Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 3, 2013
Source/Format: Library / Hardcover, 387 pages
Opening Sentence: “The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.”
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Humans 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.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer is one of those books that has a lot of hype and, therefore, intimidates me to no end. In fact, I was putting off reading it for some time because I was concerned about the hype being bigger than the book. I didn’t run into such a problem, though. I actually really loved Cinder. I haven’t read a lot of fairytale retellings, so I have basically nothing to compare Cinder to aside from the Cinderella stories I already know. It’s probably better that way anyway.
Cinder came to me as a surprise, really. I wasn’t expecting very much from it and was thrilled when I was instantly drawn into the story. In the very first chapter three important people made an appearance and a lot of the conflict of the story was introduced. I love books that get right to the point and Cinder is definitely one that wasted no time–at the beginning or otherwise. Zero fluff is wonderful.
One thing I realized near the end of the book was how nervous/anxious I was. I wasn’t entirely sure how things were going to be cleaned up and it gave me so much anxiety. The phrase “I can’t deal with this.” left my mouth several times while I was reading the last few chapters. I can’t recall a time in the recent past that I’ve been so anxious while reading a book. It doesn’t happen to me often. I got so invested in the story and the characters nearly everything was making me nervous or breaking my heart.
Speaking of breaking my heart: Cinder was a true “Cinderella” and I was extremely protective of her. When anyone treated her badly it made me so angry I wanted to reach into the book and smack them. Meyer was so great at making mean people. Not just “Mwahaha, I’m evil!” types of people, but also everyday meanness that even the readers could experience and relate to. I hated Cinder’s “family”, but I absolutely appreciated being able to feel so affected by them.
In fact, I totally appreciate being able to feel so affected by just about everything and everyone in the entire novel. From the main characters to an android named Iko to a pandemic with no end in sight… I was extremely connected with the story the entire time I was reading it. Meyer took great care to keep this futuristic world realistic and relatable. Nothing she wrote about seemed completely impossible and it made things equally scary and interesting.
At the end of the day I can’t believe I waited so long to read Cinder. It was fresh, interesting, and totally wonderful. I’m so anxious to start reading Scarlet. Cinder is definitely one to check out if you haven’t yet.