Friday, June 22, 2012

Review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Feiwel & Friends
Cinder: Book One the Lunar Chronicles
By Marissa Meyer
5 Scribbles
For a while there I lost my desire to read any book that was a fairy tale spin off, because a few of those I have read have been silly and trite, and so I fought reading Cinder; but then I saw all of the accolades the book is earning and I though, why not? Thank goodness that I finally overcame my apprehension and read this phenomenal book! Cinder is a cyborg living in New Beijing; she was made into a cyborg when she almost died at age 11 and scientists patched her together with artificial parts and internal computer programming to keep her alive. That makes her a second-class citizen to her stepmother, sisters, and pretty much everyone. Since she works as a mechanic to pay her "guardian" stepmother’s bills she devises a plan to run away and perhaps find her family—the family she cannot remember from before the accident. But then the plague comes to New Beijing, and suddenly Cinder finds herself the center of a study to find the cure for the deathly illness that might cost her everything, her freedom, her health, and maybe even her life.

The setting for the story is perfect and unique! Who would have thought that China (of the future) would be so appropriate for this story? Given China’s current manufacturing boom it totally makes sense, and China feels like any Western country, so it’s very easy for the reader to feel at home while reading the story! Cinder’s character, while facing daily prejudice and persecution, is so much fun to follow. The dialogue is very realistic, with Cinder talking exactly like teens today would talk, and sharing the same habits and hopes of teens today. For instance, when she meets the Prince and is asked to fix his Android, it’s all she can do to speak intelligently and not get too distracted by his good looks, even though she knows he’d never speak to her if he knew she was Cyborg! I adored Cinder’s calm under pressure, her love for her younger step-sister Peony, despite Peony’s privilege, and her sense of humor. She is a strong and admirable protagonist that any of us would like to have as a friend. And as for the plot? Perfect. Although anyone who has read Cinderella sort of knows Cinder’s destiny, it’s still a joy to find out how the author will spin the classic tale with Cinder’s character. I was riveted to this story and it’s action; I could not put it down. A great read for the middle grade, junior high, and high school ages—and for that matter, for anyone who enjoys a good fairy tale/sci-fi blend.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Erin,

    I'm an author with a new collection of YA short stories, Ugly To Start With (West Virginia University Press).

    Will you please consider reviewing it?

    I've been writing and publishing for twenty years--more than one hundred stories and two novels--and Ugly To Start With is my best work.

    My first novel, The Night I Freed John Brown (Penguin), won The Paterson Prize for Fiction and was recommended by USA Today.

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    If you write me back at, I’ll send you a PDF of my collection for your consideration.

    At this point, my small publisher is out of available review copies, so I hope and politely ask that you consider the PDF.

    I would be very grateful.

    Thank you so much.

    John Michael Cummings