Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Release: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwal and Friends
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
In Cinder, we meet Cinder, a teenage cyborg taken advantage by her step-mother and step-sister while earning appreciation from the other step-sister. As a cyborg, she doesn’t have the same rights as other people and her step-mother reminds her daily. One day, Prince Kai requests she fixes his android and she obliges. Meanwhile, the world is suffering from a deadly disease that kills its host in a matter of days. Soon, its realized that the only way to find a cure is to join in alliance with the Moon and its evil queen, Queen Levana. She requires the hand of marriage from Prince Kai in New Beijing, something he refuses because he’s slowly developing feelings for the mysterious girl he’s asked to fix his android.
I’m not sure if my feelings for this have anything to do with my personal life but after all that I heard, all the praise, all the love, every tiny bit of fangirling, I wasn’t too impressed. I mean, I loved the story – I truly enjoy retellings, I love seeing an author take a story and twist it into something new and this was something new but I feel it was overhyped. Now, that’s out of the way.
Now, I was using this read as an escape from my personal life. There was death in my family so I was hiding between the pages and wasn’t completely focused but I’ll do my best to do this justice.
Like I said, I truly enjoyed this. It made me think of every reimagining of Cinderella I loved as a child: the Disney version, the one with Brandy, the production my high school put on when I was in the eighth grade, I truly adore fairy tales. Now I do regret taking my time to read this. I wish I read it when I bought it last year, maybe my feelings would be greater, but shoulda-woulda-coulda, yeah?
The writing was very descriptive, the world was brilliantly built. It was interesting to see the citizens of Earth banded together against a common enemy rather than at each other’s throats in war. In Cinder, we see what the world has turned into in this future – people living on the moon, I believe people living on other planets as well, and a more simplified version of the countries.
Cinder was easy to relate to. She is an outcast, she is an anomaly, and she hides it as best she can to make it through the world without detection for fear of ridicule and other horrors being a cyborg can cause. As her sidekick, she has her own house’s android, Iko, to keep her company, and her stepsister, Peony as her only friends. Peony doesn’t see Cinder as a cyborg but her stepsister, and I loved the twist on that, having someone on her side.
The plot twist was very easy to tell. I’m sure, if you’ve read it, you saw it before you even realized what was happening. If you haven’t read it, well, uh… I’ll stop there.
And the heartbreak. This book did break my heart! I mean, I did cry and I rarely cry – but those personal issues of mine I’m sure helped the tears.
I have the second on my shelf that I will read. I’m just not sure how soon.