Title: Cinderella is Dead
Author: Kalynn Baryron
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Audience: Young Adult
Taken from Goodreads
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
I had heard a lot of hype surrounding Cinderella is Dead, and while I did enjoy the story, I was not as completely in love with it as I thought I would be. Cinderella is Dead is set around Sophia who lives in Lille, where Cinderella’s story is made a goal for young girls to aspire to. Every year the King holds a ball in which all girls must be chosen and married off. I really liked the idea of the plot, as it is a concept that I’ve not thought of before. Cinderella was one of my favourite fairytales as a child, so for me to enjoy a Cinderella adaption, it needed to be different and unique to the original, and Cinderella is Dead certainly was.
My favourite part of Cinderella is Dead were the characters. I particularly loved the characters of Sophia and Constance because they felt natural. Sophia would mutter things under her breath, which made her character feel more realistic. The one part that I was disappointed about with the characters was the underuse of the other characters. I would have loved to have seen more from Luke, but he was just locked in the castle for the whole of the story. I think that it would have added to the storyline because having a more expansive cast would have allowed for more interactions and could have given more detail which is something I think Cinderella is Dead needed.
My only real big disappointment with Cinderella is Dead was the romance between Sophia and Constance. I wanted so much more! I loved the start of the relationship between them, but I wanted to see so much more development so that I could fall further into their relationship. The beginning of their relationship does feel like Insta-love, as Sophia almost instantly forgets about her previous relationship to fall head over heels of Constance. However, the further in the book we get, the more their relationship grows and blossoms, so I would have loved just an extra 50 pages where we could explore them even more.
I managed to fly through Cinderella is Dead because Kalynn Brayron’s writing style is really quick-paced. While I liked this, I did feel that I missed some world building, but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the plot. I just wanted a little bit more detail, about lots of minor things, but I think that would have really helped to pull the story together.
Overall, I would recommend Cinderella is Dead, because it is a great fairytale retelling, with a great romance. I will definitely be picking up whatever Kalynn Bayron writes next.
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