Friday, October 26, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I remember the first time I saw Cinder very vividly. I was in Barnes and Noble at about 7 or 8pm last January, and on my way out, I spied a very interesting book cover that showed a red high-heeled shoe with a slightly transparent foot inside it. The cover caught my attention so much that I picked up the book and asked my mum to wait a moment so that I could read the inside description. And once I’d read the summary, I knew I had to read Cinder.

Sixteen-year-old Cinder knows that being a cyborg is not easy. Even after five years as one, she still can’t accept the prejudice. Her stepmother literally owns her, and no one would ever want to be associated with a part-robot freak. Despite the wiring, or maybe because of it, Cinder is a marvelous mechanic, and one day, she finds Prince Kai at her market booth asking her to repair an android. She says yes, and little does she know how that answer will influence her life. Between avoiding the plague (yes, there is a new one) and avoiding political intrigue, Cinder has her work cut out for her. Not to mention the prince’s invitation to the ball…

I love fairy tales, both the original ones and their retellings. I also LOVE sci-fi. So when I found out that two of my favourite parts of YA were merged in Cinder, I was captivated. It took me a while to get around to reading Cinder once I’d gotten it from the library, but once I started it, I couldn’t set it down. Literally. I started it around 8 or 9 at night and didn’t put it down until 11 or 12, once I’d completed it. Cinder is one of those unique books that you don’t usually come across, one that blends genres and makes something fresh and new.  I loved that Cinder blended a traditional fairy tale with a sci-fi world. It’s made even better by the fact that the story is set in an Asian culture. All of these aspects give the book a feeling unlike anything else. I was also very impressed to find that Cinder was a mechanic; almost every other re-telling of “Cinderella” that I’ve read has a typical Cinderella --- girly, wimpy, not too interesting as a character. Cinder works to overcome prejudice she experiences and other major issues in addition to fixing robots and electronics. The prince’s ball doesn’t really even come into play until towards the end of the book, and although it does have importance, it isn’t the main focus of the story, like so many other adaptations I've read. I really am really impressed with this book, and I eagerly look forward to its sequel Scarlet.

Cinder is the first in a planned series of four books called the Lunar Chronicles. Scarlet comes out early next year. (I’ll be reviewing it before then though, so check back soon!) You can find Marissa Meyer on the web at . This will be Marissa Meyer’s first year at TBF. I can not wait to meet her there. I hope you’ll come to hear her speak in May as well!

Happy reads!

Find all the books by Marissa that are available in the Monroe County Library System here.

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