Monday, November 26, 2012

Teen/Young Adult Review: Cinder

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Meyer, M. (2012). Cinder. Victoria, Australia: Penguin Group.

[Genre: Science-fiction, Fantasy]

Set in a futuristic Asia where fairytale stereotypes are given a new twist, Cinder is Marissa Meyer’s debut novel. The title character is a mechanic whose profits go to keeping her step-mother and sisters in the way they’ve become accustomed. . . . until she accidentally meets a handsome prince. So far, so familiar – but Cinder is part human, part cyborg. It’s not only her shoe she can remove, but her whole foot.

McCahon (1999, p.10) states that ‘much modern fantasy is based around folk and fairytales.’ Campbell (2010) also notes the oversaturation of fantasy and science-fiction in teen literature. However, although Meyer’s twist on Cinderella may not be the most original idea, she adds just enough unique elements to make the story both surprising and pleasing. For example, Asia is not an area that is often explored in science-fiction.

Cinder seems likely to appeal to a wide range of teen readers. There are moments of danger, but it is not particularly graphic and could even be described as chaste in comparison to many contemporary novels. It is entirely appropriate for a 13 year old, but could still be enjoyed by an 18 year old. Overall, Cinder is a solid piece of teen fiction and as The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (2011) points out, fantasy does not date quickly; we may find that Cinder stands the test of time.


  • Campbell, P. (2010) A (not so) short history of YA lit. In Campbell's scoop: Reflections on Young Adult Literature [Adobe Digital Editions version] (pp.11-19). eISBN 9780810872943.

  • McCahon, R. (1999). Fantasy, folklore, myth and legend. Lower Hutt, New Zealand: The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

  • The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. (2011). Module 1: Children and young people – developmental stages, literacy and literature. In 72276: Literature and Information Resources for Children and Young People. Lower Hutt, New Zealand: Author.

1 comment:

  1. [...] Cinder was one of my most surprising (in a good way) reads of 2012. Marissa Meyer’s debut was unique and amazing . . . and pretty much everyone else in the blog world seemed to agree! Scarlet picks up where Cinder left off, with Cinder now trying to escape from prison as the Lunar Queen makes a move on the Eastern Commonwealth. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world (in France no less) we are introduced to 18 year old Scarlet, who’s trying to track down her missing grandmother. [...]