Google+ Reading Teen: Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (January 3, 2012)
Buy the BookAmazon

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
I'm of two minds about this book, so I guess I'll just lay it all out there and let you make up your own mind.  I thought that Cinder had an absolutely fantastic premise.  I love, love, love the idea of a futuristic Cinderella, where "Cinderella" is a cyborg.  It made for such an interesting and original story.  However, while reading it, there was just something off for me.  I felt the same way while reading The Faery Ring, by Kiki Hamilton, like I should like this book more, but something was missing.  I think that it's just written a little too "young" for me, like it would click more with the 10-14 year old crowd than the 17 and up crowd, if that makes sense.

Here are my thoughts on why this is the case:
  • The setting isn't really detailed. The possibilities are endless with New Beijing, the marketplace vs. the palace, and the Lunar planet, but I never did get any real feel for any of it.
  • The language seems young and there's nothing futuristic about it.  They even say things like "drat" and "thank heavens."  It seems like there should be some new slang, that far in the future.
  • I never could really get a grasp on Cinder, as far as how human is she?  I guess I don't really know what a cyborg is technically, but in my opinion, you shouldn't have to do any research when reading a book, the story should give you all the information you need. 
  • The ending was WAY too predictable.  You may think this is because of it being based off of Cinderella, but that's not what I mean.  I actually like knowing kind-of what's going to happen based upon the fairy tale.  But there are other other "mysteries" that should be a little less obvious, but unfortunately were not.
However, all this said, I still did enjoy the story, and I couldn't help thinking that someone younger would really love it (I'm thinking of giving it to Faith from Reading Tween).  The story was really cute, and I enjoyed the banter between Cinder and Prince Kai.  I asked Marissa Meyer about the next 3 books in the series, and she said they will be based off of other fairy tales, but Cinder will also be present.  I love this idea!  I'm really excited to see how it all fits together, especially since Cinder was left on a total cliffhanger.

Check out the book trailer, and other goodies here:  

Book Doppelgangers:  The Fairie Ring by Kiki Hamilton,  Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon, Entwined by Heather Dixon, The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

  • Sexual Content:  Mild
  • Profanity:  Mild
  • Violence:  Moderate
  • Other Notables:  Mild
For more details, check out Cinder on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. Oh that sucks that you didn't enjoy it. I was looking really forward to this one. I will probably still read it, but I guess I just won't get my hopes up this time.

    Yes I dislike that feeling of being out of the loop in a book. In 'succubus blues' I actually had to google 'succubus' because it wasn't really explained in the novel. Maybe these books could have a glossary in the back?

  2. I have heard either people really enjoy this book, or didn't care for it much. I hope that I will like it. Thanks for the great review.

  3. I think everyone thought that the big "plot twist" was too predictable. That makes me wonder if it wasn't deliberate. And, I liked the lack of crazy new slang. That bugs me so much in futuristic society. I can't seem to find a way that it's done well. (For instance, as I remember there wasn't any slang in The Hunger Games.) I think I just liked the story for what it was and thought that the idea was very exciting. I am very interested in the rest of the series.

  4. I don;t know if I agree that you should never have to do any research when reading a book. I think almost every book can be enhanced by going above and beyond a little.

    That being said she totally could have done more with the setting. But it was a fairy tale re-telling and they usually have pretty basic settings so I kind of let it slide.

  5. I know that it's silly but this cover just doesn't make me want to read this book.


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