Friday, August 3, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 4.5 glass slippers (ironic anyone?)

Summary (snagged from

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.

Cinder is a futuristic twist on the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Whether the name is on purpose or not, it's an intriguing one. What else? Well, for starters, the cover is amazing. A gorgeous red pump? With some wicked cyborg structure?  Now that's what I'm talking about. And just to put it out there, Mrs. Meyer has one wicked imagination because this retelling rocked my socks off.

The heroine-
Despite what we'd all like to imagine, Cinderella's life sucked. And I mean SUCKED. If you really think about it, she was technically a slave to her horrible step-family's needs. We get this cringe-worthy life aspect in Cinder with a modernized feel to it. Instead of washing floors and feeding the livestock (all the while singing), modern Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who works in the sweltering, dirty, and not to mention smelly market to make ends meet for her 'family'. You gotta respect the girl, truly. Instead of meeting the prince at a ball all pretty and dolled up, Cinder meets Prince Kai at her booth as a mechanic... and her metal foot is on the table in front of him. Oh, and she has a big ol' grease spot on her forehead. She toils away at her dirty work and refuses the Prince's flirtations and plans her escape from her own little hellhole. Despite her admirable work ethic... her character felt off. No spark, maybe? She had her spurts of "... Did she just DO THAT?!? :O" (which almost made me have nervous breakdowns from the stress) and then she had her moments of me wanting to strangle her cyborg-self and go "MAN UP ALREADY!"
Unfortunately, I had to take off from the rating because of her personality/situation. She was so helpless most of the story that I couldn't take it. I believe in strong (if not bitchy) female characters. While Cinder was definitely not weak, she had this helpless vibe going on the whole story from her horrible situation in life.

The guy-
Okay, don't get me wrong... Prince Kai is gorgeous. (pssst - he has luscious black hair and brown eyes) But I didn't like the fact that Cinder immediately fell for him once she laid her eyes on him. Yes, I do like gorgeous men. But what's with the insta-crush? 
Yet I must give props to him for his integrity! Go Prince Kai! He resisted the perfect woman specimen and fell for Cinder, with all her grease stains and imperfections. I'll have to read the next books to gather whether he truly is great by looking past all of her hidden 'imperfections.' He was really sweet, too. *goofy smile* But their connection? Great! I really want to read the next books to see what happens next with them!!!

The BFF-
I'm think it's Iko. We're pretty sure this android has a faulty personality chip, what with her 'over-opinionated mouth'. While I found her a bit boring at times, what can be expected? She is an android after all. But worry not, she puts in a few giggles to the story. Let's see if I can find one... (okay here's one- they're talking about Prince Kai's android that needs repairs)
"Cinder twisted up her lips. "Do you think it could have been a virus?"
"Maybe her programming was overwhelmed by Prince Kai's uncanny hotness."
Cinder flinched. "Can we please not talk about the prince?"
"I don't think that will be possible. You're working on his android, after all. Just think about the things she knows, the things she's seen and-" Iko's voice sputtered. "Do you think she's seen him nude?" "  pg 194

The world/adventure-
As expected, the adventure is not a nonstop, action-packed rager. Instead, we focus on emotional ups and downs (with Cinder) and political action concerning possible impending intergalactic war (with Kai).
The world, however? Well, New Beijing is a winner. With the time being way in the future, lots of new technology is introduced, along with many tech-y terms. There are still bakeries and festivities, but there are also new aspects. Cyborgs and Lunars are big in society, along with ID chips and comms. "Magic" or bioelectricity alters minds. There's lots more, which I leave you to discover.

The only problems I had with Cinder is the general helpless situation Cinder is in and never getting a description of her. I never realized how much it would bug me if I didn't know who I was reading about looked like, but it did.
This book is not cheery and chipper- no, it's quite rather the opposite. It does not have the happily ever after ending (otherwise it wouldn't be in a quartet) and actually ends with Cinder manning up! YEAH! I believe this quartet will be a very good read and a journey definitely worth reading. The next book in the series, Scarlet, is a retelling of Red Riding hood with Cinder mixed in. It's supposed to be released February 5th!
(Is that not an amazing cover?)
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