Cinder by Marissa Meyer
It's Cinderella. Except she's a cyborg. In future China. And there are moon people (Lunars) who want to wage a war against Earth as a means to control all Eartherns.
I know what you're thinking. I thought it too. Cyborg Cinderella just doesn't sound like it's going to be good. It sounds weird. Really weird. But then I found myself in a reading slump, trying desperately to become engaged in either of the two books I was reading (The Traveling Restaurant and The Raven Boys) and finding it hopeless. The assistant librarian kept telling me how awesome Cinder was. It made the YALSA Teens Top Ten. I figured it couldn't hurt, right? 390 pages and less than 48 hours later, I'm a convert. This book is pretty darn good.
Each of the four "books" of the novel begins with a quote from the original Perrault tale that connects with the story focus for that section which I found to be a nice touch of respect and appreciation for the source material. Even though I'd figured out the big plot twist/secret reveal by around page 115, just pages into the second book, that didn't make me want to read the story any less. If anything, it deepened my investment in the characters and story and made me want to keep reading to learn just how the story would unfold and come together. Cinder is the first book in "The Lunar Chronicles" and it was actually refreshing to see the book design not only acknowledge that the title was the first in the series, but to entice the reader to follow Cinder's story by announcing titles and general release dates for the coming installments. And thus, when the ending (spoiler alert!?) made no bones about it's cliffhanger ending, I didn't feel shorted. I was just amped up to read the second book, Scarlet, when it releases in February.
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