Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Published by: Bloomsbury YA
Pub Date: July 7, 2020
Format: e-arc; owned | Source: NetGalley
Genres: young adult, fantasy, LGBTQ+, retelling
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
I am a HUGE fan of the Cinderella twists in this book! The story was fantastic and very unique, with so many aspects that I loved. I also appreciated that Sophia was such an outspoken take charge character, and her relationship with Constance was sweet. There are a lot of queer characters and Black characters throughout the book and although people are not “out” in this world it’s more due to the mechanics of the story. Unfortunately, I thought the characters were really wooden and that there wasn’t enough time to breathe in the story. It moves at breakneck speed; I think another 100 pages would have made a huge difference. That being said there were some genuinely surprising twists, the story was action-packed, and the ending was quite good. I think fans of retellings will enjoy it on the whole, and there seems to be the possibility of an expanded world, if the author chooses. I’d really like that!
Do you love Cinderella retellings as much as I do? What are some of your favorites? Let me know if you plan on picking up Cinderella Is Dead!