Wow. This book was just AMAZING! From the first page to the last, it was gripping, interesting and mind blowing! I know a lot of people who were slightly disappointed, a lot of people who said this book could do without the Cinderella theme and all that, but I thought it perfect!
I admit, at first I was reluctant to read Cinder. I don't even know why; it's just that among the many books on my To-Read list, this wasn't the one to pop out when I wondered what book to read. Maybe it was the fact it was a first in a new series, and I rarely read those. I hate the wait, you see. Maybe it was because it had cyborgs and all that, and I haven't read much-if any- of those; hence I didn't know if I'd like the genre or not.
Boy, how I'm kicking myself right now over it! I can't believe I didn't read it sooner! Thank god for Goodreads group reads, otherwise it might've taken me ages to get to it!
(Though, now I'm kicking myself for reading it because, honestly, how the hell am I supposed to wait until February 2013 for the next book?! And then another year for the next, and another one... I'll lose my mind! This is exactly why I don't do firsts in new series!)
Cinder presents itself as a re-telling of Cinderella. In the city of New Beijing, lives Cinder - an orphan, a stepdaughter, and a possession. Her evil stepmother, Adri, treats her as a servant, and everything in the house is left upon her shoulders, while her adopted family spends the money she earns - never giving her a cent. Even when she really needs it.
Then there is prince Kai, the crown prince of New Beijing, a figure many girls dream to meet and one day merry. And of course, there is a ball. And a shoe... sort of.
Oh, and I forgot to mention: Cinder's a cyborg. No big deal.
Yes, Cinderella is part metal, and honestly, calling this book a retelling of Cinderella is underrating it. Cinderella is the theme. But it's not the story.
The story is about very deep things, when you think about it - It's about slavery and people-living people with hearts and minds-being treated like possession. Owned.
It's about death and its horrific form.
It's about dictatorship and its ugly face.
And it's about finding yourself among it all. Or starting to, anyway.
Besides, there were some striking differences between Cinder and Cinderella, all whom I'm sure you'll notice while reading.
I don't want to give up too many details, but the story of Cinderella? You know, the one in which a servant girl desperately wants to go to the ball and dance with a prince, and a fairy comes and-well, you've seen the Disney movie. Well, Cinder has very little to do with that.
Cinder is actually about a deadly plague, war threats from the Lunars - humans who live on the moon and long ago stopped being considered humans, and how someone different, not by his own fault, struggles with the difficulties that is his life.
Meyer takes the fairytale, makes something entirely different to it and inside puts reference to the story we all know in ways that makes you quirk a smile.
The characters in the book were well developed and I found myself very emotionally invested in them.
Cinder, heroine of the book and its namesake, is courageous, smart, strong and a little lost. She lives like a possession and wants her freedom, wishing she wasn't what she is. Wishing people would stop recoil or send her disgusted looks when they see her.
Kai, prince of New Beijing, is the other main character of the book, who's POV we get to see from the second part of the book on. He's very likable, struggling with the many responsibilities suddenly put on his shoulders. He is sweet, charming and... well - princely? I guess the title "prince charming" fits him well.
Then we have Adri, the evil stepmother, Pearl, the evil stepsister, Peony, the good stepsister, the Queen and a few more. All were well done and added to the story.
I NEARLY CRIED
You know a book is good when I nearly cry when it barely started. You know a book is good when in a couple of pages, it makes you so in tune and living the characters, that you cry for their loses. That you weep for their pain. That you pray for their lives.
And this book did it. My eyes watered and I felt so sad, and I'm sure you'll know what I'm taking about once you read the book.
Let's start with the simple - the writing style is simply engrossing. It sucks you right in, and I don't doubt for a minute that if I weren't busy with college (meaning: barely time to read) I would've finished this book in a single way. And then cried and whined for hours that it was over.
Now, what I felt was special about this book was how Meyer made us sweat for information. She keeps us guessing, confused, but not in a bad way in my opinion. And I felt she very much intended to get us all confused.
Meyer doesn't explain most of the time - she shows, over the course of the entire book. She lets us see for ourselves, understand without saying the words specifically.
She leaves it up to us to gather the information, trusts us to figure it out through the character's actions, words, memories. And it works. You understood most everything, and what we didn't? I trust she'll explain it, in the future books. Meyer does not seem to be in a rush to show her world to us.
Yes, this book is predictable. The reader realizes where the big revelation is headed fairy early on, but I don't think Meyer intents for it to be a big secret. She went for something pretty obvious, but the rest of the book is pretty outstanding. We might not be surprised, and yet we are, in a way. Not by the big bad secrets, but by the entire scenario. The entire world. The entire direction taken here.
And there there is that ending...
Dear god, what a cliffhanger! Is that seriously where the book ends?! I spoiled it for myself half way though when I went to check when Scarlet comes out, and I don't think I would've seen it coming (I'm not talking about the big secret. I'm talking about what happens to Cinder) without it. It didn't make me any less surprised and anxious to read the ending, though.
And now I have to wait.
Until 2013. It's only 4 months away. 4... months...
I'm going to die.show more
by Adrian Vandenberg