I often read the "shelf life" section of EW.com for book reviews and author interviews and never once have I been disappointed with a book they've recommended. Cinder was one of those books. When I saw it, I thought: "oh great, here's another retelling of Cinderella. And with cyborgs? Seriously?" But since EW has never steered me wrong I decided to give it ago. Needless to say, EW was right. Here's my summary:
Cinder is a cyborg. She and many other androids live among the humans of New Beijing. Cinder is also a mechanic. She spends her days fixing what's broken and hanging out with her only friend, a full on robot. She puts up with her awful stepmother's constant berating and ordering her around. You see, her stepmother blames her for her stepsister's illness. But illness is everywhere in New Beijing. People are disappearing and dying all the time. When Prince Kai comes to Cinder and asks for her help fixing his android, Cinder immediately gets pulled into palace politics and intrigue. But she wants nothing to do with all the lies, secrets, and betrayals that are all too common among the royals. And try as she might, Cinder can't seem to ignore her growing feelings for Kai. But what chance could she possibly have with the Prince? Then Cinder learns Kai may have to marry Queen Levana. She's the ruler of the Lunars, those who live on the moon. When Cinder intercepts a transmit from a girl named Scarlet, she learns that the Lunars and their Queen aren't all they seem. But what is it they want?
**I enjoyed this book so much. The New Beijing Meyer has created is filled with science and technology and the characters are dynamic and full of life. Cyborg or android, you don't even notice her writing is that good! The slow growing of friendship into love between Cinder and Kai is sweet and realistic. While there were many aspects similar to the original Cinderella, Meyer goes far beyond the fairy tale to create a unique story that is much more modern and relatable. The next book in the Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet (yes that's Little Red Riding Hood!) is sure to be a big hit.
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