It's been a while since I've binge-read, but from the first chapter of Cinder, I suffered great anxiety - a terror I wouldn't be able to read as fast as my mind (and heart) begged for more.
I can almost predict how Marissa Meyer's agent pitch for Cinder may have gone: It's Cinderella. With a sci-fi twist.
Yes, but it's SO much more than that.
Here's the official blurb, because frankly, the author can sum it up so much more eloquently than I ever could:
"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."
And of course, she must get to the ball!
This novel was so tightly crafted, I found myself instantly submersed in Cinder's world, and by the first few chapters, had stopped looking for the Cinderella parallels, and instead allowed myself to swept up by what this book truly is: brilliant.
The characterization is fabulous, the chemistry between Kai and Cinder is believable (and swoon-worthy), and the story moves at breakneck pace. I could not. Put it. Down.
Here's the bad news: Cinder is the first in this series of four, and it ends rather skillfully on a whopper of a cliffhanger. This is one instance where I wish I'd been on the tail end of the bandwagon, because waiting for the next in the series is going to be painful.
Without question, Cinder may be one of my favorite YA books...ever.
The Book In My Bag Today: Rot & Ruin, Jonathan Mayberry
IN OTHER NEWS: Jagger Valentine dishes out some frank (and perhaps harsh) advice for the lovelorn on her website. Be warned: it's not for the weak of heart.