Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Have you ever not read a book because of a cover? Just saw it and thought, how could that possibly be any good with a cover like that? There's no way I'll like it, the cover reminds me of (fill in the blank), and I don't like that stuff. Sad, but true. There are many, many, works of jacket art that should never have come to be. This was one of those for me. (Am I the only one who thinks those shoes are not that cute?) But lucky for me, I have a very insistent friend who is very non-judgemental.
Obviously, this is a Cinderella story. If that's not enough for you, there's more that involves cyborgs as well as lots of juicy secrets and volatile diplomatic dynamics between a futuristic China and Lunar (a Moon kingdom). This intrigue really added a great extra layer on top of the Cinderella story that makes the characters and setting more exciting. And of course, will allow the story to be extended past the total cliffhanger of an ending. Yup, good enough to read the rest of the series!
A lot of Cinderella stories have predictable romances, but this one was well balanced because it wasn't totally instalove and way overdone . . . the relationship between Cinder and Kai seemed to progress naturally and is still full of possibilities and excitement. Punctuated with great bits of humor kept things entertaining and Cinder more endearing. Some things that had the potential to be really interesting left me with questions- like how does the whole cyborg thing work? How is the author going to continue the Cinderella story in the sequel? But I am stil excited to see more themes and storylines explored in greater depth (hopefully!) in the next books in the series.