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BOOK REVIEW: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness.
But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction.
Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Everywhere I looked, I would see Cinder by Marissa Meyer—Goodreads, other YA book blogs, etc. But for some baffling reason, I always passed it up as a 'To Read Later'. I suppose my reluctance stemmed from Cinder being a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. Don't get me wrong—I love a good fairy tale redo as much as the next Jabberwocky, but sometimes the same ol' same ol' can be a bit... well, boring.

I shouldn't have worried about Cinder being a cookie-cutter retelling, though. After I bit the bullet and bought a copy of Cinder (BTW, isn't the cover fabulous?!) I realized that all my worries had been in vain.
“What else was she hiding? And did he dare risk to find out?”
 Marissa Meyer was very daring in her effort to foster a word that straddles both the age-old fairy tale and a fresh new take of science fiction. While the book still has certain elements of Cinderella (like the handsome prince, evil stepmother, and a glorious ball that changes everything), Cinder has an interesting plot filled with action, romance, mystery, and intrigue. Even the most seemingly predictable parts have their own innovative twist.
“Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?”
The science fiction bits of this book were the best. I loved how original and creative Meyer crafted this world—where cyborgs and androids run amok alongside humans. The characters themselves weren't mere shadows of those in a Cinderella fairy tale, but were well-developed enough to stand alone. The romance wasn't over the top, but it was endearing nonetheless. Oh, and the Iko robotic character made for some great laughs!
“Soon, the whole world would be searching for her – Linh Cinder… But they will be looking for a ghost.”

But... I hated the ending. I can see how a cliffhanger was necessary, but it left me feeling like the book was unresolved—which it sorta was, especially the relationship between Prince Kai and Cinder! Despite that love-to-hate cliffhanger, I still yearned for the second book, Scarlet.

All in all, I'd have to give Cinder by Marissa Meyer 4-Stars—making it a great read.