Cinderella is Dead, by Kalynn Bayron is a 391-page Fantasy YA. It is written from a third-person POV, one-sided.
I give this book a 2/5.
I don’t read a ton of YA, so I don’t have experience with what the protagonists are usually like.
I will say, for those of you who did enjoy this book, I’d love to hear your feedback.
The summary of the book is there’s a kingdom where fairytales are “real” and Cinderella is the inspiration for all girls at the age of 16 are expected to follow. The rule/expectation for the country is patriarchal and cult-like. Women are expected to obey the men, women are given three chances to find a match at some ball that happens yearly. They get three chances and if they fail, they’re considered outcasts and “sent” elsewhere.
The goal for the hero is to get rid of the king who’s in power and stop the tradition of the ball. Overall, you learn the true story of the kingdom, what happened to Cinderella, how the witch played into it, and a twist on Cinderella’s family (they were basically freedom fighters and the step sisters and Cindy got along smashingly)
The concept of the book is really fun. The backstory of the characters, the fictional country had a lot of potential…unfortunately things fell short. If I’m reading a fantasy my expectation is there will be a bit more world building, and there was not.
- I was also able to do A LOT of skimming and still understand the book, so that is telling.
- Speaking of telling…there was a TON of telling, very little showing. The story overall lacked a lot of emotional connection with the characters because of that
- My biggest annoyance was the book had so much potential in terms of concept but was poorly flushed out.
- I found the protagonist annoying. I think the intent was to show her as strong willed, but she did it in such a disrespectful way I struggled liking her…but maybe it’s true to character because she’s 16? However, if a 16 year old thinks she’s brave enough to overthrow a kingdom I expect more maturity. She was also incredibly selfish with how she viewed the world (again, 16, so sure, but…big plans to change the world…and one shouldn’t be so selfish)
- There were scenes where things just didn’t make sense…you didn’t get a feel for time, whether something took one day or one week. For example, when the two heroes went to the witches home in the woods, they were carrying a bag and on foot. Then for some reason they had to take a horse and were upset their carriage broke down and finished on foot again…so…how much did that horse really matter?
- Being a YA book I would imagine it would be rich for character development and the hero DID NOT change a bit. She just found another chick to obsess over.