Visit Teach Mentor Texts for Jen & Kellee’s “original”.
“Thanks to Marissa Meyer, Cinderella is getting the cyborg treatment. Fairy tales are becoming all the rage, with the TV shows Once Upon a Time and Grimm spinning them through a modern filter. The 26-year-old Meyer’s debut novel Cinder, though, combines a classic folk tale with hints of The Terminator and Star Wars in the first book of The Lunar Chronicles young- adult series due out Jan. 3.” –USAToday.com
“Cinderella is a cyborg in this futuristic take on the fairy tale, the first book in Ms. Meyer’s planned ‘Lunar Chronicles’ series.” –Wall Street Journal, in a round-up called “After Harry Potter: The Search for the Magic Formula”
“First in the Lunar Chronicles series, this futuristic twist on Cinderella retains just enough of the original that readers will enjoy spotting the subtle similarities. But debut author Meyer’s brilliance is in sending the story into an entirely new, utterly thrilling dimension.” –STARRED, Publishers Weekly “Meyer creates here a feminist fairytale for modern teens.” –Shelf Awareness
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.
Marissa Meyer on Cinder, writing, and leading men
Which of your characters is most like you? I wish I could say that I’m clever and mechanically-minded like Cinder, but no—I can’t fix anything. I’m much more like Cress, who makes a brief cameo in Cinder and then takes a more starring role in the third book. She’s a romantic and a daydreamer and maybe a little on the naïve side—things that could be said about me too—although she does find courage when it’s needed most. I think we’d all like to believe we’d have that same inner strength if we ever needed it.
Where do you write? I have a home office that I’ve decorated with vintage fairy tale treasures that I’ve collected (my favorite is a Cinderella cookie jar from the forties) and NaNoWriMo posters, but sometimes writing there starts to feel too much like work. On those days I’ll write in bed or take my laptop out for coffee or lunch.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from Cinder would you want with you? Cinder, definitely! She has an internet connection in her brain, complete with the ability to send and receive comms (which are similar to e-mails). We’d just have enough time to enjoy some fresh coconut before we were rescued.
The next book in the Lunar Chronicles is called Scarlet, and is about Little Red Riding Hood. What is appealing to you most about this character as you work on the book? Scarlet is awesome—she’s very independent, a bit temperamental, and has an outspokenness that tends to get her in trouble sometimes. She was raised by her grandmother, an ex-military pilot who now owns a small farm in southern France, who not only taught Scarlet how to fly a spaceship and shoot a gun, but also to have a healthy respect and appreciation for nature. I guess that’s a lot of things that appeal to me about her, but she’s been a really fun character to write! (The two leading men in Scarlet, Wolf and Captain Thorne, aren’t half bad either.)
My Comment: Is this a retelling of Cinderella? Well, yeah. There’s a character named Cinder… a ball… evil stepmom… stepsisters (not both evil)… and that’s where the similarities end. And that’s OK with me. I thought this book was quite entertaining and clever. The futuristic society–highly technological–and life on Earth in New Beijing after World War IV is well-imagined and clever. This kept me reading, curious to know how Meyer was going to wrap up all the loose ends.
Which, of course, they weren’t, because the story continues into the next book.
I’ll leave you to wonder if the Prince would truly be out and about wandering the sick streets trying to get his droid fixed; and how likely is it that Cinder, the bionic mechanic, would catch his eye. Trivialities, I suppose.
I’ll be anxious to read the next installment when it comes out.