Cinder by Marissa Meyer
(Lunar Chronicles)

78%

64 Critic Reviews

Meyer’s far-future Earth is richly imagined, full of prejudice and intrigue, characters easy to get invested in, and hints of what might await in future books.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series!

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.)

 

About Marissa Meyer

See more books from this Author
Marissa Meyer’s first book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, and was praised by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as “unfolding with the magic of a fairy tale and the breakneck excitement of dystopian fiction.” Scarlet, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles, will be published in February 2013. Marissa lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband. Visit her at www.marissameyer.com.
 
Published January 3, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends. 400 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Children's Books. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Cinder
All: 64 | Positive: 47 | Negative: 17

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 26 2016

Despite the simplistic and incongruous-feeling telepathic-enslaver theme, readers will return for the next installment in this sharp, futuristic "Cinderella" tale.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by wordsarelife on Nov 15 2015

Overall, if you’re looking for a fun, action-packed and wholly unique sci-fi adventure which stands out from the crowd, Cinder is the book for you. I know I’ll definitely be continuing on with the series!

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Hotcocoa on Feb 04 2015

This was an amazing book and I really can't wait to read what happens next in this (so far) four book series! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by helloitsheath on Jun 18 2014

Overall, I would recommend this book to fans of fairy tales that want something with a little bit more edge than the originals with their insipid princesses.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by mariakozhuhar on May 28 2013

...this book is written in such a pleasant, captivating style that the plot never loses its dynamism and is extremely gripping. I strongly recommend reading this book to all those passionate about sci-fi stories because honestly, I don't remember reading a book which would be that interesting as 'Cinder'.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Dec 30 2016

Meyer’s far-future Earth is richly imagined, full of prejudice and intrigue, characters easy to get invested in, and hints of what might await in future books.

Read Full Review of Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Norah Piehl on Jan 01 2012

Meyer cleverly includes enough elements of the original Cinderella story to keep fans of fairy tales happy, but she simultaneously makes the story entirely her own...

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Deseret News

Above average
Reviewed by Emily Ellsworth on Jan 07 2012

Some readers may be disappointed by the lack of twists and the predictability of the plot. The strong points of the book most certainly lie in its characters and world building.

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Fantasy Literature

Above average
Reviewed by RACHAEL "RAY" MCKENZIE on Feb 09 2016

...the character of Cinder just about manages to carry the slightly lacklustre plotting as it is great fun to watch her grow and develop, and begin to take her future into her own hands. Whilst Cinder’s overall story arc is nothing groundbreaking, the Asian setting and excellent characterisation are...

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Kidz World

Good
on Dec 30 2016

Cinder by Marissa Meyer is an amazing story about love that comes in mysterious packages. It is so much more than just a Cinderella story. All of the characters are lovable and unforgettable, and we can’t for book two!

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The Ranting Dragon

Below average
Reviewed by Rebecca van Velzen on Aug 14 2013

If the familiar tropes commonly found in young adult books don’t bother you or you have a particular taste for science fiction flavored teenage romance, you’d likely enjoy Cinder—especially if fairy tale inspired books are your thing. Otherwise, only pick up this book if you’re looking for a cotton candy read. It’s not very intelligent...

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IBN Live

Good
Reviewed by Vivek Tejuja on Aug 19 2014

Meyer's writing is fast-paced. You literally turn the pages and get absorbed in what she has to say. Moreover, at some point you distance yourself from the original fairy-tale and become a part of Meyer's story.

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A Book and a Hug

Good
Reviewed by Katy Manck on Dec 29 2011

This fascinating retelling of the Cinderella tale is the first book of the Lunar Chronicles series, with many secrets underlying the familiar story.

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State Library of Victoria

Above average
Reviewed by Jordi Kerr on Feb 08 2014

Cinder does feel overloaded with plot at times and sophisticated readers will see, like a cyborg’s parts, the mechanics at work. What saves Cinder is the strength of its characters. Cinder’s struggle to accept herself and her efforts to carve a space in the world for the people (and androids) she loves is easily relatable.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by L.J.Barnes on Dec 23 2016

For those who enjoy science fiction, or “clean” young adult novel without the sex or alcohol, or for those who loved the intrigue of “The Hunger Games;” Meyer’s novel “Cinder” is the novel for you.

