Cinder by Marissa Meyer


“Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time.”

Are you looking for a good old fashioned dystopian YA series to start your summer?

How about a modernization of a classic fairy tale?

Or, have you been craving a story about a cyborg mechanic, trying to avoid a plague, who’s got secret mental powers, a really crappy stepmother, and is actually a lost princess?

Well, if any or all of those books sound good to you, then look no further–this one will grant all your wishes.  Cinder by Marissa Meyer is book one of the Lunar Chronicles, a series incorporating futuristic versions of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and more.  But it’s not just a book that retells a classic fairy tale–my boy readers love it too, because Cinder is a mechanic who works on androids in a post-WWIII future.  Complete with hovercrafts, bizarre medical technology, and sinister political plots, this story really has it all.

“But if there was one thing she knew from years as a mechanic, it was that some stains never came out.”

As a narrator, Cinder is complex, likable, sarcastic, and the embodiment of different.  In her society, cyborgs are considered less than human, and she battles this stereotype throughout the story.  Still, she responds to her critics with dry humor that made me guffaw as I read, and an unapologetic bent that made me know she’d be a great role model for my students.  Cinder defies convention in every way–a female mechanic, a plain princess, a cyborg in a human society–and yet her bioelectric backbone keeps her standing tall through it all.  I truly fell in love with her character by the heartbreaking, humiliating end of this first book, and immediately ordered the next two on Amazon.

“It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Marissa Meyer crafts an incredible, fascinating future in the Lunar Chronicles, and writes with a style and flair that lend personality to the dystopian drama that unfolds in this series.  I highly recommend Cinder and its sequels for the science fiction shelf of your classroom library–scoop it up to enjoy before the magic wears off at midnight!


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