Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: January 2012
Published By: Feiwel & Friends
Goodreads Rating: 4.11 stars
Review: Cinder is a gifted mechanic living in New Beijing with, well, just one problem: she's a cyborg. In other words, she's a second-class citizen despised by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But suddenly, her life intersects with Prince Kai's and she finds herself in the center of an impossible romance and an intergalactic struggle. The only way to save the future, she finds, is to uncover her past.
It's obvious straight away from the cover that CINDER is a different book, but even so, I was pleasantly surprised by how inventive this story truly is. Though it is clearly based loosely off of Cinderella, Marissa Meyer takes an entirely new spin on the fairy tale that puts all other retellings to shame. This is set in a dystopian world that is far different from any other dystopias I've read about and has a quality that is at once dreamy and gritty, and practically brims with creativity.
It wasn't just the world that was different - Cinder is about as far from the prototypical servant-turned-princess as you can get. True, she is somewhat of a servant to her family and yes, she does have some fun times with the Prince, but she's not just a maid. She's a kick-butt mechanic cyborg and strong as hell. This girl is fierce, loyal, and kind, and someone all the other Cinderellas out there could learn from.
With a character like this, it's no surprise the rest of the story was equally awesome. From the lovely budding romance to the high-paced plot, this novel was impossible to put down. I was sucked in way more than I expected to be, to the point that sometimes I would look up and expect to see the crowded markets of New Beijing surrounding me. And as for the ending? Can you say major cliffhanger? It was frustrating for me that it ended like that, but it was more in the way of being a reader who wants more; in other words, I didn't think the ending detracted from the book.
All in all, CINDER was one wild ride jam-packed with adventures, tears, and a heroine who anyone can admire. There's a swoon-worthy prince, creepy aliens, cyborgs galore, a virulent plague, and world-building that will have any writer green with envy. What more persuasion could you possibly read? I'd recommend this book from the top of my lungs.