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Rhapsody in Books

Good
Reviewed by rhapsodyinbooks on Jan 17 2012

This is a very enjoyable read. The characterizations are delightful. Adri and Levana are over-the-top evil, but they’re supposed to be; after all, this is a fairy-tale retelling!

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Vampire Book Club

Good
Reviewed by Amy on Oct 04 2013

The romance in the book was slightly unconventional. Meyer certainly didn’t follow a pattern in that regard. For all that I thought was predictable, I still didn’t want to put down the book, and Meyer did surprise by leaving us with an open ending.

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The Book Smugglers

Below average
Reviewed by Thea on Dec 22 2016

...there’s the predictability of the plot – you know the “twist” from very early on in the story, and as the reveal is made basically on the last page of the novel, this indicates it is supposed to be a huge revelation and/or cliffhanger. Yeah, not so much. There are also the larger problems of plausibility and worldbuilding.

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Parental Book Reviews

Above average
on Feb 24 2014

I did enjoy the story, and I couldn't help thinking that someone younger would really love it...The story was really cute....

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http://goodbooksandgoodwine.com

Excellent
Reviewed by April on Jan 13 2012

Boom, Marissa Meyer just threw down the gauntlet. Cinder is a unique and an enchanting take on the Cinderella fairytale. Seriously, it is completely different from ANY fairy tale retelling I’ve EVER read before.

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The Lit B***h

Above average
Reviewed by The Lit Bitch on Nov 20 2015

...I just felt like it fell short on romance and ‘adventure’. That said I did like the book. It was creative and different, I liked the fairy-tale retelling angle mixed with sci-fi.

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My Bookish Ways

Excellent
Reviewed by Kristin on Dec 07 2011

The pacing is rapid and tense, and builds to an exciting last page that will leave you anxious for the next installment. It’s going to be a hard wait for me!

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Confessions of a Book Addict

Excellent
Reviewed by Christina on Dec 14 2015

I will admit that I was hesitant to start this series. When I read the synopsis, I thought to myself that a space-age Cinderella re-telling is going to be cheesy and won't work. Boy, was I wrong! Thankfully I listened to some of my favorite bloggers and gave Cinder a try. I am so glad I did.

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Booking in Heels

Below average
Reviewed by Hanna W on Jul 28 2015

...if I'd read this when it was first released in 2012, I'd be a little irritated that the story just... stops. I get that Marissa Meyer probably knew perfectly well where she wanted the story to go next, but I'd have preferred a more self-contained novel. I did end up liking this a reasonable amount. It didn't make my Top Ten Books So Far list...

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Ticket to Anywhere

Below average
Reviewed by Irish on Aug 01 2015

Unfortunately, CINDER and I didn’t really get along as well as I would have hoped...too many things that happened for convince. Like Cinder’s net-link in her brain so that she can easily look up anything that she could ever possibly think of so it makes getting out of tight situations so much easier. CINDER was also highly predictable.

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Rather Be Reading

Good
on Sep 17 2012

I could go on and on about my love for Cinder, but I hope you’ll take my word for it and pick it up soon. You’ll want to be prepared for the sequel, Scarlet, to come out in February!

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Wondrous Reads

Good
Reviewed by prophecygirl on Jan 13 2012

Cinder is such a brilliant debut novel, exciting and fresh and totally unexpected. The way everything unfolds is clever, and the parallels with Cinderella are fun to spot.

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Peace Love Books

Good
Reviewed by jessica on Jan 03 2012

While the story was definitely unique and an interesting read, I wasn't as wowed as everyone else seems to have been.

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https://lareviewofbooks.org

Good
Reviewed by DEBORAH J. ROSS on Jul 10 2012

...tales in which a girl’s highest aspiration is marriage, others expand the scope, increase the stakes, and empower the heroine. They succeed by using the strengths of the story, not its weaknesses. Marissa Meyer’s Cinder is just such a story.

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Helen's Book Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Helen on Jun 27 2012

While the direction the plot is going isn't too difficult to figure out, I didn't care. It is, after all, a retelling of a well-known fairy tale so the good guys and bad guys aren't surprises. That didn't matter to me, there are enough twists and turns that this was a real page turner for me...

