Guest Blogger: Samantha, Grade 11
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Setting(Time): Far in the future, post World War IV
Setting (Place): New Beijing
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I rated Cinder four stars because it is a very unique take on the idea of remaking the classic “Cinderella story.” The story completely moves in a new direction with the classic fairy tale, making it into an entirely different concept. Meyer’s worldbuilding is extensive, and she creates and interesting futuristic society that has both classic elements of Sci-Fi and original ideas -- all while tying it together under the framework of a fairy tale. Cinder’s life as a cyborg also adds a perspective that Meyer captures extremely well throughout the novel, showing her everyday struggles in dealing with her robotic body. Overall, the novel is well written and puts an uncommon spin on a common tale.
Thousands of years in the future, in the streets of New Beijing, a deadly disease called letumosis is plaguing the population. Overhead, a colony of lunar people resides on the moon, hungry for power as they watch the city decay. Seventeen year old Linh Cinder must struggle through living in the city as a cyborg -- a characteristic that makes her a second-class citizen. With a forgotten past and a stepmother who hates her, Cinder keeps her head low working as a mechanic, longing for the day where she can leave the city for good. However, after chance encounter with Prince Kai, Cinder finds herself tangled in a power struggle between the Lunar’s and the leaders of the Eastern Commonwealth. Cinder is forced to come face to face with her mysterious past and discover the truth about the Lunars -- and about herself. Despite being treated as a second class citizen, Cinder comes to learn that there’s something unusual about her -- and that she may be more extraordinary than she thinks.
Cinder peered down at her drab clothes. Her empty ankle.
Peony’s dress. The old foot that Iko had saved. The silk gloves.
Her head bobbed before she knew what she was agreeing to, and she used the shelves to pull herself standing. ‘I’ll go,’ she muttered. ‘I’ll find him.’
‘Take the chip,’ said the girl on the screen. ‘In case we need to contact each other. And please, don’t tell them about me. If my mistress found out--’
Without waiting for her to finish, Cinder bent over and pulled the chip from its drive. The screen went black.” (Ch. 32, pg. 323)
Cinder is a novel geared towards young adults. It is a great novel for readers who enjoy dystopian and science fiction, as well as new takes on classic stories. Readers should also be aware that the novel has a romance element that is prominent throughout the story. I’d recommend Cinder to people who enjoy books like the Divergent series.
Want to make a recommendation?
* Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Young Adult Booklists
* New York Times Books Section (links to their Best Seller Lists)
* YALSA Book Awards & Booklists
* YALSA's Teens' Top Ten