Cinder by Marissa Meyer: A Book Review


You know how sometimes you see a book and you heard about this book and everyone is all like “THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD” but you are confident that although this book is getting 5-star ratings across the board you will STILL not like it?

That’s how I felt about Cinder before I picked it up.

Actually, let’s back up for a second. It’s how I felt about most of my absolute favorite books: The Hunger Games, The Book Thief, Looking for Alaska, Time Traveler’s Wife, and City of Bones. Everyone had told me how fantastic the books were, but I was so hesitant about loving them until I read them and ADORED every single page.

Fast forward back to my current review, and that’s what Cinder was like for me.

Book: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Type: YA Dystopian, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Release Date: January 3rd 2012

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)

The Story revolves around a 16 year old girl named Cinder who lives in a century that refers to our time as “the old days”, and who got into an accident as a young child that nearly took her life. Instead of leaving her for dead, her doctors replaced her damaged human parts with cyborg parts.

Now, Cinder lives under the roof of her evil stepmother as a cyborg mechanic- the best one in Beijing. The world she lives in is ravaged by letumosis, a pandemic that is taking people’s lives every day. After a chance meeting with Prince Kai, heir to the throne of Emperor in Beijing, Cinder’s life seems to become more and more complicated. Forced into volunteering herself to help find a cure for letumosis, Cinder uncovers secret details from her past that put her and the rest of the population of Beijing in mortal danger.

“Cinder” is a futuristic story that not only involves cyborgs, but LUNAR PEOPLE. I don’t even know how to possibly describe this book so it doesn’t sound totally wacky and strange. But I guess it really kind of is. AND THAT IS WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT IT. It is this amazing combination of all the great genres out there. It held my attention from page 1 right until that ending that has me wishing I didn’t have to wait A YEAR for book 2 in the series.


My Favorites

Prince Kai. If you’ve read book reviews around here, you’ll know that I hate cliche guy characters. They bother me more than anything. Edward Cullen, anyone? Eye roll. BUT PRINCE KAI? He sounds enchanting. He is witty, intriguing, mysterious, fiercely independent, and has a depth to him that is extremely rare in male characters- especially in YA lit.

Cinder. She is one BADASS character. Seriously, she is part cyborg. She feels out of place more often than not, but she never gives up on herself. She stands up for herself, she is smart, funny, and written so incredibly well considering she is *technically* part robot. It’s actually a big part of her charm. She is just SUCH an easy character to adore, I can’t wait to see where Marissa Meyer takes her in the next few books. I have high hopes for Cinder, unlike some past strong female characters who tend to go downhill in later books in their series.

The story isn’t forgettable. I’ve had this problem while reading such intricate books/series in the past; I forget the little details & have little interest in looking back to see what I’m missing. I LOVE when a book is distinct in comparison to the other ones in it’s series. For example, I could tell you what the main plot idea is in each Harry Potter book, despite the fact that each story is extremely intricately written (and not just because I’m an HP nerd). So far, I feel the same way about Cinder. The plot has a lasting effect in my mind, and I still think about the story from time to time while I excitedly wait for book two!

My Most Favorite

The best part of this book is the part that I thought I’d like the least, before I started it. The Lunar People. I think they are SUCH an interesting concept, and really, who’s to say they won’t exist in a future century far away from now?! Marissa Meyer makes people living on the moon sound totally believable, but at the same time they still retain their sci-fi, unbelievable feeling too. It’s always a big risk for an author to create a new “kind” of people. Dipping your toes into the fantasy/sci-fi and pulling it off so well is something to be commended for. I’ve read some good YA fantasy that shows a lot of depth and thought, but Cinder is the first time that I was actually like “this is a totally believable world. What if this happens?” Truthfully, the last time I genuinely felt like that about fantasy was Harry Potter. 

I’M NOT READY TO BE MAKING COMPARISONS HERE, and I don’t want to raise all your hopes, I’m just saying Marissa Meyer is extremely good at using her words in her genre. I didn’t think anyone would be able to convince me to like a book about lunar people, but she did!


I don’t think I would be able to pinpoint any not-favorite parts in this book. I feel like I’ve been giving a lot of books high ratings lately (maybe this is just in my head?) but Cinder 100% deserves the one I’m about to give it. If you look hard enough in any story you’ll find problems with it, but considering this is Meyer’s debut novel, I think she’s crafted something exceptional. So much thought has gone into this plot, I am literally waiting on the EDGE OF MY SEAT for book two, Scarlet.

So just in case you ever happen to read this, Marissa Meyer, I am totally down to read an advanced reader’s of Scarlet and review that for you, too. 🙂 

It doesn’t matter what kind of reader you are, Cinder is the kind of story that will enchant anyone who picks it up!

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 


4 responses »

  1. I’ve been debating on whether or not to pick it up for a month or so now. The premise sounded interesting but it also sounded like it could be incredibly cheesy if it wasn’t well written. After reading your review, I think I’ll go ahead and add it to my request list at the library. Thanks! 🙂

  2. I love the way you write book reviews. I’m not into the YA dystopian/science fiction genre but this book has a very interesting premise. Very different from what I usually read! May have to add this to my “TBR” list. 🙂

  3. I agree (with previous commenter) that I thought this was going to be super cheesy (I’ve been known to embrace the cheesy) but you’ve really sold it to me as being legitimate literature. I cannot wait to read this one now…however, I’m not putting it first on my list. I’d rather wait 3 or 4 months for the sequel, rather than a year.

  4. Your the first blogger I’ve read that didn’t get cynical about The Lunars which I really liked because I didn’t see any issues with their glamour or mind control. I actually thought it was really cool.

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