Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Forget everything you know about the traditional Cinderella story. 11235712

There are no glass slippers and fairy godmothers to be found here. Here, mechanical limbs and elbow grease abounds.

Cinder is not some weepy damsel-in-distress crying in the ashes. She’s a cyborg. And not just any cyborg, she’s the best dang mechanic in the New Bejing. Too bad her lazy stepmother and selfish stepsister Pearl hate her guts and the youngest sister Peony is hardly ever allowed to hang out with her. After her adopted father died, she just became another burden for Adri. Even though her income supports the whole family, Cinder is not considered a member. Or even human.

Yet when the handsome crown prince comes to Cinder’s stall for help with his android, he doesn’t see her mechanical limbs–they’re hidden by her long sleeves. Instead, he sees a girl with a funny personality who doesn’t kowtow to him like everyone else. But before she can see where this romantic intrigue will go, a nearby vender is struck with the plague that is blighting the city and chaos ensues.

Should she tell the prince she isn’t what she appears to be?

On top of that, Cinder’s life is shattered when Peony is diagnosed with the plague and her stepmother “volunteers” her for the cyborg medical experimentation draft that none have returned from. How will she get out alive?

And did you think the plague was all? Oh no, a new alliance with the evil Lunar queen must be forged–and the prince’s hand in marriage is on the table. Imminent war and mass death is in the cards if they don’t figure out how to placate Queen Levana. It’s up to Cinder to help save the kingdom when the medical researchers realize that there is something special about her… All she can do is hope the queen doesn’t catch wind of her gift.

This book was very cute. Cinder had a good rough and tumble nature that set her apart, and her little android Iko’s spunky personality was adorable. I liked the combination of teenage girl and machine, and the way she used her mechanical parts to her advantage. Wouldn’t we all like to know when someone was lying? And it would be really handy to have a storage compartment hidden in your calf!

I WISH I had the evil queen’s powers, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what the crazy Lunars have to offer. I liked that this story was geared (no pun intended) towards young girls, but the underlying message is that what you see on the outside isn’t what matters. You can have a beautiful face but an ugly heart. Sometimes it’s better to have skills than to just be another snooty girl unwilling to get her hands dirty.

It’s your personality chip that counts. ;P

4 bolts and cogs of 5

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About Chelsea McDonald

As an avid reader since I was big enough to hold a book, I continue to enjoy losing myself in the thrall of a good story on a daily basis. Since many of my cohorts do not share the same passion, Cracking Spines will be the perfect outlet to express my adulation or frustration concerning the books that cross my path. In this way, my loyal followers will be able to enjoy the stories that are worthwhile and avoid the duds altogether. I also have a Shelfari account at http://www.shelfari.com/chelseamcdonald15 View all posts by Chelsea McDonald

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