Wednesday, October 24, 2012


by Marissa Meyer
400 pages
Middle School +

Cinder lives a boring life.  She works in her little mechanic shop, pays whatever she makes to her step-mother, and also has to do the chores at home. The world is being ravaged by an incurable plague and everyone is scared.  She is in a rut and dreams of getting out.  On top of all of that, she has to hide her secret from everyone: she is a cyborg, part-machine, and part-human.

One day, as she is in her mechanic shop, a hooded stranger comes to her booth.  He asks her to fix a droid for him, and it is imperative that it he gets the information from this droid's memory.  As they talk, Cinder recognizes him as Prince Kai, the unmarried heir to the throne.  He enjoys talking to her, and eventually asks her to a ball.  Throughout all of this, her sister catches the plague, Cinder is sold to research, and the Lunar Queen decides to visit Earth.  Cinder must deal with Prince Kai, avoid the Lunar Queen and try to find a cure the plague that threatens to destroy the world.

I had two reactions to this book. First- what a fun idea!  A Cyborg Cinderella!  The action was fast and the story creative even though it is based on a well-known fairy tale.  This book kept me enthralled from the very beginning.

Second reaction: I wish Cinder wouldn't have been so down on herself.  She is constantly demeaning herself, and wishing she was something else.  She never has a good opinion of herself.  Girls get enough of that already, I don't know if they really need to read about it.  On the other hand, it can also make her more approachable as a character, that she has the same feelings that teens do.  While I really enjoyed the book, this was a minor drawback.

Overall, I will still recommend the book.  I think teens will really enjoy the story telling, plus the originality of the idea. Retold fairy tales are huge, and this is a great example of an original twist.  There is a sequel coming soon (February 2013) that I can't wait to read.  Fun book great idea, and lots of twists and turns!

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