|Feiwel & Friends|
Cinder: Book One the Lunar Chronicles
By Marissa Meyer
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.