Book Review | Cinder

I am reading so many good books lately. Yes, I liked this book. A lot. And you might think it’s easy to please me, because What’s Left of Me, which I reviewed yesterday, also got a really high rating. But it’s not. Somehow I feel like I just won the “amazing book lottery,” because I have been loving every book I’ve read this month.

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.

(back cover from Goodreads)

Source: bought it for myself 😀

Things I Loved

Iko. Iko may be my single favorite thing in the entire novel. She’s an android, and Cinder’s only friend after her stepsister, Peony, becomes ill. But her personality is just AMAZING. She sort of reminded me of Wall-E, except less klutzy. She’s really kind of sentimental and really sweet, which made me like her. A lot. ❤


I totally feel like Iko would cry during a sad romance movie.

Peony. Peony’s just an awesome stepsister. Because in the original Cinderella (Cinder’s a retelling with a huge twist), both Cinderella’s stepsisters are really mean to her. But Peony really cares for and loves Cinderella.

Cinder. Because we need more cyborg mechanics with brains and good intellect. Cinder’s just awesome. And I think the fact that she’s not falling head-over-heels in love with Prince Kai like every other girl in New Beijing is makes her even more so. I think I have said enough. Now you may go observe Cinder’s amazingness for yourself.

Cinderella Retelling That’s DIFFERENT. I feel like a lot of retellings are not so great. But Cinder‘s just amazing. First of all, instead of being set in modern-day, or in the time the fairytale was set in THE FUTURE. And HAD ALIENS. I love futuristic stories with aliens. Plus, Cinder (who represents Cinderella), is a gifted mechanic cyborg. And instead of the prince having the Ball to choose a wife, he’s holding the ball so that he can figure out intergalactic relationships with Queen Levana of the Lunars. Levana wants to marry Prince Kai so that she can gain control of Earth as well as Luna, her planet. Prince Kai obviously does not want to marry Levana because she’s an awful Queen and possibly will wreak havoc on all of Earth. Oh, and did I mention that there’s a plague called letumosis which they can’t find a cure to? So they recruit cyborgs for research. And Adri, Cinder’s stepmom, volunteers Cinder for it?! BONUS: Iko the Amazing Android. Please do get me this book. NOW. 


Because there’s a Doctor Who gif for every occasion. Especially ones involving the future. And aliens.

There was romance/flirting. But it was a plot device. This is one of the few books I have read in which the romance does not actually take the reader out of the plot and completely devastate the book. Sure, maybe it was predictable *cough*PrinceKai*cough*, but it was used in a positive way for the story. I didn’t feel like I was taken out of the story so that Cinder could daydream about someone.

Discrimination in Society. One of the things I think I liked best was the discrimination of cyborgs. In history, one part of society has always been discriminated against (ex. African Americans during the Civil War, the Chinese when they first came to America), so I loved that Marissa Meyer addressed the problem. Because there’s always going to be discrimination, and when there’s something new, it’s usually the thing that we discriminate. Cyborgs are something completely new; Adri and Pearl often say that Cinder can’t have emotions, which isn’t true, because we’re seeing everything from Cinder’s POV, and guess what, she has emotions.

Things I Had Tiny Problems With

Of course, as with every book, there’s stuff I’m going to have problems with it, but this list will be short. Very short.

  • I sort of guessed the major plot twist at the end. I dismissed it at first, but it kept coming back, and there was so much evidence leading up towards it (which there should be… I mean, it shouldn’t be out of the blue so much that it doesn’t even make sense.) But it didn’t really affect how I liked the book, except for the fact that there was no giant “AHA” moment.
  • I wanted to see a lot more Chinese culture, since the book was set in New Beijing. I liked the fact that all the characters had two names, one Chinese one and one which was easier to remember for those who aren’t very familiar with Chinese. But more Chinese culture would have been nice. And also, I wasn’t quite sure if Cinder herself was Chinese or European, but it didn’t make a difference to the book’s plot.
  • The Ball scene was a bit confusing. I was learning a lot more about the events of the Ball from the aftermath and what people were saying, as opposed to when I was actually reading the scene. But I think that was the only part in which I was confused.
  • Too. Short. This book was way. Too. Short. It needs to include the rest of The Lunar Chronicles. Because now I have to wait to go and get Scarlet from the library. Which is a major problem. (But, admittedly, probably a good one.)


