Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you all are having a good day full of flowers, chocolate, and love.
Since today is all about love (and I love books), I thought it would be a good time to start a series of blog posts that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. This new series is going to be called Book Thoughts, and it’s basically going to be a series of blog posts where I talk about a book that I’ve read recently.
They’re not going to be reviews so much as my thoughts about it. Sometimes, I’ll mention things that I didn’t like. But, other times, I’ll just spend the entire post fangirling. Just whatever fits how I feel! Also, there will be little to no spoilers, so you can read this even if you haven’t read the book I’m talking about!
So, for this first post in this new series, I’m going to be talking about Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden to her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security”, but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on. Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived. But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
I loved this book so much! It’s the perfect mix of sci-fi and dystopian. The world was interesting, and a unique view of what the future might look like. I thought the idea of the Lunars was so cool, and I’m super excited to see more of that world in future books.
One of my favorite parts of reading this book was seeing the fairy tale’s influence and figuring out who was who in the story.
Another thing I like about this book is that Cinder is basically disabled. I’ve never read a book from the POV of someone with a disability. Obviously, it wasn’t an incredibly accurate portrayal of what living with a disability is like, because Cinder’s a cyborg and the world’s different from ours. Still, it was a nice glimpse into what that life is like, and it made me want to pick up books with more disabled characters to learn more about that experience. One thing I really enjoyed was that, despite her disability and the effects that it has on her life, how society perceives her, etc., Cinder is still a strong and capable heroine.
The society’s hatred of cyborgs can (unfortunately) be relevant in our society, where, sometimes, we tend to discriminate/hate/fear those who are different than us. The society’s fear and hatred of the Lunars fits with this, as well. It really made me think about how just because a some in a group of people are bad doesn’t mean that every individual is.
Overall, I thought the story was intriguing and compelling. I would definitely recommend this if you like sci-fi/dystopian books. It’s not a difficult world to get into, so, if you’re not in the mood for something with a super complicated world, this would be a good book for you.
Thoughts on the World
Like I just said, this world isn’t super complicated, which, in my mind, was both a good and bad thing. On the one hand, it was easy to get into. On the other hand, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of what the technology was like. I feel like there was an opportunity to have super cool inventions that would make the story that much more interesting that was missed. Obviously, there are the cyborgs, androids, hovers, etc., but I just felt like there was room for more.
Besides that, I really liked this world. The concept of the Lunars was so interesting. I also like seeing how the governments have changed from the governments that we have today.
Thoughts on the Characters
I absolutely loved the characters. Cinder is so cool, and she’s probably one of my new favorite heroines. I love the fact that she’s a mechanic. That’s not really what I was expecting from a Cinderella retelling, so that was a nice twist on the original story. Cinder is strong and a fighter, and I’m basically in love with her.
Adri and Pearl were the kind of characters that you love to hate, and they were perfect for the evil stepmother and stepsister. I wanted to scream every time they were in a scene, because they made me so angry (in a good way).
I thought the fact that Peony wasn’t evil was a great change from the fairy tale. I actually really liked her as a character, and, although she still wasn’t perfect, I felt really sympathetic for her.
Prince Kai was a good character, as well. At times, though, he did feel a little stereotypical. He was just ever so slightly too similar to a lot of the characters you see as YA love interests. I still like him, though, and I really ship him with Cinder.
I adore Queen Levana. Like Adri and Pearl, she’s the kind of character that you love to hate. She’s strong, powerful, and cruel, aka my favorite kind of character. She’s truly the perfect villain. I feel like she’s going to have a really interesting backstory, so I’m excited to see that in the future books.
Thoughts on the Plot
I thought the overall storyline was interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t want to put this book down. It was action-packed, and there were some plot twists that kept it interesting. There was one scene at the end (the ball scene) where I felt like a lot happened all at once and it was a little overwhelming. That might just be me, though, and I thought that, other than that, the story progressed well.
I really enjoyed the ending. I’m not going to say what it is, because I don’t want to spoil anyone. I’ll I’m going to say is that it had the perfect mix of resolution and cliff-hanger. It left me wanting to pick up the next book right away.
Thoughts on the Narration
I did read this as an audiobook, so I wanted to say a few things about the narration. I don’t know the name of the woman who narrated it, but she did a great job. She was entertaining and the voices that she did for the different characters helped to keep them separate from each other.
The only thing that I didn’t like was the accents that she did. It wasn’t that they were bad or anything, in fact, they were really good. It’s just that some people had Asian accents and some didn’t. Mostly it was the older characters that had them and the younger ones spoke like Americans. I assumed that all of the characters would have spoken with Asian accents because it’s set in “New Beijing” and I assumed they were all asian. This didn’t take away from the story at all, but it just left me ever so slightly confused.
With all of that said, I loved this book. I can’t wait to read the next ones, and, if you haven’t read this yet, please go read it. You won’t regret it!
If you’ve read this, let me know if you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said! I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading!