No, I honestly didn’t think I’d finish a book and have to write a review on it so soon, but here I am. Let’s all take a moment to admire the glory of summer and be thankful for its existence and the freedom it provides. Today, I want to talk to y’all about my most recent YA dystopian read: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Cinder is loosely based on the story of Cinderella but takes place in a dystopian world inhabited by humans, cyborgs, androids, and other high end futuristic beings. Which sounded like my kind of book, mixing fairytales with sci-fi. So why did I just give it three stars? Well…
First of all, I think the idea and the premise are brilliant; they’re what got me to start reading the book to begin with. In my head, I was about Cinderella in the world of Doctor Who, which sounded like a lot of fun. And it actually kind of was, because everything was so meticulously planned out. The author has clearly done a lot of research and clearly has a lot of knowledge about technology and wirings and so on, making it easy for her to describe to us how things happened in this brave new world and why it had to happen like that. And that was good and gave strength and consistency to the world surrounding the characters. And I really liked that the story went ahead without too many plot twists or complexities, unlike several other YA books I tried out.
Now, let’s talk about something I didn’t like? Well, I didn’t like the characterisation of most of the characters. And I’m not criticising the book because I couldn’t like the characters but rather because I felt the development was almost not there. I didn’t see Cinder grow as the story progressed; I didn’t see all the discoveries that she claimed mortified her change her attitude towards anyone in anyway. And the same thing goes for Prince Kai… They just didn’t feel really special or interesting to me, and yeah… I just clearly have problems with YA books, okay? But you know, I actually really liked her structuring for the mean characters like Adri and Levana; they were loads of fun to read.
Another thing that bothered me is that I could see things coming before they did so all points of climax were just confirmations of what I already expected to begin with. I mean, what the Doctor revealed to Cinder at the end, about her identity and stuff (trying not to spoil things here), I kind of guessed three chapters earlier. Also about the Doctor’s identity; I guessed that too and few other things I can’t exactly remember. And I don’t know if she meant for this to happen, for us to deduce some of this stuff as we went on before the characters stated them out loud, but it just didn’t work for me. It kind of sucked the fun out of all the bits that were supposed to shock me and keep me hooked.
There’s also the ending. My God. What’s it with all the books with cliffhangers for endings? I DON’T admire this trend at all. There were seven books in the Harry Potter series, and I don’t recall any of them ending right after Harry receives shocking news or having things cleared up or anything as such. And people still wanted to know what happens in the next book. SO WHY?! Why do you do that? Like, go into tiny details throughout the story and make things progress then just STOP? How am I supposed to close the book and feel like, okay, farewell, you beautiful book; this was a fun journey… WHEN NOTHING WAS SETTLED? I’m clearly not cut out for YA series.
But here’s the big question: am I going to read Scarlet? Yes. Because even though lots of things bothered me in this book, I find the story interesting and I want to see what the author will do with it next. I mean, I liked this book. I finished it, so that counts for something. But never at any point was I quite invested in it, which is, perhaps, what bothered me the most.
I think the problem is with me; YA books don’t suit me and I should probably just stop experimenting with all of them. But there are so many interesting ideas in YA that I want to explore, even if the execution never quite meets my taste in reading. But anyway. I think I’ll make a separate post about Manno and YA once I’ve got it all figured out.
I wanna know what you thought about Cinder if you’ve read it. Am I missing something?
I’ll go now and start reading the first book in the Ladies’ Detective Agency, which I’m rather thrilled about. I’ll see you guys soon, I hope.