I loved the book. Sure, the plot twists were a little bit predictable, and maybe the Ball scene was a bit confusing. But other than that, I’d say: GO READ THIS BOOK. GO READ IT RIGHT NOW. If you like fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian/fairytale retellings. Just read. it.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Wagging Tails


cinderCinder is part of The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer. It’s quite amazing. I’ll definitely be reading Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder.

My review of The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen should be out sometime next week! 

13 responses to “Book Review | Cinder

  1. Awesome review and so spot on! I am considering buying this book as a gift for my niece and I appreciate the “voice” this review was written in. Keep writing. You have talent.

  2. I agree with EVERY SINGLE THING you wrote here. Including the things you had problems with! Overall, though, Cinder was a very good book and EEEP I’M SO EXCITED TO READ WINTER.

    • Yep! It was quite brilliantly written, and GAH. I had trouble getting into it at first (read: I saw it several times in the store and never read it because the blurb does not remotely capture how amazing this book was afshafjadj). I REALLY NEED TO KNOW WHAT MAKES SCARLET SO SPECIAL. Because she can’t be… you know, the same. But it’s on my TBR after The Hybrid Chronicles *sobs/grabs greedily at Once We Were* I AM SO EXCITED FOR ALL THE BOOKS COMING OUT BECAUSE THAT MEANS THE WAIT IS OVER! 😀

      And it’s just fantastic to have wonderful bloggy friends who have the same opinions on stuff *screams excitedly that someone thinks the same way and I Am Not Alone* 😀

  3. I really liked Cinder! Although that plot twist you mention — yeah, I saw it too. There was a clue dropped way too early and too blatantly. I *really* wanted to grab an editing pen and suggest a more clever way to slip that in … except writing on my Kindle screen is not a good idea, lol. I had trouble getting interested in the sequel Scarlett, but I gave it a second try and ended up enjoying it enough to immediately buy Cress. Loved that too. Can’t wait for Winter!

    • Yeah… funnily enough, I didn’t mind that I saw it so early on. I think the rest of the book and the “what’s going to happen next” thing sort of drove me on to that point. It was a page-turner for sure! Even though I knew what the result was going to be, I wanted to see how it would be revealed (oddly enough). I think the publishers sort of knew that readers would guess it, though. 😛

      I don’t know about Scarlet. I’m planning on reading Once We Were, the sequel to What’s Left of Me, next, because the third book in that trilogy will come out before Winter does. But I think Scarlet will be next on my TBR after that. 😀

  4. This sounds like an awesome book! Will have to add it to my book list 😀 I loved Sailor Moon as a kid. The concept of lunar royalty appeals to me XD And your rating system of puppy tails is so cute :3

    • Hm, I’ve never watched Sailor Moon, but I guess if you like beings from the moon, you’ll like this! 😀 Glad you’ve found something you’ll enjoy.

      Thanks 😀 I wanted something more unique than the boring star system, and I found a bunch of animated gifs of puppy tails (although for some reason, they don’t move when I post them…), so I thought I might as well use them 🙂

  5. I think your are a very talented writer,
    Have you ever tried writing a book yourself?
    Im also a writer and it would be nice for maybe you to share some helpful tips on it.!
    Hope you write back….

    • Thank you, Skye! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ It makes my day when I get fantastic comments like this one. 😀
      I have, actually! I'm working on editing my first novel, a science fiction/dystopian. I sometimes (okay, well, ALL THE TIME) write about it on my blog 🙂
      I actually have shared a lot of writing tips in the past, in my "Editing My Manuscript” series. These were things I learned while I was editing my novel, but I think others can also use while they write. Some of my edits are just WEIRD. I try to post a lot of tips on writing in general, but haven’t been posting as many of late because (a) I figured people don’t care about my writing tips because I’m just a teen and (b) school has been rather busy, thus the lack of posts. I’m working on getting more writing tip posts up in my series for the last three weeks of October and the entire month of November, aptly (if I do say so myself) titled “PlaNo-WriMo” and “SabriNoWriMo” in honor of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. If you’re an aspiring writer, I definitely recommend checking them out, even if you don’t join in. 🙂
      Do you have a blog or other online presence? I’m guessing that you don’t, but it would be lovely to have a platform where I can read some of your work. 😀

      – Sabri

  6. Pingback: Top Books of 2014 | Books and Bark·

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