Cinderella is probably my favorite fairy tale of all time, and this re-telling of the classic fairy tale impressed me quite a bit. I’ve read many re-tellings of Cinderella; however, none has come close to what Ms. Meyer has written. I am well aware that Cinder seemed to be one of the most over-hyped books that everyone praised and loved, so I was actually a bit skeptical prior to reading it. In the end, I liked it enough to say that I am anticipating to read the rest of the books for the series.
Ms. Meyer took Cinderella, turned her into a bad-ass, snarky cyborg – a human with machine parts and put her in a complete different world than we’ve grown accustomed to seeing Cinderella in. Cinder, I simply adored and has made the list as one of my favorite book heroines. She is smart, strong, independent and at the same time has a sense of great vulnerability and worth. It’s quite ironic because I feel like she isn’t really similar to the fairy tale Cinderella. Her love interest, Prince Kai is the epitome of Prince Charming and you can’t help but fall in love with him. He is kind, gentle, strong on his own, yet has flaws. However, you cannot blame him since he has so many burdens to carry. Moreover, he is not just there to serve as the love interest for Cinder. His character serves a purpose and his actions and decisions does impact the overall plot in the story. Other than the main characters I also liked the secondary characters especially Iko, the loveable android as well as Dr. Erland. Even our villain Queen Levana, I couldn’t really bring myself to hate because I find her not to be pure evil. She has reasons for being that way, albeit, I’m not condoning her actions. I just love the fact that all of the characters are so multidimensional and are neither black nor white.
Just like any young-adult book, there is romance. I liked how Ms. Meyer portrayed the romance between Cinder and Prince Kai. Some people may see it as insta-love, but I beg to differ. Yes, Cinder was a fangirl of Prince Kai at first; however, a friendship was first established before romantic feelings came into play. Their romance is sweet and cute–nothing over the top. It didn’t overshadow the main plot, like most young-adult books nowadays which makes me glad. I don’t think I can’t take it anymore when romance takes the front seat over the actual plot, especially when the book is really not even a romance book. Therefore, if you want a lovey-dovey book because it’s Cinderella, you’ll probably be unsatisfied.
On the other hand, it is unlike me to not point out the things that I may have not like in the book. While there is world-building in the story, I felt it was lacking. I know, I feel as if I’m sounding like a broken record because almost every book review I’ve written, I always have some thing to say about world-building. Don’t get me wrong, I love the world Ms. Meyer has created, and I praised her not only for the creativity, but also the originality. While I understood that Cinder lived in the future, years after WWIV had taken place, and Earth was challenged by extra-terrestrial Lunars and humans suffered from an incurable disease, I knew nothing beyond that. Moreover I had a problem with the plague that is happening in New Beijing. It wasn’t as convincing since I felt like there was no devastation, no mass graves, and no suffering. Cinder’s business doesn’t suffer and everyone seems fine to just walk around in the open. Ms. Meyer could have delved into that more; however, for now I can somehow overlook these little “problems” since there are more books in the series. As for the writing style, it was simple and really easy to follow.
While Cinder was quite predictable and cliched it was one of those books that I didn’t have any problems with when it came to the triteness of the book. Overall, Cinder was an enjoyable read and I commend Ms. Meyer’s take on this classic fairy tale. I love re-tellings, and if you do as well, then this book may be for you.