake beauty, bad temper and plans to rule the planet) are so cliche. She’s plain boring. Don’t even get me started on the evil stepmother and stepsister. The only good character is Prince Kaito. He’s lovely inside and out. Probably one of the rare male characters that I find attractive. The writing is also ok. Nothing special or something that stands out.
But my main problem with this whole book was how freaking special Cinder is. If I’m not mistaken, there’s even a sentence that goes somewhere along the lines of “Could she really be that special?”. Like, same! It’s so irritating that every single YA protagonist is a truly special being. Why can’t her/him be just a normal person that finds her/himself needed in the plot? Not just some freaking snowflake waiting to be found. It takes away every relatable trait. We’re not all special people but we can take part of important events.
So, I didn’t like Cinder. At all. I had hope through some scenes but it was a total letdown. The ending didn’t made me excited for the other two books out, the retell of Little Red Riding Wood and Rapunzel. I probably won’t buy or read then at all. I don’t recommend them either. It’s just not that interesting. I really wanted to like this book but oh well.
Anyway, please let me know what you personally thought of this book! And join so you can keep up with my journey through YA fiction!