At this point in 2012, everybody who knows anything about YA has pretty much read this book but me. I bought it when it came out, but I kept saving it because 1) I kind of just liked to look at the pretty cover art propped up on my bookshelf 2) I was too lazy to get up and pick it up, and 3) I was afraid that it wouldn't live up to the hype.
Okay, it was mostly 3. MOSTLY.
Anyhow, let me first give a synopsis: Cinder is a pretty girl living in New Beijing. She has a wicked stepmother, an evil stepsister, and she is forced to work and provide income for her spoiled family. But wait. Cinder is ALSO a cyborg. She's got a metal leg, a metal arm, and a bunch of computer information zinging through her noggin (yes, noggin is a word in the dictionary) all the time. When it becomes apparent that she is more than just an ordinary cyborg, she steps up to help save the floundering empire from an evil queen. How? By going to the ball and losing her slipper, of course!
So how do I FEEL about this book? My emotional radar was pleasantly surprised, to say the least, that this version of Cinderella was just as endearing (if not as old fashioned) as the original Grimm's fairytale (Which, I might add, was always a favorite story of mine. I always wanted to read the part where the wicked stepmother took and axe and tried to knock off Cinderella...I had a strange taste in stories as a child). It was very modern, set in the future, after there's nothing left in the world but computers and droids and mind-numbing phone applications.
(Of course, we DO have iPhones...)I admit that I predicted the outcome and the "secret" of the story within the first three chapters, but I did enjoy the twist nevertheless. Once I got past the word 'cyborg,' (for some reason that word brings to my mind an image of Silver from Treasure Planet), I was able to settle back and enjoy a story about a STRONG heroine who, although comes across a charming prince, doesn't need him to be strong and independent.
So, yeah. In the end, it was probably the girl power thing that clinched it for me.