Published December 2011 Penguin
From the publisher:
CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.
One month into my year of reading, and I have already been surprised by so many of the books I have read. This is another, a surprise because I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. Imagine...Cinderella living in the future city of New Beijing. Yes, she is in many ways just like the Cinderella we know and love, she has an evil stepmother and two step-sisters, she is downtrodden and taken advantage of...but this Cinder is a cyborg.
This is not the teenage girly novel of the pink and sparkly variety, but it does have all of the elements you need in a good girly read. There is family drama, tragedy in the form of a plague, the mystery of what happened to Princess Selene, issues with body image, and of course a star crossed romance.
This is the first in the Lunar Chronicles series, in the forthcoming books we will meet Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White...but not as we know them. Something to look out for.
This is a hard book to 'age', as in suggest a recommended reading age. I often come across this dilemma these days, almost always when looking at books for girls. I have put 13+, because I do err on the side of caution, but there is no sex or drug use in this book, so on that basis it could be read by a younger reader.
Who will like this book: Girls 13+
Read it if you like: Beastly by Alex Flinn and the setting reminded me of the short lived TV series Firefly