Friday, March 16, 2012

Badass Books: Cinder

I went on a binge-reading spree last weekend--plowing through ANGELFALL, CINDER, and INCARNATE. I'll have a review up for INCARNATE next week or so. But this one's for CINDER. Oh CINDER. This book is absolutely swoonworthy.

Summary (from 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.

Sounds glorious, doesn't it?

CINDER by Marissa Meyer.
As always, anything I might consider spoilery has been put in white text. Please highlight to read.

Why I read it: Jaime Morrow wrote about it for her January best reads RTW answer. In her description of the book, she wrote, "Think Cinderella meets Sailor Moon meets some sci fi reference that my brain can't come up with right now. Completely familiar and yet totally original at the same time." If you've read my "About me" page (which of course you all have so you don't need me to tell you this, right? right?), then you know I love Sailor Moon. That was all I needed. Even better? Marissa Meyer loves Sailor Moon.

ZOMG Yes: Almost everything about this story is ZOMG yes. Cyborgs, Cinderella, aliens, general awesomeness--what's not to love? And I couldn't help but think it would make a great anime (not just because it's set in New Beijing, either). I fell for these characters right away. Cinder's plight was my plight. I was swept away.

The world building in this story is fantastic. Marissa reveals parts of the world quickly enough to draw the reader in, but not too fast as to overwhelm. 

But my favorite part of this book, by far, was the writing. CINDER is beautifully written. The verbs are strong; the nouns feel hand-picked. Every word of this novel was labored over. It's full of beautiful sentences, and I'm a sucker for beautiful sentences.

Meh: There were only two things about this story that made me say, "Meh." First, Cinder's stepmother (like almost every classic Cinderella stepmother) felt a little flat to me. Her hatred toward Cinder, though tied in part to the general racism toward the cyborg which may be enough to redeem its, seemed hollow.

The only other flaw I saw in this book deals with the big reveal. Highlight to read on. I think Marissa made it much too obvious what Cinder's true identity was. Although the Cinderella story makes it hard to keep her identity a real secret from the reader, I felt like more should have been done to keep it a secret. As soon as the mysterious princess was mentioned, it was obvious Cinder was that princess. I'm not sure how Marissa could have changed it, but that was my biggest issue.

I feel like I need to make a new seal: the official seal of incredible, unbeatable badassery. This book is my favorite that I've read so far this year (beating out THE HUNGER GAMES by a long shot). If you haven't read this and you are at all intrigued, you should. I read it in one day because I couldn't put it down.


  1. Thanks for the mention :) Glad you liked it! I love totally original books. In this case that's saying a lot because it's a fairy tale retelling and totally could have felt same old same old, you know? Can't wait for the next one! :)

    1. No, thank you for blogging about this book! I couldn't agree more about the feeling of originality from this. I just wish SCARLET was coming out sooner!