My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Actual Rating: 4.5/5
Cinder was a really unique take on Cinderella, and while there were definitely still echoes of the original story in this retelling – the wicked stepmother, the ball, the glass slipper – Cinder is more than capable of standing on its own.
I really loved how layered the world building was. We’re first introduced to the dynamic between humans and cyborgs through Cinder, who faces the social stigma attached to being a cyborg. Through Kai, we come to understand that there is a lot of political tension between the remaining countries of Earth and the Lunars, a sort of otherworldly people who live on the moon. Then, on top of all that, there is a plague, and both Cinder and Kai have to deal with both the ramifications of this plague and trying to find a cure.
Another thing I really loved was how natural Cinder and Kai’s relationship felt. There was an instant attraction between the two, but the progression from there felt realistic and wasn’t instalove (which was really nice!). They’re a couple that was easy to root for, and I’ll continue rooting for them while reading the rest of the series.
The one thing that made me give Cinder a 4.5 instead of a 5 was the Big Twist at the end, which I called from the first 50 pages. I felt like given the clues we had, the twist was really obvious, and while I still loved everything about this book, it was a little disappointing for me.
Despite that, I do recommend this book wholeheartedly. I can’t wait for the rest of the books in this series!