Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Summary: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. . . .My Thoughts:
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.
A futuristic tale of cyborgs and Cinderella, Cinder is more than just a retelling, it's a layered and fantastical story of pain, loss, love, racism and creativity in a world where everyone is holding on to survival by a fingertip.
In futuristic Beijing, Cinder works in the marketplace, fixing and caring for the mechanical items people bring her way, all in support of the horridly unappreciative step mother and step sister she is supporting. The bright side is her other step sister is wildly loving of her and while her step mother can't stand the sight of her, the youngest step sister cares for her deeply.
Cinder is used to the mean looks thrown her way from most people. She is after all a cyborg. Part human and part machine, Cinder struggles to live a life in a place where cyborgs are not only looked down upon, but it seems they are also on the cusp of following involuntarily into medical testing for the sake of humans. There is a plague raging around the world and the king and queen will do anything to find a cure, especially when the king succumbs to the disease himself.
Cinder is shoved into the harshness of this reality suddenly and painfully on a road she never expected. Because, no matter how bad life seems, there are just some things we think will never happen to us, never cross our paths, we are immune. Through a surprising turn of events Cinder's life takes her in a completely different direction than she ever thought possible. Along the way she meets a series of sub-characters who charm their way through the story and into our hearts making us giggle and question all the little details, lifting secrets and laying lies, all in attempt to flip our minds around a different world and different time.
A story that is more than a beauty who falls in love with a beast, Cinder is the story of loneliness and loss in a world that doesn't give one wit for her feelings because of her high percentage of metal parts. She is human, but she is also machine. Does that make her less important, less human? Strong and witty, Cinder scavenges her way through a a dirty world, polluted, dying from plague, hungry, poor and still she fights for life. The bright spots like Prince Kai and the good Doctor make for small bits of kindness and joy in her life, but she always doubts herself because of her cyborg side. Painfully aware of the metal running through her body and the marring imperfection of it causes her grief in an entirely different way. It's a daily reminder that she doesn't know really who she is and where she came as those memories have been lost.
I must say that the interactions between Cinder and Prince Kai were enjoyable and fun. Prince Kai isn't used to a girl who doesn't fall all over him and Cinder isn't used to anyone showing her the lease bit of attention. It's quite a fun exchange because their reasoning behind the actions aren't quite what we expect. Cinder doesn't fall all over Kai because she is too insecure in herself and her cyborg parts to show them to him. Instead she hides what she is. Prince Kai is young and naive and I enjoyed watching him learn that sometimes you aren't lucky enough to get what you want.
My only real complaint with the book is the ending. It wasn't really a cliffhanger, but it was like the story just ends. Yes, there is going to be more books in the series, but it was a really weird feel to have no sort of falling action to the climax and have the story just end. For that I'm marking it down, but otherwise, I loved the story and the writing and the characters. I give Cinder a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to fans of Young Adult, Dystopian, Fairytale Retellings, Sci/Fi Fantasy fiction.