Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. Feiwel and Friends, 2012. 387p. Grades 7-12. Science fiction/Fairytale. (VOYA Perfect 10).
This is a science fiction reboot of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella. Cinder is a Cyborg, who meets the prince and wants to go to the ball. The twist comes when you find out Cinder is the long lost Princess Selene from the Moon civilization. It ends with a cliffhanger that opens the way for the next three books in the series.
Review: Cinder is an interesting take on the classic Cinderella. The added sci-fi elements give it another dimension and a bit of ‘omph’ to a traditional tale. Cinder as a character is someone I could really relate to. I never liked the fairytale Cinderella. Cinderella never had enough personality for me to really enjoy the story. In other words, the Disney version of Cinderella was too nice. I like to read about a character with a bit more spunk. Cinder does not suffer from that same defect. She is vibrant and filled with snark and indignation for her station in life and for others like her. She is willing to go to great lengths what she wants. She takes responsibility for her actions and in the first installment her guilt is palpable throughout the text about her younger stepsister.
My chief complaint with the novel is that it is easy to guess the ending. As soon as you read about Princess Selene, you realize that Cinder is the long lost princess. While I understand this is the first in a series and out of necessity there needs to be a lot of set up and creating of the world and characters for the next books, it would have been nice to have another option for who the Princess Selene could have been. It would have presented the reader with a bit of mystery.
This book would be useful to use in a classroom as a comparison to the traditional tale. It could be used as an introduction to having students write their own versions of a fairytale. I think it would be great to give to a student who likes traditional tales and could be a nice introduction into the science fiction genre.