Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

24 Jan 2012

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Publisher: Penguin Australia/Feiwel & Friends 
Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought 

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.

EEEEEEE!! A fabulous futuristic re-telling of Cinderella! I remember staying up until 4 in the morning, because I so needed to finish reading it! Seriously, this is no doubt the perfect book to start off the year!

There are likable characters, ones you’ll dearly miss upon the completion of the book as well as those you hate so much you literally want to jump inside the story and strangle them to death. I remember in the original fairytale, both the stepsisters were horribly cruel, but in Cinder, I loved how instead of two malicious sisters, one of them, Peony, was incredibly loving and sympathetic, always helping out Cinder whenever possible. Peony is definitely one of my favourite characters in the book! And there's Iko (I love that name :D ), Cinder's android buddy, who was so cute and funny. Gosh, I loved her as well! As for the stepmother, her selfish and viciously cruel actions will have you screaming your head off and itching to give her a piece of your mind. Slap her, strangle her, murder her- ANYTHING is better than having her thoughtlessly ordering Cinder around, not caring about anyone but herself. There’s also the Lunar Queen, who has got to be the most self-centred devil in the world. Yet as much as I hated her, she was a fantastic antagonist, all the same.

Of course, Cinderella meets the perfect prince! PRINCE KAI. *swoon* I seriously fell for his irresistible charms <3 Kai will soon be crowned the new Emperor, after his father’s untimely death from the deadly plague, and with this coronation and title, comes tremendously important responsibilities that seem like a lot for a mere teenager to cope with. Yet, he is determined to become an Emperor that does his country proud, and will do anything to ensure the country’s freedom from the evil clutches of the Lunar Queen. I seriously LOVED the interactions between Cinder and Kai! I mean, it's not everyday a mere cyborg and Prince talk like they're equals, right? And yet, Kai never treated Cinder like anything but his equal! Cinder and Kai’s relationship developed slowly, and readers will be rooting for them until the very end. I'm such a sucker for forbidden romance; every one of them breaks my heart!

As much as I loved *almost* everything about Cinder, there were a few slight issues. I like unpredictable books, with twists and turns here and there, that take me completely by surprise. I love it when I can’t guess the ending. However, several chapters in, I already knew what would happen in the end, and touché! I was right!But the predictable plot was only a minor downfall, and didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book too much. Another was the lack of Chinese culture incorporated in the story; I remember reading another re-telling of Cinderella, set in Japan, and you could immediately tell it was set there, because of the Japanese culture and customs. If it weren't for the honorific, I don't think I would've been able to tell whether the setting was China or some other part of the world.

Cinder is an imaginative and unique retelling of one of my all-time favourite fairytales, Cinderella. With an intriguing plot, despite its predictability, endearing characters, Cinder is a brilliant re-telling that will leave you desperate for the next book! With that cliffhanger, I, for one, am definitely eager to read the next instalment!


  1. I feel exactly the same way about this!! I don't know what was more the standout - the characters or the worldbuilding. Such an intriguing, well crafted futuristic society and oh my gosh. IKO!! (hehe.) CINDER! KAI! <3 Oh I adored their relationship. And I guessed the mystery too, but like you, it didn't detract from my life of this book. Brilliant review, Shirley!


  2. I'm so looking forward to reading this--awesome review. I'm dying to meet this Kai! He sounds yummy ;) Question: I noticed you bought this. Can I ask where, lol? I've been stalking my local K-mark, Target and QBD, but they don't have it :/ Did you buy it from The Book Depo or did you get it here? Thanks lovely <3

  3. RACHEL!!! YOU HAVE TO READ THIS :DDDD You'll LOVE Kai!! (hopefully!) LOL, I got mine from Dymocks, the day before its official release ( and it was only $13).. But I've seen it at Big W as well =)

  4. I know right!! The characters were FANTASTIC! Omggg what happened to Peony and Iko was SOOO SAD!!!! Why do all the good characters have to die?!?!
    Thank youu<3

    Hahaa, we have to wait 3-4 years for the last book to be released! HOW AM I GOING TO SURVIVE UNTIL THEN?!?!?

  5. Aww Shirley, your review is PERFECT!! ♥ I was actually unable to guess the plot, unlike you (because my detective skills sucks) but I do agree that it also lacks the Chinese culture. Although, it is still a brilliant imaginative re-telling of Cinderella like you said!! So glad you enjoyed it, Shirley! :) I need 2nd book now with that cliffhanger!!! :P

  6. Aaaah... I gues this one would be a little hard witht eh predicatability... I mean, if it's a fairytale, it has a fairytale ending? And that's kind of sad about the lack of Chinese culture... I mean, if your'e gonna set a book in China, you have such an AMAZING opportunity to share so many amazing, colourful details, and hmmm... anyway, aside from this: ASHDSFHGSADFSHDGFS! THIS SOUNDS AMAZING! I've been kind of on the fence about buying this one because there's so much on mu list now, but I don't think I can resist anymore! Aaaaah! Shiiiirleeeeeyyyyy, I enjoyed your review SO. MUCH. How much you enjoyed it and loved the characters and hated the others JUMPS out of your review. LOVE it. Seriously, this is me going off to order Cinder xx

  7. Haha, thank youu Celine <3 LOL I just like to guess what happens in the end (maybe because I read a lot of detective/crime books so I'm always trying solve the case before the ending! Lol) Oh Yeahh, it's been a while since I read Cinder, but Kai is Chinese, yeah? He looked western in the trailer but seriously hot <3 Yes!! NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW!!!

  8. LOL Your comment always puts a huge smile on my face <3 It might just be me though- I mean I LOVE detective books, so I'm always guessing who the murderer is and so perhaps after reading so many crime books, I'm just getting better at guessing the ending?! Hehee SARAH! GO BUY/READ THIS NOWWW<33333 IT WAS AMAZINGGGGGG!! :DDDD

  9. YAY!!!!!!!! I'm sooooooooooooo glad to hear you enjoyed this one just as much as I! The romance, the storyline, everything about it was written to perfection! The ending was a bit of a bummer but I still loved it!!! AGH I NEED to read the sequel!!! This is a great debut! If I hadn't already read this book I would have read it after reading your review :)


    Tempest and The Eternal One's Giveaway!

  10. Haha it was magnificent, wasn't it?!? So glad to hear you LOVED it too<3333 I WANT THE SEQUEL NOW!!! Awwww...thank youu :DDDD

  11. My dear Aussi Shirley!! <3 Spectacular review!!I agree that is predictable but despite it, this is an amazing tale!! and Yay for Cinder and Kai!! I love them too!! ^______^ muah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =D

    wish u a lovely reading week ^^

    Dazzling Reads


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