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http://rabidreads.ca

Good
Reviewed by Jessica on Jan 30 2014

And even if you don’t ordinarily go for YA books, if you like fairy tales, science fiction, and/or dystopian novels, then I would definitely give Cinder a chance, b/c it doesn’t read like a typical YA book.

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Book Him Danno

Above average
Reviewed by Heidi and Doug Wimmer on Apr 29 2015

While I enjoyed the story and crossed my fingers with the rest of the readers, I feel it lacked the depth I needed to give it more stars.

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Cuddle Buggery Book Blog

Above average
Reviewed by Kat Kennedy on Jun 20 2012

I loved this book! I stayed up most of the night to read it! It wasn’t perfect, of course. There are several things I might have liked to be changed about it but I feel the characterization of the two main protagonists was fantastic.

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Cuddle Buggery Book Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Steph Sinclair on Apr 17 2012

I loved all the characters in Cinder, especially the heroine. Cinder was independent, feisty, and relatable. She didn’t always make the right decision, but this is a heroine that learns from her mistakes.

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Alexa Loves Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Alexa S. on Aug 08 2012

There are so many aspects to please all kinds of people - romance, friendships, self-discovery, uncovering mysterious plots - that I think I will be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn't enjoy this book. Cinder is one of my favorite reads of 2012, and if you're hesitating, I highly suggest you hesitate no longer and buy this book!

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Blogging for a Good Book

Above average
Reviewed by Mandy on Mar 04 2014

Cinder is full of more characters and storylines than I could comfortably fit into the synopsis, but Meyer adeptly uses these elements to establish the basis for the next book in the series.

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http://www.dawn.com

Above average
Reviewed by Mahvesh Murad on Jul 22 2012

..unfortunately isn’t very much of a reveal at all if you’ve been paying attention...Cinder is a young adult book with a good heart...

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Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Jennifer on Dec 29 2011

Overall, I was fascinated by the story from beginning to end and can't wait to read more in this series. Great debut, Ms. Meyer!!

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Mermaid Vision Books

Above average
Reviewed by ANGEL CRUZ on Dec 23 2011

The story is a tad predictable, but that can be easily overlooked because of its readability and great writing. However, I don’t think some of the story was set up as well as it could have been...

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Reading Teen

Above average
Reviewed by Andye on Dec 22 2016

I never could really get a grasp on Cinder, as far as how human is she? I guess I don't really know what a cyborg is technically, but in my opinion, you shouldn't have to do any research when reading a book...all this said, I still did enjoy the story.

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Once Upon A Bookcase

Good
Reviewed by Jo on Jan 30 2016

I absolutely loved Cinder, and I am so excited to read the second book in The Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet. If you've not yet read Cinder, don't leave it as long as I did. Pick this book up now!

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Linus's Blanket

Above average
on Jan 26 2012

There are couple of easily guessed “revelations”, that are so poorly concealed that I wasn’t even sure whether Meyer intended them to be hidden, but those are easily overlooked when compared with a strong heroine, plenty of narrative tension and a doozy of a cliffhanger.

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I Was Angelized 1st

Above average
on Jan 29 2015

Despite the predictable nature of most of the book, it was an enjoyable read. However, I honestly didn’t get really into the book until I was half of the way through to the climax. Still, I will read the next book in the series.

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Caught Between the Pages

Excellent
Reviewed by Kayla on Jun 01 2013

It’s crazy, how many things are including and how wonderfully they all go together so that no part of it sounds absurd and the reader and is still left cheering Cinder on.

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Serendipity Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Isabella Samuels on Nov 04 2015

Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that Cinder is ‘just another remake’. It is an addictive, fast paced, emotion powered caper – and only a taster of the following Chronicles.

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Joy's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Joy Weese Moll on Mar 29 2013

I loved the Cinderella aspects of Cinder, even though they were spare and slight. Part of the fun was spotting the next reference. I enjoyed the setting, both the futuristic aspects and the kind of Eastern vibe that thrums through the text.

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Katie's Book Blog

Excellent
on Jan 30 2013

Overall, Cinder is one of the best retellings I have read in a while. It’s a fabulous start to Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and I am very eager to read the rest of her retellings!

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Ron Reads

Above average
on Jul 22 2012

Thankfully, this predictability isn’t an insurmountable flaw. If readers approach “Cinder” with an open heart and mind, they definitely won’t regret taking the journey that the novel will take them on.

