Aly in Wonderland

Cinder

Cinder - Marissa Meyer
"I don't know. I don't actually remember anything from before the surgery."

His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. "The cybernetic opetation?"

"No, the sex change."

The doctor's smile faltered.

"I'm joking.”


^That, right there, is what I need in a good book: humour. If it's angsty-wangsty-emo-smeemo, the book can kiss my ass because it will take away any enjoyment I had. It will throw me in a ditch with a couple of razorblades and an Evanescence album on repeat. I cannot deal with wangst where it has no place in the book.

But this is where my problem with Cinder stemmed from. Although it has humour, it has a bigger balance of Angsty Teenage Syndrome.

It's a Cinderella re-telling! I hear you scream. It's not exactly a life of joy and roses!

You're right. Cinderella's story is sad and lonely and angsty. It's all of those things and more, but Cinder started with humour -- a heroine who don't need no man, with witty, smart comebacks, and I immediately liked her.

"I'm sure I'll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on."


Here's the thing: the minute I started to warm up to her, she became an angsty teen who listened to that one Evanescence album on repeat. Sure, she had a right to -- her sister had contracted the plague, her stepmum and stepsister are Bitches, capital B -- but I wasn't sold. It was too much all at once for me to work up any real sympathy, and for me to be able to commiserate with Cinder. Her sister contracting the plague, to me, was something that happened to everyone. It didn't feel personal enough.

Another major problem I had was that nothing actually happened. If you cut out a chunk of the book, or decided to skip say, eight chapters, you won't have missed anything. It's the same recycled scenes slapped onto the pages over and over again: Cinder going to work at the Palace, Cinder bumping into Kai, Kai and Cinder flirting, Cinder runs away and goes home, where she then talks to Iko about Kai and the flirting, Cinder argues with Adri, her stepmum... and click repeat.

And, truthfully, I wasn't sold on Prince Kai and Cinder's growing relationship.

He seemed way too obsessed with her, too keen on her to really give me a feel of his, well, feelings for the cyborg. It was more lust than anything else... and Cinder's hot with him one minute and cold the next. Here, I can totally see why. Cyborgs are the lowest of the low in this dystopian era. How can she possibly tell Kai that the entire left side of her body (and inside) is made out of wires, plastic and metal? So I can see why SHE was awkward with him, but I couldn't see why HE was obsessed with her. It made no sense. He appeared one day with a broken robot (or whatever they're called) and BAM! Insta-obsession at its finest. Kai badgers her constantly to go to the ball, tries to buy her consent with gifts and just won't leave her alone.

Kai also just randomly info-dumps Cinder with all his family problems and his worries about becoming an Emperor. Bearing in mind they've only met TWICE when this happens and Cinder has her own shit to worry about.



Kai started growing on me by the end, though it was the fungus type of growing: it's irritating, it stinks, but you can't stop it growing without slathering it with some even stinkier cream.

Another major problem was how there was almost no worldbuilding or descriptions. Cinder mentions hovers, but doesn't tell us what they look like.

Do they look like this?



Like this?



Or this?



What's a netscreen? Is it like a TV screen? Or is it a projection? What's a portscreen? Is it like a slim-line phone? What does CINDER look like? She says only her hand and leg are metal, but how can she see these LED lights? How can she see the script running in front of her eyes? How does it work? The hell does Iko look like?! Because all I can imagine when I think of her is Wall-E:



And the world-building could've been worked on more, too. I don't quite understand why there was a Fourth World War or why the Lunars are so dangerous/hated. We're only told that Eartherns and Lunars have been enemies since forever. And how the crap did the whole Lunar thing come true, anyway? How did these people come to live on the moon?

Explanations are everything to me, because I hate coming away from a book with a billion questions and no answers. I've been told by a few people that the later books show more development, descriptions, etc. and I'm curious to see how it all works out the end so I'll definitely be reading more.



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