I heard about Cinder by Marissa Meyer at the end of last year while reading Shelf Awareness and immediately wanted to read it. A cyborg Cinderella story and an awesome cover — who could resist? (However, if I had watched the book trailer first, I would not have been interested.)
There are so many versions of Cinderella that it was only a matter of time before it was twisted into a futuristic, YA adventure! Fairy tales seem to be all the rage these day while Snow White seems to be experiencing the biggest resurgence with two movies in the works and a main character on ABC’s Once Upon a Time (which I love). But Cinderella is still popular enough to star in her own episode.
Of course, I’m most familiar with Disney’s Cinderella (one of my favorite Disney movies), so after finishing Cinder I read two versions of the fairy tale. The first, Grimm’s “Ashputtel“, is definitely a dark tale. The step sisters cut off toes and bleed and the father totally ignores Cinderella. Though there are still a couple different versions of the Grimm tale — one simply ends with Cinderella driving off into the sunset and the other (I believe the later version) ends with blind step sisters. This one also features the tree watered with tears and the birds like in one of my favorite musicals, Into the Woods.
The other Cinderella tale I read was the far kinder Charles Perrault version. In this one Cinderella forgives the cruel step sisters for all their transgressions and those biznitches get to live in the palace, too.
Cinder is the first book in a four-part series called the Lunar Chronicles. The other books are also to be based on fairy tales (even Snow White?). I really enjoyed reading the spin Meyer put on the Cinderella story. Cyborgs are second class citizens that must do whatever their caretakers want and Cinder’s caretaker never wanted her (Adri isn’t her stepmother, more of an adoptive mom that didn’t actually want to adopt a cyborg). While certain aspects of the story were totally obvious as to what was going to happen next, I still loved reading how the story would unfold.
And! All the basic Cinderella elements are there: a ball, a “slipper”, evil stepmother/caretaker, step sisters, a prince, non-human friends, and a “godmother”. Of course, the bonus is that there’s also an evil Queen!
For more on the Classic Double Challenge, check out One Librarian’s Book Reviews!
To keep up with the classic pairings I pick, check out the Challenges 2012 page!