Cinder by Marissa Meyer Review

Monday, January 9, 2012

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: January 2, 2012
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Pages: 387
Source: Publisher

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 lives the life of your obligatory Cinderella, complete with the requisite wicked stepmother and hideous stepsister. But Cinder is different than meets the eye. She's a skilled mechanic with a gift that supports her family's seriously lavish lifestyle. Not only that though, Cinder is a cyborg, making her less than the average human in New Beijing. Life is difficult, of course, but it's about to get more difficult. When an intergalactic war begins to brew beneath the surface, Cinder is about to become an unwitting heroine...but is it a life she is willing to continue, or will it be too much for one cyborg to handle?

There's a whole mess of dystopians and sci-fi novels on the YA market today. That's no secret, kids, but when an author is willing to take a classic, turn it on its tail and make it into something entirely new. Debut author Marissa Meyer has transformed your classic Cinderella tale into something far greater than your average damsel in distress tale. Offering us a heroine that's flawed but witty, sweet but strong and far braver than all those around her, Cinder earns its spot on the YA market today with an honest, fun and intense tale.

I was a little leery of Cinder, to be honest, despite my excitement. It's hard for a book to live up to the hype, but Cinder balances the task with ease. The characterization of our heroine was spot-on, allowing me to access the heart of her being from page one and become invested in her tale. Furthermore, all the secondary characters, including Cinder's stepmother, Prince Kai and her stepsisters came alive through rich and evocative dialogue and powerful actions. The true beauty of Cinder, however, lies within the world Cinder lives, New Beijing. The place was a virtual cesspool, dissolving under an incurable plague and ready to be attacked by the leader of the Lunar world, Queen Levana. Through the spine-tingling action and suspense, the romantic and believable love story and a great, fast-paced plot, Cinder succeeds on all levels.

Cinder is the first in a planned quartet of novels (love that it's not a trilogy!). Fun and thrilling, it's become an instant favourite of mine and definitely warrants a re-read. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA fiction, especially those who like fairy tale retellings, sci-fi and dystopians.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. You guys have got to stop telling me this book is so awesome. Lol. First of all, I really shouldn't be spending any more of my grocery money on random book buying. And second: I'm so afraid that my expectations are going to be too high! Then again, I've heard several people (like you) say that they were scared of the same thing and it all worked out! Guess I'll just have to wait and see!

    Glad to see you back, Melissa!

  2. Seriously,you drive me all nuts with those glowing reviews about Cinder! I'm still amazed by the combinations of genres here but, all reviews I've read so far have been ... excited!
    I know how you feel about starting books that are hyped that much - but sometimes the hype is just exactly what the book deserves, it seems like this with Cinder..

  3. Yay! :D So glad that you loved this one!! I thought it was TOTALLY awesome! Cinder surprised me too! I waffled between excited and not when thinking about this book and then I read it and was just all kinds of happy facing ;)

  4. Bought this one not too long ago and have been eager to read it! Fab review! :)

  5. I think I see a review for Cinder every time I login to blogger these days. It sounds great! Happy to hear it lived up to the hype for you :) And CONGRATULATIONS on being ENGAGED!!!!!!!

  6. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY YOU'RE BACK!!!! *does happy dance*

    So glad you loved this one too, I thought it was amazing and I'm going to have a hard time being patient for the next book. I'll definitely be rereading this one as well. Stunning review as always.


  7. First of all, congrats on your engagement! Also glad to see that you're back in the blogging world. Once I finish Bittersweet, Cinder is next on my list for sure! Awesome review!

  8. I can't wait to read this one! I love retellings, and this one sounds so wonderfully original!

  9. I like that she managed to write something new cos yes so so many dystopia books out there right now. I do fear I am getting tired even though I love them

  10. It's a planned quartet? I had no idea. The more reviews I read of this book, the more intrigued I am. I will definitely have to get my hands on a copy.

  11. Great review and glad you're back! I have missed your reviews!! I've started Cinder and I love everything about it!! I've read that each book is based on a different fairy tale. I cannot wait to read them all!


  12. I love this book too, especially how Marissa takes the classic Cinderella story and makes it her own. Great review! :)

  13. Glad to see you're back, Melissa! :D
    I'm so happy you loved Cinder. I'm a huge fan of it as well. The characters and setting are just...amazing. Great review, Melissa! :)

  14. I really enjoyed this one as well. The ending was a little difficult for me because I felt like the book just kind of ended in the middle of a climax, but I loved all the rest of it. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!

  15. Nice to see you post again! I am quite interested in this book. I am leery of most dystopias and sci fi books but I keep hearing great things about it. I like that it really makes an overtold story seem new.

  16. I think my favorite character was Kai-he was so brave in the face of the terrifying Queen Levana. Definitely interested to see what will happen in the next book.

  17. So much hype with this one but it completely lived up to it, in my mind. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first saw the cover. That cover's kind of freaky! But such reader goodness inside.

  18. I have been seeing lots of mix reviews for this book. I am still curious about it. Thanks for the review!

  19. I had no qualms about reading this book whatsoever. From the moment I saw it, I KNEW the hype and buzz was totally worthy. And I felt so excited the whole time I was reading it. The problem was for me...I did a very early review and at the point I read it, I didn't know anyone else that had read it yet so I was EXPLODING to talk to someone! (The same thing happened to me with Brodi Ashton's Everneath!) Now that Cinder is making the rounds and everyone loves it, I am **SO** happy because I loved it too.

    "Cinder succeeds on all levels." --> I totally agree!! It was a brilliant mash-up and I am waiting not-so-patiently for the next book. ;)

    Love your thoughts and great to have you back!

  20. I wasn't sure if Cinder would live up to the hype, but luckily, it so did. I like how it's going to be a quartet too :)

    Wonderful review, Melissa!


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