Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Cinder, Marissa Meyer | Book Review

"Favourite Young Adult Book of the Year"
5 *****

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.

I absolutely loved reading this book. It has quickly soared to my list of favourite YA books and now has a home amongst Divergent and Hunger Games. I've come across Cinder for a while now on Instagram and it was perfect that my bookclub "Clockwork Readers" chose this to be our very first read.

I will admit that it took me a while to enjoy the book since life got in the way disguised as daunting essays and university reading. When that ceased (temporarily), I devoured the book in two days! It's a 5 star rated book for me because I cannot fault it. Cinder is such a cool and confident chick but at the same time she makes realistic decisions. I loved her relationship with everybody: how she loved Iko and Peony, detested Adri and Pearl and bickered with Dr Erland (the latter by the way gives me all kinds of masochistic elderly Doctor Who feels).

The opening scene in the book where "the [market] square was filled with shoppers and hawkers, children and noise" is still fresh in my head and it captured everything this book is: sarcastic, sweet, hilarious and unexpected. And the robots in this book? Iko is my new guilty pleasure! I was squinting at her lines with a growing suspicion that she sounded awfully like R2d2 and that Marissa Meyer was a Star Wars fan. She couldn't describe such lovable and hyperactive robots and NOT be a Star Wars fan and I was right! And the banter between Cinder and Iko was the cutest: Cinder, the ever so serious teen cyborg and Iko running wild with her fantasies and crazy plans.

And can we talk about the amazing Prince Kai please? I loved how Marissa didn't focus on his looks so much. Instead, you get a real sense of his kind personality, especially paired with that smile... I can visualise it now. When Cinder first peeks at him at the market, when he can't stop grinning in the elevator and when that smile falls at the...well we're not going to spoil it now are we? Cinder and Kai's banter is the bomb too! I've been complaining about the lack of sass between characters in YA books but this one ticked all the feels. The chemistry between them was too funny to even be romantic. Kai's desperate proposals and Cinder's refusals reminded me how Prince Charming in the Cinderella fairytale kept looking for the foot to fit the glass slipper. Hands up who would have said "yes" the first time Kai asked?
Oh and that Queen Levana? You'd think Cinder's stepmother Adri is bad but Levana is a whole new category of B A D. She makes my blood boil with her slimy, conniving threats and blackmails. *shudders*

Also that plot twist at the end?! Cinder's reaction to the revelation was basically short of:
Although I had an inkling towards the middle of the book, Marissa never let me become sure of it and that was the BEST PART ABOUT CINDER. I couldn't predict anything! Knowing it was a Cinderella retelling, I was initially sceptical about this. Cinderella is my favourite fairytale and I've watched several adaptations of it but I loved how Marissa played with certain tropes and manipulated them into this action-packed, greasy, metal-tinkering epic story.

Next one! Next one! Scarlet, come to me...
Have you read Cinder or do you plan on reading it? If you have read it, whose your favourite character?

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