Cinder (Book One of the Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
Source: Library (Audio)
Description: 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 suddenly becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself in 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. (From Goodreads)
Genre: Young Adult
Why I Picked This Book: Pretty much everyone on Earth told me I needed to read this and the cover is so eye catching!
My Impression: Why why why did it take me so long to read this book?? I mean I know the whole teenage cyborg in the future thing didn't sound like my cup of tea but still! But I've finally read/listened to it and I have to say that everyone who told me to read this book was so incredibly right.
So what did I like?
The characters. Cinder herself was smart and tough and vulnerable all at once and really just plain nice. I loved her relationship with Peony and how she tried to help her. I loved Kai and Dmitri and their relationships with Cinder. I even loved that while Audri is obviously quite the evil stepmother she's isn't all evil (except when it comes to Cinder). Oh and Iko! I loved Iko.
The World. I was a little concerned that I would have no idea what the world was like but I could visualize New Beijing and all the characters from the start. I could picture the castle, the market, Cinder's family apartment - all of it. But I didn't feel like there was page after page of description explaining it all to me.
The fairy tale retelling part. This was something I was really concerned about. How can a teenage cyborg in the future be a Cinderella retelling? I was worried that it just wasn't going to work or that it was going to feel forced or that there'd be some weird addition that wouldn't make sense to the plot. But it so worked!
The plot itself. I was intrigued from the beginning and holding my breath a bit at the end. I wasn't sure what was going to happen next or if plans were going to work out. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger but it does feel like one chapter of the story is finished.
The narrator. I went the audio route and very much enjoyed Rebecca Soler's performance. Her pace and inflections are good and she isn't overly dramatic. She captured Cinder's sarcasm and practical nature perfectly.
What did I not not like?
There wasn't all that much that I didn't like. My only complaint was that I did feel that there were a few parts that were a little slow in between plans and disasters. However, I was also listening to it in on audio book and wasn't able to listen for very long stretches during those times so that may have affected my feelings.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes! I've already put Scarlet on hold at the library. I can't wait to find out what happens next!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Absolutely! I don't read much YA or sci fi but I absolutely loved this one.