Before I talk about how awesome this book is, I just wanted to explain my methodology for picking out books at the library – which is where I got my copy of Cinder.
Usually, with my three little people in tow, I –
~Go to the library, parking as far from the door as possible, because let’s face it, those are usually the only parking spots available
~Go straight to the kid’s section and pick out about twenty children’s books whilst the tiny humans play with the library toys (it’s not like we’re there for books or anything), stuffing them all into my $1.49 library tote until the seams can barely take the strain
~Gather the herd and shamble back up toward the front desk, with my little lambs trailing behind, tripping unsuspecting strangers and getting distracted by the water fountain
~Send the two older ones off to look at the fish tank while struggling to hold onto my purse -which is really heavy – and the tote – which is now really heavy – and my two year-old son – who, though not a chubby kid, is quite heavy and wiggly and who, if released in the library would wreak havoc and devastation the likes of which would make librarians the world over weep into their Ovaltine
~ Take two seconds to pick out books for myself and shuffle back up to the front desk before the combined weight I’m carrying will simply break me in half.
~ And, finally, digging through my purse for my library card while simultaneously trying to keep the previously mentioned master of chaos from touching everything on the check-out counter.
So…my book choosing strategy has to be super quick. I ask myself three questions: “Is the title interesting?”, “Do I like the cover?” and “Do the first few sentences on the back cover make this thing worth reading?”
Sometimes…I don’t bother with #3. Sometimes I only bother with one of the three…Usually #2.
That’s it. I’m pretty much a marketer’s dream. You know, if I was actually paying for the books.
I especially like this strategy at our library because they often have racks and racks of books waiting to be re-shelved, especially in the Young Adult section. So I don’t even have to take them off the shelf and put them back if I decided I don’t want it. The frazzled mom’s dream!
The only problem with this strategy is that sometimes (read: most of the time) disappointing books have interesting covers or interesting titles. I have picked up a lot of not-so-great books this way. This one, for example. *sigh* I’ve picked up some really good books, too. Like Pathfinder, The Secret Hour, and, more recently, Crash.
“Relevance?” you’re asking yourselves. Well, I had, in fact, on a previous occasion not so long ago, picked Cinder up at the library using the method described above and then proceeded to not read it, which often happens when you have a stack of books you’re not quite sure about… The due date came and alas, it went back to the library unread.
Fast forward six months or so and my favorite podcast mentions how awesome is it. I, however, was heading out of town. So I went to the library’s digital catalog and put a hold on it.
Having read it now, I was a fool…a fool(!) for sending it back to the library unread.
I’ve heard this book pitched as Cinderella with cyborgs, which, though true, does it a disservice. Personally, I’m getting kind of tired of formulaic YA books. Cinderella is, like, the origin of this trope of every conflict in the story culminating in a dance. A trope that’s SO overused that if there were a list of YA Ten Commandments, the first would be “THOU SHALT NOT HAVE A DANCE.” I feel like every YA book I’ve read recently has a stupid dance at the end where all the things happen. Gah! I can’t stand it! Thus, though I liked the cover of Cinder, it went straight back to the library the first time I checked it out.
Cinder was fantastic despite borrowing from an overused premise.
The thing I liked the most about the book was that it wasn’t predictable. The author takes some of the these Cinderella story tropes and cleverly turns them on their head, but it’s not a plot point by plot point re-hash.
And Cinder’s a cyborg. Come on, that’s pretty awesome – though, in the story her Cyborg-ism(?) causes the girl some issues. Naturally.
It was a fun read with well written and likable characters. I really enjoyed the main character’s voice. The Prince’s chapters were also great – I wasn’t impatiently waiting to get back to Cinder’s point of view.
It’s refreshing to just get lost in the storytelling for once. I couldn’t put this one down until I’d finished, even though that ended up being 4:30 in the morning (Obviously, I’m an adult at the height of responsible behavior).
I really can’t wait to read the next one. Well done Marissa Meyer. Well done.
* This post contains links for Amazon Affiliates.