Teen Book Review: 'Cinder'

Cinder by Marissa MeyerSummer is always a time of massive heat waves and power outages.  Most of us felt that forcefully with storm damage we experienced at the beginning of July.

But the difficulties we had are nothing compared to how bad a power outage would be for Cinder, the heroine of the book with the same name by Marissa Meyer. We have to deal with spoiled food, but she has to worry about not being able to move because her robotic parts might not work. 

Intrigued? 

Read on below.

It all starts when Linh Cinder receives an unexpected visitor at her market stall; Prince Kai, the soon-to-be ruler of the Eastern Commonwealth.  He asks her to repair an android containing sensitive information, but it isn’t long before a romance grows between the two of them.  However, there are complications; Cinder is hiding the fact that she is a cyborg, which is a caste little better than slaves in their society.  Kai is hiding that he may be forced to marry Queen Levana, ruler of the dreaded Lunar race because she might have the only cure to a plague ravaging Earth.  After Cinder’s sister and friend Peony contracts the disease, her evil guardian volunteers her as a test subject to find a cure.  But what the doctors find out about her may very well end her romance with Kai – not to mention her life.

Cinder is a very interesting take on the classic story of Cinderella.  A lot of this novel is devoted to building the world; clearly in the far future, and yet still very human despite the android and cyborg populations. There are some instances where tie-ins to the original Cinderella story (the ball, the orange pumpkin car Cinderella uses to get to the dance, etc.)  are inserted into the story very heavy-handedly, but overall, this story is very original. 

The political intrigue will appeal to older readers, while others will relate to Cinder and her reluctance to reveal her terrible secrets to Prince Kai.  For his part, Kai is no stereotypical Prince Charming; complex and compassionate, he’s the equal of Cinder and carries almost as much of the story as she does. 

Cinder is recommended for mid- to late-teen readers. 

Check it out at Northeast Library or your local branch of the DC Public Library today!

--by Brandon Digwood