Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer was beautifully written and wonderfully unique. Rating: 5/5
*This is book #8/35 for my 2015 book challenge. You can take a look at the reading challenge here.
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.
If you’ve read any of my reviews in the past, you know that I like to nitpick. I don’t even mean to sometimes, it just comes naturally. Even when books completely suck me in, I almost always find something about them that felt off – even if it was just a grammatical error or something. I can honestly say that there was not a single complaint I had about Cinder. Okay.. there was this one little thing that we’ll get into in a second, but other than that – perfect. While I never forgot what happened in the beginning of the book, I loved the rest of it so much that it wasn’t even an issue when I finished.
So what was the problem? I knew the “big twist” far too soon. Maybe that was the point? Sometimes authors do stuff like that. They’ll have us realize something so when the characters figure it out it’s like WELL DUH. I don’t know. All I know is that there’s a very important situation going on and I was really upset when I realized it so early, knowing that later on it was supposed to be this bomb going off. But really, there was so much going on that it didn’t even matter that a part of it was predictable. Or maybe I just got sucked in and put blinders on, who knows.
The story was so original. It’s a futuristic retelling of a classic fairy tale – Cinderella. I loved the dystopian type of society that she created. I loved the characters as well. I love the inclusion of androids with personality chips and cyborgs having human emotions because they are humans, but being a sub-level of human. It was so interesting to read about. I loved the big bad being the Lunar queen, and the glamour being so similar to like, vampire compulsion but on such a grander scale. It was all so interesting and well thought out. This was one of the more unique young adult books I’ve read in a long time, and it felt DAMN. GOOD.
I also really love that Marissa Meyer set the story up in Asia. There are a lot of white, mousey brown-haired girls in young adult books and it was nice to see a classic fairy tale character become Asian. Though not a lot of emphasis was ever put on her looks, there was a lovely bit of Asian culture thrown in and it was refreshing. The inclusion of letumosis was a great decision as well. It sparked feelings in me instantly, and it is a great way to deepen the plot.
Side note: There was also a short story in the back of my book called Glitches, which I felt needed to be addressed. I love the back story behind Cinder’s arrival in the Linh family. I love that she created one of the step-daughters as being kind. These are small details that really matter in the books and it was really great to be able to read about her first few days after her cyborg surgery.
If you’re interested in reading my GoodReads updates from this book you can do so here. I must say, they’re quite entertaining. It will tell you exactly what I was thinking on certain pages.
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