Saturday, April 11, 2015

Event: Fairy Tale Fortnight / Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

So as of right now, Bonnie at A Backwards Story and Misty at The Book Rat are hosting a great event called Fairy Tale Fortnight! Each day, from April 1-14, they post a wide variety of exciting things including reviews, guest posts, giveaways, and author interviews, all with a fairy tale theme. You should definitely go check them out!

As part of this event, I have decided to post my own fairy tale themed review of:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

[Warning: Spoilers Ahead]

Yes, maybe this was somewhat of an obvious choice to review for Fairy Tale Fortnight, but I haven’t read many fairy tale retellings recently other than this one. Also, I’m currently reading Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder, so I thought I’d do a review of this book in preparation for my review of Scarlet.

Well, let’s jump right in!


Marissa Meyer is a master of twisting fairy tales! It’s a real art, as a good retelling must have just enough familiar elements to resonate with the reader, but enough new pieces that it feels fresh and new, like its own entity. Marissa hits that balance perfectly. From a cruel stepmother to a dashing prince, it’s easy to recognize the story of Cinderella within the pages of Cinder. But the addition of plot points like a deadly plague with no known cure (as well as the whole being a sci-fi novel thing) allows readers to take a fresh look at the old story. Also, some of the ideas taken from Cinderella are reimagined in a less obvious way (such as how Cinder, the main character, uses an old, barely functioning car to get to the ball, corresponding to Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage). It’s quite enjoyable to seek out these tiny details in the story.

On top of the wonderful storytelling, Marissa Meyer creates some really memorable, unique, and likeable characters. One of Cinder’s traditionally evil stepsisters, Peony, is actually a very sweet person, and it was a very sad moment when she [passed away due to the plague]. (Highlight between the brackets for a spoiler.) Cinder is spunky but also adorably awkward. Prince Kai is certainly charming (heheh, see what I did there?), but he also has a quite practical side, and he wants above else to do what’s right for his kingdom. The secondary characters are also very well-crafted.


The beginning was a bit slow. I anticipated the plot twist almost from the beginning. In the end, not a lot happened throughout the book. But honestly, that’s about all I have to say for this section. And none of these problems really affected my enjoyment of the book, they’re just things that could have been improved.

In the end, if you love both sci-fi and fantasy (or just love a good fairy tale retelling), you should definitely pick up this book. It has all the elements of a good book, and is super creative and unique. Marissa Meyer is truly a fantastic author, and I can’t wait to read more of her books. (As of right now, Scarlet seems like it’s even better than Cinder! Keep a lookout for my upcoming review.)

Now I’m going to do a breakdown of each element of the series, judging it on different criteria. I’ll rate each element on a scale of 1-5, 1 being bad, and 5 being amazing.

Plot: 4

Complexity: 4
Creativity: 5
Believability: 4
Surprise: 2

Characters: 5

Depth: 4
Personality: 5
Believability: 5

Writing Style: 4

Description: 4
Tension: 4

Overall Score: 4

Happy Reading!



  1. Wasn't Cinder's car a pumpkin color, too? It's been a while since I read this book, but I thought it was. Nice review, I like the way you broke down the pros and cons. While I didn't love the book (in fact, I thought it was just okay) I have read Scarlet and Cress both and I think they were both better than Cinder.

    1. Yes, you're right about the car's color! I didn't even notice that as I was reading. Great catch! And I agree - Scarlet is definitely better than Cinder (I haven't read Cress yet). Thanks for commenting! I really appreciate it.

  2. I loved this, beginning to end. I need to reread it, I've been thinking a lot about it lately. =D