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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (edition 2012)

by Marissa Meyer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,5743882,328 (4.09)1 / 336
Authors:Marissa Meyer
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (2012), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned, Favorites
Tags:dystopia, fairy tale retelling

Work details

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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English (385)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (388)
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"I don't know. I don't actually remember anything from before the surgery."

His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. "The cybernetic opetation?"

"No, the sex change."

The doctor's smile faltered.

"I'm joking.”

^That, right there, is what I need in a good book: humour. If it's angsty-wangsty-emo-smeemo, the book can kiss my ass because it will take away any enjoyment I had. It will throw me in a ditch with a couple of razorblades and an Evanescence album on repeat. I cannot deal with wangst where it has no place in the book.

But this is where my problem with Cinder stemmed from. Although it has humour, it has a bigger balance of Angsty Teenage Syndrome.

It's a Cinderella re-telling! I hear you scream. It's not exactly a life of joy and roses!

You're right. Cinderella's story is sad and lonely and angsty. It's all of those things and more, but Cinder started with humour -- a heroine who don't need no man, with witty, smart comebacks, and I immediately liked her.

"I'm sure I'll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on."

Here's the thing: the minute I started to warm up to her, she became an angsty teen who listened to that one Evanescence album on repeat. Sure, she had a right to -- her sister had contracted the plague, her stepmum and stepsister are Bitches, capital B -- but I wasn't sold. It was too much all at once for me to work up any real sympathy, and for me to be able to commiserate with Cinder. Her sister contracting the plague, to me, was something that happened to everyone. It didn't feel personal enough.

Another major problem I had was that nothing actually happened. If you cut out a chunk of the book, or decided to skip say, eight chapters, you won't have missed anything. It's the same recycled scenes slapped onto the pages over and over again: Cinder going to work at the Palace, Cinder bumping into Kai, Kai and Cinder flirting, Cinder runs away and goes home, where she then talks to Iko about Kai and the flirting, Cinder argues with Adri, her stepmum... and click repeat.

And, truthfully, I wasn't sold on Prince Kai and Cinder's growing relationship.

He seemed way too obsessed with her, too keen on her to really give me a feel of his, well, feelings for the cyborg. It was more lust than anything else... and Cinder's hot with him one minute and cold the next. Here, I can totally see why. Cyborgs are the lowest of the low in this dystopian era. How can she possibly tell Kai that the entire left side of her body (and inside) is made out of wires, plastic and metal? So I can see why SHE was awkward with him, but I couldn't see why HE was obsessed with her. It made no sense. He appeared one day with a broken robot (or whatever they're called) and BAM! Insta-obsession at its finest. Kai badgers her constantly to go to the ball, tries to buy her consent with gifts and just won't leave her alone.

Kai also just randomly info-dumps Cinder with all his family problems and his worries about becoming an Emperor. Bearing in mind they've only met TWICE when this happens and Cinder has her own shit to worry about.

Kai started growing on me by the end, though it was the fungus type of growing: it's irritating, it stinks, but you can't stop it growing without slathering it with some even stinkier cream.

Another major problem was how there was almost no worldbuilding or descriptions. Cinder mentions hovers, but doesn't tell us what they look like.

Do they look like this?

Like this?

Or this?

What's a netscreen? Is it like a TV screen? Or is it a projection? What's a portscreen? Is it like a slim-line phone? What does CINDER look like? She says only her hand and leg are metal, but how can she see these LED lights? How can she see the script running in front of her eyes? How does it work? The hell does Iko look like?! Because all I can imagine when I think of her is Wall-E:

And the world-building could've been worked on more, too. I don't quite understand why there was a Fourth World War or why the Lunars are so dangerous/hated. We're only told that Eartherns and Lunars have been enemies since forever. And how the crap did the whole Lunar thing come true, anyway? How did these people come to live on the moon?

Explanations are everything to me, because I hate coming away from a book with a billion questions and no answers. I've been told by a few people that the later books show more development, descriptions, etc. and I'm curious to see how it all works out the end so I'll definitely be reading more.

( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
RGG: A fun idea, a re-telling of the story of Cinderalla in the mode of science fiction--which makes the story middle grade, but the writing more difficult. Reading Interest: 12-14.
  rgruberexcel | Jan 26, 2015 |
RGG: A fun idea, a re-telling of the story of Cinderalla in the mode of science fiction--which makes the story middle grade, but the writing more difficult. Reading Interest: 12-14.
  rgruberexcel | Jan 26, 2015 |
Cinder is an interesting combination of a futuristic sci-fi and fairy tale, which, surprisingly, works extremely well. This novel is a beautiful retelling of the classic Cinderella, but it has its own twists and variations. This book is plot-driven, fast-paced, but a bit predictable. There is a strong female lead character in the story which I like. Cinder is physically different from everyone else but she doesn’t wallow in self-pity nor plea for acceptance. Cinder is a perfect balance between a good-hearted, warm-natured, intelligent woman who struggles with self-identity, self-image, and making right choices.
-I would recommend this book for MS & HS aged students. I feel you could introduce it with the idea that difference can be a strength not a weakness. Cinder in the beginning of the book is unloved and exploited by her stepfamily. She is also a Cyborg in a world that doesn’t exactly welcome them as equal beings to humans. Student can relate to Cinder’s feelings and see her overcome obstacles, find her own path, choose to not let her differences define her, and find her purpose in the world. ( )
  LorraineAllen | Jan 26, 2015 |
I read this for my YA at Heart book club. I really enjoyed it despite it having a more than predictable twist. I thought Cinder was a relatable, interesting character with a wry sense of humor.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book that makes me look forward to reading the rest of the series is the extra plot outside of the romance plot. This sub-plot is about how the Queen of the Moon is trying to take over Earth. I really appreciated this plot because it was larger than a simple romance plot which is what I was worried that I would encounter with this book since it was based on the Cinderella fairy tale. ( )
  AlbinoRhino | Jan 25, 2015 |
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For my grandma, Samalee Jones, with more love than could ever fit into these pages.
First words
The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.
Book One: While her sisters were given beautiful dresses and fine slippers, Cinderella had only a filthy smock and wooden shoes.
Book Two: There was no bed for her, and at night when she had worked herself weary, she had to sleep by he hearth in the ashes.
Book Three: "You want to go to the festival, all covered in dust and dirt? Be we would only be ashamed of you!"
Book Four; The prince had the stairway smeared with pitch, and when Cinderella tried to run away, her left slipper got stuck.
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Book description
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.

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As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.… (more)

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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