Cinder

CinderCinder is the first book to the series Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This is a young adult series that I had heard about from a librarian. I had actually seen the cover when it first came out but I brushed it off because I don’t read a lot of young adult and it was dealing with cyborgs. I don’t read a lot of science fiction as it doesn’t really interest me but I was encouraged to try the book, so I gave it a shot, and I am glad that I did. I liked this novel. It was an adaptation of Cinderella but it was created in this fantasy type world. I will admit that at times I felt it was a little long but I got over those moments and continued to enjoy the book.

So the story Cinder is basically about this teenage girl who is a ward of this mother and her two daughters. Cinder is not just human but part cyborg. She does not remember her past but know that her parents had been killed and she survived a horrific accident. To make a living Cinder is a mechanic which is where she will meet Prince Kai. Though this is not a fairy tale where they immediately fall in love. This is a time of war and disease that is destroying the people.

I liked Cinder’s character. She was an interesting character being a cyborg and the mystery about her life beforehand intrigued me. I also liked Prince Kai and thought at times he could make a decision faster but then remembered he had all his people to think about, not just his feelings. The other main character is Queen Levana who is pure evil when it comes to getting what she wants.

There is a lot to this book and yes it can be predictable but I felt that Meyer’s wrote the story well. She leaves the book at a cliffhanger which I don’t really like. Its because I have to usually wait forever to read what happens next. Well I guess I was thinking ahead because I made sure to check out the rest of the series. I will be reading Scarlet next.

If the Slipper Fits

If the Slipper FitsAnnabelle Quinn was orphaned as an infant never knowing her parents just that she was illegitimate. Annabelle will have a chance to leave her position as a teacher and become a governess. She jumped at the chance as this place treated her more like a servant. She will find joy helping the young Duke but will find that the Uncle of the Duke was catching her attention especially with his seductive ways.

Lord Simon Westbury had taken his nephew over as a ward when Nicholas’s parents were killed in an accident. Simon had not seen his brother in over ten years due to a betrayal and had become jaded. When the new governess is brought in he will find his eyes following her and wanting her to be his mistress.

If the Slipper Fits is the first book to the series Cinderella Sisterhood by Olivia Drake. Olivia Drake plays off the fairy tale Cinderella which I really liked. It has been a while since I have read a book by Olivia Drake and I remember liking her but when I read this book I really loved it. Her writing is fun and lighthearted.

The characters of Annabelle and Simon are well written and I liked them both right off. Simon seemed standoffish due to his past with his brother who is deceased but he does come to term with it and becomes a better man. It takes Annabelle to make him see that and change. Annabelle was like the Cinderella especially with her glass slippers. It was kind of funny as those really didn’t have any real part in the book that is except towards the end. I liked that it was the slippers that will be taken from Annabelle as she found the man she will love. So maybe the slippers are a way to bring love especially by a woman, Lady Milford, who wants to play matchmaker.

As the shoes were taken in the first book I have a feeling that you will read about them in the second book, but maybe not. I will find out as I have the second book, Stroke of Midnight, and I’m reading it next.

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

I was blown away as I finished the book.  Couldn’t put this down.  “Chinese Cinderella” is the true story of Adeline Yen Mah who was the unwanted daughter in her family.

“A Chinese proverb says, “Falling leaves return to their roots.”  In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to paint an authentic portrait of twenith-century China as well as to tell the story of her painful childhood and her courage and ultimate triumph over despair.

After her mother dies giving birth to her Adeline’s affluent, powerful family consisders her bad luck.  Life does not get any easier when her father remarries.  She and her siblings are subjected to their stepmother’s disdain, while her half brother and half sister are thoroughly spoiled.  Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not what she really yearns for-the love and understanding of her family.”

The family is cruel to Adeline per normal but when their grandmother dies everything changes.  The stepmother is the one in charge and she is particularly cruel, the father doesn’t do anything about it.  He doesn’t care and for Adeline it is even worse.  Father doesn’t care enough to even listen to his daughter.  The children are all separated.  The two half siblings are with the parents and get everything nice while the others get all second handed things.

For Adeline her family treats her poorly.  They one time killed her little chicken, beat her, gave her a drink that was half urine, shipped her away, and blatantly ignored her.  They even were separating Adeline from her Aunt whom Adeline considered her best friend.  Adeline though had one outlet at her school and that was the friends she made there and that she was the smartest one in her class.  She kept winning awards but that all went away.  Whenever Adeline would tell them or if they found out they thought she was bragging and finally they took her away from that school and to a different one.  In the boarding schools Adeline is forgotten.  No letters, no visitors.  All Adeline had was her intelligence and the few friends at these schools.  But Adeline never stopped fighting to get the approval of her family.  In the end she does in a way but it is still not a complete love.  But Adeline does gain the chance to do something of her life.

While reading the book I was sometimes close to tears which is a little ridicules I guess but I am an emotional person.  She thought of herself of the unwanted daughter because she took away their mother and the family encouraged this thought.  The family I despised.  Ye Ye and Aunt Baba are her only allies.  The third brother was relatively nice but only on his own.  Everyone else was cruel, unjust, would beat her verbally and emotionally, and finally they made sure she was unwanted.  They shipped her away to different boarding schools, one in the middle of war.  I wanted to have Adeline saved by one of her friends parents but that never happened.  But Adeline’s greatest strength was her resolve to not give in to her families ways and to keep going in school where she excelled and was accepted by her peers.  Finishing up the book the ending was a perfect beginning for Adeline’s life.

Chinese Cinderella is a touching novel that every person reading will be able to relate on some level to Adeline and the struggle that she had to endure.  The novel will make you angry, frustrated, cry and smile as Adeline Yen Mah tries so hard her entire life to make something of herself.  In the end she finally does but it is truly for herself.