Monday, July 28, 2014

Cinder Review

Cinder by Melissa Meyer has been on my radar for a while now.  If you frequent any book blogs focusing on young adult fiction you will have undoubtably encountered this book. You've probably also read it by now, but I thought I'd share my opinion just in case you haven't gotten your hands on this gem quite yet.

Cinder is a cyborg living in the futuristic New Beijing where cyborgs and robots are treated as second-class citizens.  She lives with her stepmother, who basically owns her, and her two stepsisters (sound familiar yet?).  As a skilled mechanic, she dreams of earning enough money to some day escape.  This all changes when the details of her mysterious past begin to surface, and she suddenly finds that her life is threatened by a horrible secret. As you probably guessed there is also a handsome prince and a fair amount of drama associated with him.

Now before you start rolling your eyes behind your computer screen let me ask you one question. How much do you really hate Cinderella stories?

I feel like we go around saying Cinderella stories are so cliched, but then we keep writing and reading  them. No matter how much we are tired of the cliche we also love its familiarity.  We love to hear stories about the underdog who manages to make her dreams come true.  We also love pretty dresses and princes on white horses.  Put these two things together and you have a Cinderella story!

But really, the pretty dress is important!
If you like a dash of sci-fi with your (not so) pretty dress and handsome prince, Cinder is the book for you.  Not only is Cinder a cool, bad-ass version of our favorite blonde Disney princess, but her story deals with issues much more important then going to the ball.  Cinder looks at a world in which a whole class of humans are given fewer rights than others simply because they are different (in this case half robotic).  If you haven't noticed, society continues to have issues with inequality.  Reading books from the point of view of the disenfranchized allows those who are privileged understand how inequality effects everyone.  Because of this, books like Cinder allow us to escape our current world while still allowing us to apply what we've read to our own lives.

So, in some ways Cinder is just another Cinderella stories, but it is also highlights important issues that will follow human society.  Plus let's be honest, cyborgs are so cool.

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