by Marissa Meyer
Published January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
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.
Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.
Let me start off by saying that there are quite a few Cinderella retellings out there. The story of Cinderella is one fairytale that is often retold and given some new twist.
But NEVER, and I mean never ever, have I read a Cinderella retelling where the girl in question was a cyborg. Can we just pause for a moment and give Marissa Meyer a moment of appreciation, because to think up a fairytale like this takes some serious creativity.
I started this book with some trepidation because, seriously? Cyborgs? Cinderella is a mechanic??? A high-tech society setting in Beijing? Ye-ah, I was not so sure I was going to like this book, but boy was I wrong because I freakin' LOVED it. The more I read, the more the story pulled me in, the more I became invested in the characters and the plot, and the more I became addicted. I was originally going to give thie book 4 stars, but upon finishing, it would've been positively criminal to not give it a 5!
Cinder was totally not what I expected--in the best possible way! She had such spunk and I loved her sarcastic humor! She's also one of the strongest heroines I've seen in quite a while. She knows that being cyborg technically makes her "inferior," but she doesn't sit around moping or lamenting her fate. Even with her stepmother and sister's awful treatment, she stays tough and true to herself. And she's also a great friend and pretty darn selfless.
Prince Kai was also a great surprise. As I kind of detest instalove relationships, and, let's face it, Cinderella was the original instalove love story, I was worried that Kai and Cinder would have one of those love-at-first-sight kind of things, but thank goodness, Marissa Meyer, you have given me a wonderful fairytale, but still realistic romance.
The world of Cinder is so original and wonderfully crafted, that even though it's so different from our, I had no trouble imagining it. I loved that Meyer blended culture by making the story take place in New Beijing and also how eloquently she explained the technicalities of being a cyborg and how it made Cinder's life different from a human's. This book is so darn hard to categorize. It's party fairytale, part dystopian, part supernatural, part technological....trust me when I say that it's in a category all of its own.
HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Warning: beware the signs of crushing disappointment, impatience, and furious shock upon finishing this book and realizing the sequel doesn't come out until 2013.
What. The. Frak.