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Wicked Awesome Books

Good
Reviewed by Nikki on Jan 20 2012

Cinder will capture all readers, despite it seeming to be targeted towards a sci-fi audience. It is a phenom of a book with so many surprised thrown in to keep readers on their toes, while also adding touches of a fairytale we all know.

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Reading Addict

Good
on Jan 10 2014

Overall, I'd highly recommend Cinder. I can't remember the last time I truly enjoyed a novel this much. Meyer's story is incredibly refreshing in a genre predominately filled with cliche characters and overused plot lines. If this novel isn't already on your radar, watch out. It's going to be big.

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Carina's Books

Good
Reviewed by Carina Olsen on Aug 02 2013

Cinder is just such an amazing book. I loved every moment of it. It is also all kinds of heartbreaking, just so you know. Yet I loved that even more.

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https://fyreflybooks.wordpress.com

Good
on Aug 13 2014

There’s a huge market in teen SF/F these days, and this is definitely a worthwhile entry in the genre. Fans of fairy tales and/or futuristic (semi-dystopian) sci-fi should all really enjoy this one.

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Fiction Folio

Above average
Reviewed by Tara on Jul 23 2012

...I figured out the entire plot twist within the first 50 pages. And that never happens with me. I’m usually the last person on the face of this planet to figure these things out, but somehow I picked it up rather quickly in Cinder. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed Cinder’s journey and am so glad I finally picked this one up.

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Mindful Musings

Excellent
Reviewed by Amber Sumner on Aug 18 2015

If you start this book and don't have Scarlet and Cress handy, you will regret it! I finished this book in one day and by the time I was done, the bookstore was closed and I had to wait until the morning to go buy the next two!!

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A Backwards Story

Good
Reviewed by Kat P on Feb 14 2014

Don't miss this one; definitely go pick up a copy and get in on the action here. There is plenty of time to catch up before WINTER hits the shelves next year. Meyer made this series so riveting and easy to read...

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http://great-imaginations.com

Good
Reviewed by PIXIE on Mar 09 2015

...I’ve been kicking myself since reading Cinder for having just now read it. I’m sorry everyone for ignoring your recommendations for so long with this one. But better late than never!

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Rogue Librarian

Good
on Apr 06 2014

The novel is a real page turner. There is a touch of romance, but ultimately it is about Cinder finding and claiming her place in the world. Cinder’s true identity isn’t really a surprise to anyone outside the book but the plot has enough twists and turns to keep readers on their toes.

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A Novel Toybox

Below average
Reviewed by Lilian on Feb 24 2013

...she had an interesting concept–unfortunately the execution was lacking, especially the clumsy world building. Perhaps I’m Chinese that I am particularly critical of how my culture is being portrayed, and Cinder irritated me on that front. It was also on the predictable side...

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The Book Slooth

Above average
Reviewed by Ismé on May 27 2012

The plot is imaginative and cleverly intertwined with all elements of the novel to create a complex, futuristic, semi-dystopian world brimming with characters reminiscent of old and new archetypes.

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Bibliophile Support Group

Good
Reviewed by Angie L on May 01 2015

Really every aspect of Cinder was intriguing to me – so much happens yet it wasn’t lacking character development and world building amongst all that plot. Truly awesome.

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The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Good
Reviewed by Orchid Forsythia on Aug 10 2015

As a retelling of Cinderella, I must say that I liked the changes the story took and how the author made it her own. I would have never guessed that someone would one day make retell Cinderella with a sci-fi twist and cyborgs and crazy Lunars.

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https://www.breakpoint.org

Good
Reviewed by John E. Roper on Nov 30 2012

Overall, “Cinder” is one of the finest debut novels written for the young adult market that I have read in a long time.

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http://www.trippingoverbooks.com

Excellent
on Jan 09 2012

CINDER was one of the best introductions to a series I can remember reading recently. For serious. I went into it a *touch* worried that the harder science-fictiony parts would present a bigger obstacle to my love, but that was silly of me...

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Read-A-holicZ

Excellent
on May 14 2015

If you are procrastinating reading Cinder like I was, Then I'm telling you to drop what you are doing and READ THE IT. Do it, now.

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Reader Rating for Cinder
89%

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Rachel Mary Bernth 13 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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