Let me just begin by saying that this book was not what I expected. At all. I picked it up a few months ago, but after reading the back, discarded it as a sappy and cliché romance. Basically, the typical young adult novel. However, prompted by a friend with high standards for books, I decided to give Cinder another chance.
I was enchanted from the first chapter. I expected it to be some awkward blending of fairy tales and science fiction, but the two were woven together with such fluency that it only seemed natural for “Cinderella” to take place in a futuristic China. I screamed aloud, laughed, and even teared up as I read this book, to amusement of the friend who had recommended it. It even made me think, which is quite a feat for any book less than a century old! I was so entranced by this book that another friend attempted to confiscate it and make me interact with the outside world. But how could I be expected to socialize when my new friends Cinder and Iko were in peril?
Speaking of my new “friends”, the characters in this book were really what made it so wonderful. I do not mean to condemn the entire young adult genre, but one does have to admit that the characters of its books are not always the most realistic or wholesome. I mean, can we as teenagers really be expected to admire the wishy-washy Bella of Twilight, the too-perfect rebel of Legend, or supernatural love-interests found in so many other novels? Cinder was different. The female lead was endearingly flawed, smart, and dedicated to her sister and best friend (who happens to be an android, but still had more depth than Bella Swan…). Best of all, she kept her focus on what really mattered despite her attraction to the charming prince. (THANK YOU MARISSA MEYER FOR MAKING ROMANCE A SIDE DISH RATHER THAN THE WHOLE ENTREE!)
Read this book. That is really all I can say. It was an adorable and addicting fusion of two popular genres, fantasy and sci-fi, with a multi-layered plot and a cast of refreshing characters that readers can actually relate to (ignoring the fact that one is a cyborg, one is a robot, and one is an emperor… but whatever.)
My one regret about this book is that I finished it on Saturday and must wait until Monday to check out its sequel. Bleh.