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by Asma Gaba
Cinder is the first book in The Lunar Chronicles, a four book series. Personally, The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite book series. Every element in these books are perfection; Marissa Meyer truly is an amazing writer. Her books are extraordinary retellings of fairy tales, Cinder being a retelling of Cinderella. Cinder is packed to the very end with action and cliffhangers that will have you craving for the second book. A deadly plague, mind controlling people who live on the moon, a lost princess, an eminent war- this book will hook you in and will not let go.
Cinder is a cyborg- meaning she has computer and metal body parts after a surviving deadly car crash that killed her parents. Cyborgs are seen as second-class in this world that Meyer created. She lives in the city of New Beijing with her evil stepmother and two stepsisters (see the parallels?). Cinder is a gifted mechanic and works in a small booth in the city’s market.
A deadly plague called letumosis has begun to infect the citizens of New Beijing, and there is no known cure to stop the deaths. There is a cyborg draft in place; forcing them to give themselves up to the palace doctors for experimenting the disease- in where the cyborgs eventually die. The Emperor of New Beijing is stricken with letumosis, leaving the country in the hands of his young son, Prince Kai.
Not to mention the sinister moon people- called Lunars- and their malicious queen who are waiting for the Emperor’s death so they can take advantage of Kai’s inexperience and attack Earth and take it over as their own.
After Cinder’s hateful stepmother hands Cinder to the palace for the draft, she’s whisked into the world of New Beijing’s politics after a chance meeting with Kai at her mechanic’s booth. Suddenly, she’s in the middle of a delicate situation between humans on Earth and Lunars on the moon. And that everything, literally, is in her hands.
Marissa Meyer’s books are a refreshing read for a few reasons:
1. All her books feature wildly diverse and strong girls. Disabled girls? Got ‘em. Black girls? Asian girls? Of course! Mentally ill girls? Uh, yes. Girls who can fight, girls who can use guns, girls who code, girls who love fashion- and they’re all protagonists. The Lunar Chronicles are amazing for growing girls or girls who feel the need to identify.
2. Most books, I’ve noticed, are always set in the United States. The Lunar Chronicles seem to happen anywhere but America. We see China, Africa, France, hell- we even see the moon! Fun fact: there’s only one American throughout the series.
3. There are so many plot points throughout the books. You could be reading about letumosis, freaking out about the death toll, and when you flip to the next chapter, the evil moon queen will emerge- and we almost forgot about her! Cinder had my adrenaline running. Another fun fact: I read it in one sitting. One.
Listen, all I’m saying is you have to read Cinder. Take it from me: it’s worth it.