Published: 05 January 2012 by Penguin
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Science Fiction
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A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl ...
Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.
It’s not the fairy tale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.
When I first heard about Cinder, I was sceptical. I haven’t had positive experiences with retellings of fairytales, and a retelling of Cinderella with a cyborg Cinderella sounds silly to me. Once I started reading the book, I found that it isn’t the same calibre as most of the YA genre. It has some light politics, some romantic elements, but it is primarily about a young girl who is struggling mightily with her identity.
The characters were my favourite aspect of the book. Cinder is a wonderful heroine, who struggles with being treated like a second-class citizen because she is a cyborg. She legally belongs to her stepmother, which makes her life difficult. Cinder is a compassionate and likeable character, and her interactions with Prince Kai were great to read. Kai is a humorous and charming man, who finds it hard to walk the line between his personal and political life.
Meyer has taken a well known folk tale and done fantastic things to it. I was pleasantly surprised by Cinder, and will recommend it to any other person who enjoys young adult novels.