Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Won in contest
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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 freakin' brilliant take on the Cinderella fairytale! It was completely addicting, well paced, and featured a cast of unforgettable characters.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Cinder was a very strong character even though she was based on Cinderella. Despite her situation, she always took an active, not passive, approach to changing her life. She wasn't content with being her stepmother's doormat and I loved that about her! Being a cyborg, she was considered a lesser citizen of New Beijing, but she didn't let that hold her back. It was quite inspiring really. Her conversations with her android Iko kept things light and humorous. Though Iko wasn't human, it didn't keep her from having one of the most entertaining personalities in the bunch.
While the love story isn't too prevalent in this book, it's definitely there. I loved that fact that it was subtle and didn't overshadow the main plot. I really liked Kai! He had a really good heart. He wanted what was best for his people even if it meant sacrificing his life and his happiness. He was such an honorable guy and a true leader.
While the characters were fantastic, one aspect of the plot was extremely predictable! It wasn't exactly a small piece of the story either... Allow me to explain: When I say predictable, I don't mean something that you could predict based off of the Cinderella story. It was something completely different, but very integral to the story. I could understand predicting something from the Cinderella fairytale, but this was unrelated and pretty obvious from the beginning. Regardless, the predictability didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story! Another thing I found difficult about this book is that when it came to the setting, my imagination really had to come into play when thinking about what the city might look like. Meyer doesn't give the reader all that much description to go off of. Be prepared for a little legwork in this area!
Despite a few flaws, I easily give Cinder 5 stars. I couldn't imagine a Cinderella retelling being any more original! I've certainly set myself up for torture knowing that I need to wait until next year for the second book...