Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

"She was a cyborg, and she would never go to a ball."

Genre: Sci-fi Fantasy Publisher: Square Fish Format: Paperback
Source: Bought Rating:  (5/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

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.

I love fairy tale retellings. And I love robots and sci-fi. So I thought there was no way this book could disappoint me. I was pretty much right.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer was an amazing mix of mechanics, an imagined war torn future, mechanics, and a tale where a powerful prince falls in love with a disadvantaged common girl. It was well written, suspenseful, and engaging.

The main things I loved about this book were the world building and the characters. The world was fantastic- a place where unloved cyborgs and androids who do all basic jobs mix with royalty and balls, while everyone lives in fear of a deadly plague and the alien race that lives on their own moon. It isn’t a book world that I would want to love in, but it’s dynamics were fascinating.

I really loved the characters because while their problems are very different than ours, they were very relatable. Cinder’s feeling I being unwanted, unloved and unappreciated can be paralleled in real life, as can her need to hide herself from Prince Kai because she didn’t want him to stop liking her because of things out of her control.

Cinder was a wonderful book that I highly recommend to fairy tale and sci-fi fans. My only complaint about it is that there isn’t another book about Cinder specifically. (Though I surely will be reading the rest of the Lunar Chronicles anyways.)

August 2014 Recap

August started with me in Boston. I stayed there with my parents for a few days before we flew back home. However, we were only home for about a week and a half because then my parents surprised me with a very special birthday present- a trip to Orlando Studios, or more importantly, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!


We were there for three days and it was super cool. I thought that Diagon Alley was a lot more interesting than the original Hogsmeade part of the parks, and the Harry Potter rides were a lot of fun! (Even for a person like me who doesn’t really enjoy rides)

What was extra special is that when we went to Olivander’s on our first night there I got picked for the wand demonstration! I, of course, ended up buying the wand that ‘picked me.’ A rowan wand with a heartstring core and a little skull on the handle.



Near the end of August, just a day after I got back home, I started school again, going into my junior year. Not quite as exciting as Boston and Orlando.

Books I Read This Month:

#1 - Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson 

A very cute contemporary book about summer and friendship and trying new things. Plus the cover is gorgeous. I recommend this one!

#2 - Nick and Tesla’s High Voltage Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith 

I would call this a short, ‘lower middle grade book,’ as it could be easily read to kinds in fourth or fifth grade as well. But it was a book that was good for what it is, and the mystery in it is interesting, though the book didn’t keep me as captivated as the other ones I read this much. The experiments in it are simple, but they are creative. Maybe I’ll try a few out sometime for fun.

#3 - The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani 


#4 - Spell Robbers (The Quantum League #1) by Matthew J. Kirby 

This book started out a little dull. The minor characters were glossed over and barely given names, and at first the pacing was pretty slow. But partway through the book the action picked up, and I became rather hooked on the plot. When it comes out, I’ll probably read the next one. (This is more of a cover problem- but the whole time I thought the actual title of the book was ‘The Quantum League’ because ‘Spell Robbers’ was so small.)

And so I ended up doing the Ice Bucket Challenge on my 16th birthday. Happy Labor Day everyone!

Document Your Life: August 2014

Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani

"Where else would storybooks come from?"

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Publisher: HarperCollins  Format: Paperback Source: Bought Rating:  (5/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

This book was hugely engaging. From the moment I started the first page I could just not put it down. (Which is a very unfortunate thing to happen while in school.) Even now I can’t wait to find out what happens next- so thank goodness for sequels.

I didn’t so much fall in love with the characters in this book, it was more that I became oddly fascinated with them and their strange exploits. I came to like them, sure, but not because they were like-able characters. But they are very well thought out characters who end up getting a lot of development throughout the course of one book.

The plot of this book moved very fast and was full of mystery. It was really great and deceptively complex. All in all I thought this was a very well written, engaging middle grade book.

Anyways- who doesn’t love a good fairytail?