Tuesday, February 21, 2012

YA Confidential's Cinder Chat!

While perusing the New Release shelf at YA Confidential HQ, three operatives found themselves reaching for the same book: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Rather than enter The Octagon to determine who got to do the review, Alexandra, Cristin and Copil decided to have a group chat and post some of the highlights!

by Marissa Meyer
Description (from Oblong Books):

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.

First up, our general impressions. . .
Cristin: I really enjoyed the story and thought the romance was surprisingly sweet and convincing. 
Copil: I agree. There was a really sweet build to their relationship. 
Alexandra: The romance didn't make me want to vomit. Which is saying something coming from me. 
Cristin/Copil: *laughter* 
Alexandra: I also thought the way it was tied in with Cinderella was clever. 
Cristin: Yeah, I thought she got the whole modern retelling thing totally right, enough of a nod to bring another dimension to the story without overwhelming it. 
Alexandra: I think it was definitely the strongest fairy tale retelling I've read in a long time.

Next we discussed cyborgs. As you can see, the conversation quickly veered off topic. . .
Copil: I loved the cyborg angle. 
Alexandra: Cyborgs are cool. Where do I sign up, I'd get metal wings. I want to fly <3 
Copil: I heart transhumans! I want to be downloaded into a computer. 
Alexandra: Omg I'm picturing that demon in Buffy. The one who woos Willow. Malcolm! Cristin, what would you want? 
Cristin: If I could teleport, that would be FAB. 
Cristin: Why not??? 
Copil: It's just suicide with a fancy name. Every time Kirk beams down to a planet, he's dying and creating a new Kirk on the surface. 
Cristin: You're always trying to ruin my fun, Copil.

We all felt character development was one of the story's biggest strengths and Cinder, in particular, kicked ass. . .
Copil: The SHOE! That was my favorite character. That red patent leather pump. Cinder was a close second. 
Alexandra: I like that Cinder was the one who had to figure things out for herself. Yay, feminist angle! 
Copil: I agree. She was smart and genuine. Plus overalls! Anyone else picture her as Eileen from that Dexys Midnight Runners song? 
Cristin: Little before our time, old man. 
Copil: LOL! My other favorite was Iko. 
Alexandra: Awww Iko! Iko was an awesome touch. 
Cristin: Yeah, I loved her.

If you haven't heard, the sequels all have an interesting hook. . .
Copil: You know the sequels are going to follow other fairy tales? Little Red Riding Hood. Rapunzel. Snow White. 
Alexandra: I can't wait for the sequels. Which fairy tale comes next? 
Copil: Little Red Riding Hood, I think. Then Rapunzel. Then Snow White. 
Alexandra: I wonder if Rapunzel's hair will be mechanized in some way... 
Copil: Extensions. Natch. 
Alexandra: Okay, so Scarlet is Red Riding Hood, obviously, and Winter is Snow White. Where does the name Cress come from? 
Cristin: Watercress, which is how the witch got Rapunzel in the first place. 
Alexandra: OH! 
Copil: Ahhhhhh!

Finally, we thought teen readers would definitely enjoy the book. . .
Alexandra: I think it's the mix of science fiction and romance. And I think teens who aren't big fans of romance will still find a lot of other stuff in the book, like the virus, Cinder the cyborg and the plot with the Lunars. 
Copil: I think the sci-fi is a draw to someone who might not naturally gravitate to something like this. It was for me. 
Cristin: True. And it didn't have any of the insta-love our spies are always complaining about. Or any weakling girls. 
Alexandra: Definitely. 
Copil: So a strong recommend for teen readers? 
Alexandra: I definitely would recommend it. 
Cristin: Me too, big recommend.
There you have it! If you haven't read Cinder, might be time to add it to your TBR. If you have read it, let us know what you thought of it in the comments. On our way out, we leave you with the Cinder book trailer. Enjoy!


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