Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Middle school kids are going crazy for this book and I'm so glad my 7th and 8th graders chose it for their book club. It's a sci-fi/dystopian Cinderella story, but there's no helpless princess here. Cinder, a cyborg and second-class citizen, is the best mechanic in New Beijing. She lives with her stepmother and stepsisters, who treat her badly (no surprise there). A deadly plague is killing people right and left, and a lunar civilization ruled by Queen Levana is lurking nearby, waiting for a chance to take over the earth by way of marrying Prince Kai. Cinder has a brief encounter with the truly charming Prince and is charged with repairing his android. But shortly thereafter her sister gets the plague, Cinder is "donated" for plague research, and she discovers some shocking secrets about her past. It's fun to catch all the fairy tale references, but Cinder truly is its own story. I listened to the audiobook and couldn't wait to hear more. My only gripe is the ending, which is one of the worst cliff-hangers I've ever read. This book is not short, but there's no reason that younger middle schoolers up through high schoolers won't enjoy it.

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