In keeping with the summer reading theme of "Spark A Reaction," I decided that the theme for my second teen book club this summer would be science fiction. I let my teens choose between three titles: The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and Legend by Marie Lu. Cinder won and I started reading!
Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. Or at least, it's currently the first book. The prequel, Fairest, is scheduled to be released in a few months and I am soooooo excited..... which is probably a good indicator of how much I LOVED this book!
Cinder is a futuristic retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. Right off the bat, it's awesome because Cinder is an cyborg. She was born as a human (or so she thinks....), but she was in a horrific accident (which she can't remember....) and the doctors saved her life by replacing the damaged parts with machinery. She was then adopted by the Lihn family.... except that her benefactor, Garan, promptly died of letumosis, a terrible plague for which there is no cure. 11-year-old Cinder was then left alone with her cruel stepmother, Adri; older stepsister, Pearl; and younger stepsister (and only human friend), Peony.
The story begins with Cinder is 16. She has become the most skilled mechanic in New Beijing. Her entire paycheck goes to support Adri and her two daughters, of course. Her sidekick is Iko, an android with glitch that causes her to have an actual personality. On the day that the story begins, Prince Kai himself comes to her booth in the market (incognito, of course) with a droid to be repaired. He tells her that it's a matter of national security that the information on the droid be recovered....
But mere hours later, tragedy strikes. Peony is struck by the plague. Adri blames Cinder and "volunteers" her for plague research. It seems that this will lead Cinder to certain death herself.... but instead it introduces her to Dr. Erland, the head researcher, who makes a series of important discoveries about Cinder's mysterious past.
And while the beginning of the book was REALLY GOOD, this is when it starts to get AMAZING.
This was one of those books that, the minute that I was finished reading it, I hopped onto Goodreads to find out how many other books are in the series and how soon I can read them. I was thrilled to find out that Scarlet and Cress have already been published, that Fairest and Winter are coming within the next year, and that several short stories have been published online. I am a happy lady. Modern fairy tales RULE, and Marissa Meyer's adaption is one of the most creative and best-done that I have read. Do yourself a favor and read it!!