Cinder By Marissa Meyer

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Rate: 3/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers): After seeing so many of my fellow bloggers reviewing this series I couldn’t resist adding Cinder to my reading list. Honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a good Cinderella story? My personal favorite Cinderella tale is the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein version, which we watched countless times growing up. I remembered having the startling realization, when I was much older than I probably should have been, that when you fall in love with someone the two of you don’t break out into spontaneous, choreographed song, much less having the whole neighborhood join in  The point being, fairytale adaptions are usually easy for me to add to my reading list due to the nostalgic feelings they drum up. Specifically, this futuristic tale world where cyborgs, androids, and humans coexists within castes, and the moon has been inhabited to the point of creating a totally different species of human. While the world building lacked a bit in detail category for my liking and despite the overall predictability of the plot, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the storyline for what it was meant to be. Cinder, a lonely cyborg, terrorized by her stepmother turned out to be an extremely likable character, along with her sidekick droid Iko who made me laugh aloud on multiple occasions. Really, the character development created by Meyer, from the main protagonist to her terrible stepmother, saved this book from the abyss that I’ve banished the Red Queen. Overall, with taking into context the YA genre and general predictability, Cinder is an entertaining, fast paced read that draws you in with both endearing and infuriating characters!

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • Early on in Cinder it was mentioned that the rightful heir to the Lunar throne had been killed as a child in a fire and that there were subsequent rumors that the youth had survived. With regard to predictability, it was fairly obvious that Cinder would eventually end up being this long lost heir.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the Prince’s interactions with Cinder, however wonder the extent that the relationship would have been different had Kai known that she was a cyborg. Why are cyborg’s treated as sub humans? I realize that they have metal parts so their bodies have stayed alive, but it sounds like in typical circumstances they retain their previous memories. Will Cinder be accepted to the throne now that everyone knows she is cyborg?
  • I hated Cinder’s stepmother who was just awful, especially when she took the poor girl’s leg and tore Iko into pieces. Will Cinder be able to revive Iko? Her surviving Stepsister was almost as terrible as her mother.  The scene where the girl opened Cinder’s gift from the Prince and proceeded to ruin it was positively infuriating.
  • Did the Queen of Luna purposely drive her people to Earth to spread the plague, thereby having a cure as a bargaining chip? Will Kai or his scientists find a cure? Will Kai marry Queen Levana?
  • How did Dr. Erland stay hidden as a Lunar fugitive for so long on earth especially with his prominent role in society?
  • Who was girl that called Cinder to from Luna to warn her about the Queen’s intentions? Will she be caught or play a bigger role?
  • Kai has Cinder’s leg that holds Iko’s personality chip and the uplink to the Luna informer. Will he find them?
  • The death of Cinder’s kind stepsister was so heartbreaking, especially as Cinder had the cure for her in hand when she passed. Will the public realize that Cinder gave the cure to Sunto instead, ultimately saving him?
  • What is Konn’s story and is he looking out for the good of the realm or is he actually against Kai?
  • I liked that the story was based in China, which was a fresh take compared to most YA fiction.




  1. I’m sorry you didn’t love it! I am one of the many people that really enjoyed the first, and even the second book. But I personally do enjoy easy reading, especially since I have to read in small bursts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The only thing that held back me *loving* this book was the predictability that you mentioned. I enjoyed it, but I feel like I could have enjoyed it more if what happened to the princess wasn’t laid out right away and they made her more a mysterious figure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! I had a lot of those same questions when I read it too. I especially liked the setting. I liked the whole book, in fact, but the last one in the series was a little bit of a letdown. Just my opinion, though.

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  4. I just read this book and loved it. I didn’t even realize early on Cinder could have been the rightful heir, I feel kinda silly for not picking up on that. I did end up being very surprised in the end. I do love all the questions you have. I’m very curious if the queen ended up having the plague spread on purpose. I didn’t even think of that but now I’m curious. Honestly this was such a great review. I really enjoyed it.

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  5. Have I ever told you that I absolutely love how you format your reviews? Because I absolutely love how you format your reviews. (I also really enjoyed Cinder and I think the books continue to improve as the series moves on.)

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  6. Great review! I personally loved Cinder and it was what got me completely into the series, I even bought the complete box set after reading Cinder! Haha. I think we are all entitled to our own opinions, it is totally fine that you didn’t love a book as everyone else did. It is nice to hear that you did enjoy reading it!

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  7. It was so fun to get to read your spoiler section for once LOL Good questions, all of them! I felt exactly as you did- it was good, if predictable, and could have used more worldbuilding details. The rest of the books do better on the worldbuilding front and book III in particular has some fun plot twists. I couldn’t resist this cyborg cinderella, either 😉

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    • Oh good. I’m happy to hear that the later books add world building in! I was wondering if the series would be like Throne of Glass where each subsequent book expands the series and the character depth. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the spoiler section!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, you know what? I guess it never does get all that expansive, if you compare it to Throne of Glass! It might be more accurate to say that the characters describe and interact with the setting more in the later books; we get to see more of it and it feels fuller, but the focus of the series is definitely characters and “fairytale” elements over worldbuilding. I think the Throne of Glass series gets into a lot more depth; I’ve only read the first two books though 😅

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  8. Thanks for the review. Like you, I’ve wondered what the fuss was all about with this series and wasn’t sure to put it on my to-read list. But it’s there now but not sure when I’ll get to it!! I, too, like your review format. I like the option of reading spoilers or not.

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  9. This is a book I have been intending to read for while, and which there are many reviews of on various people’s blogs. I found your review fascinating anfit has pushed it a little further down my “Books to Read” list

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  10. Its uncanny how much my and your opinions match about this book! I picked this book up a year or so ago, wasn’t impressed, at all, gave up on it. Picked up Scarlet a month later and found the story actually improved. Cut to two days later and I had binge read the whole series (which is a feat because the third and fourth books are ginormous!) Trust me if you soldier through and read the entire series…You’ll love it. The arc when it comes full circle (especially with the onset of the third book) really makes up for a good story with perfect execution overall. Besides if I recall correctly Cinder only has Kai in it and a little bit of Thorne towards the end…the rest of the squad is yet to appear and between you and me they are worth reading. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you think the series gets better! I’m looking forward to reading Scarlet. I always attempt to put at least one different book in between books in a series to allow the individual parts to stand on their own. Sometimes my impatience gets the better of me though 🙂

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  11. This was the first book I read as a Teen Librarian that I really enjoyed and turned out to be something I liked reading apart from the job. The second book was great too. This is always the first book I reach for when it comes to YA recommendations.

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  12. I read this last year as a book of the month on Goodreads. I was skeptical about it since it’s not the type of book I usually read. I was surprised that I enjoyed it. However, I don’t think I will read any of the other books in the series.

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