Monday, August 11, 2014

YA Book Pick: CINDER by Marissa Meyer

Once a month, we choose an outstanding YA book to review. We want to spotlight books of interest to aspiring writers, as well as highlight some of our favorite books and authors!

This month's Book Pick is CINDER by Marissa Meyer.

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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.

First Line: "The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle."

This first line gives you an immediate impression of the main character. She obviously has something physically different about her, or she wouldn't have a screw through her ankle. The author also plants the idea that Cinder is poor by mentioning that the screw is rusted. It makes me want to read on and find out why!

Highlights: Although "cyborg Cinderella" is a good enough hook for just about anyone, this book is also a good example of the dystopian genre. It's set in the future, after a world war has devastated much of the world and completely changed political boundaries. The author did a good job of avoiding the dreaded infodump, instead doling out bits of information throughout the book that kept me hooked and interested.

The main character is mechanically inclined and very competent, which I liked a lot. No damsel in distress here. The romantic plotline is also well-crafted. The protagonists' attraction to each other is believable, and so are the reasons they are kept apart.

The book ends on a dramatic cliffhanger, which made me want to pick up the next book immediately. From the synopses, it looks like the other books in Meyer's series each follow different fairy-tale characters who end up interacting with Cinder and each other. This seems like an intriguing way to do a series that might be more interesting than just following the same character throughout multiple novels.

A Good Read For: Writers of fairy-tale retellings, this would be a great read for you. The author loosely follows the Cinderella story, but she adds so much of her own spin that I honestly forgot about it after a while. She did an excellent job of blending just enough of the familiar with interesting new concepts to keep the reader hooked.

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