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Cinderella Is Dead

Cinderella Is Dead

Book - 2020
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Two hundred years after Cinderella found her prince, 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. Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. Sophia tries to flee the ball, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella's mausoleum. Together with Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters, Sophia vows to bring down the king once and for all. -- adapted from jacket
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury YA, Bloomsbury Publishing Inc., 2020
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781547603879
Branch Call Number: YA BAYRON 2020
Characteristics: 389 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

(TEEN FICTION) It's 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over. Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she's tiny until the night she's sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has onl... Read More »

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Jun 02, 2021

Cinderella is Dead by Kaylnn Baron is a YA (young adult) fictional standalone, based on the classic fairytale of Cinderella and placed in a dystopian society. The main character, Sophia, lives in a society where the tale of Cinderella is their obsession and their role model. Teen girls are required to attend the Annual ball where men choose what wife they want to live their life with, similar to how Cinderella went to a ball and found her Prince Charming. And if a girl cannot succeed within three tries, they are never to be seen again. However, Sophia doesn’t want that. This year is her first year to attend the ball, but she doesn’t want to marry some random guy who will control her for the rest of her life. She wants to marry her best friend, but her best friend won’t break the rules for Sophia. Still desperate for a chance and a new life in a better society, Sophia decides to flee the ball, only to meet Constance, a bold and brave girl who is the last descendent of Cinderella’s stepsisters and the only one who knows the true “fairytale” of Cinderella. Together, they vow to take down the king and fix their messed-up government. I enjoyed reading this book a lot. The world-building was very descriptive, and the story and plot were very unique and refreshing. Baron put a whole twist on the classic sweet, soft fairytale with a princess and her prince charming and turned it into a harsh, dark, twisty fairytale with a queer black girl who wants to take down the patriarchy. It was so interesting, layered with shocking plot twists. There was great LGBTQ+ representation, as well, and Sophia and Constance’s personality is so powerful and well-crafted. My only issue with it is that I wish there was more character development as the book progressed and at some points, it could be too fast-paced. As a whole, the book was riveting, and I really enjoyed reading it. It is such a page-turner and is short and fast-paced - definitely something you can and would want to read in one day. I would recommend it to anyone, ages 12 and up, especially if you enjoy fairytale retellings with a dark twist.

May 17, 2021

This retelling of Cinderella is a twisty, bloody, bleak, harsh, and a thrilling dystopian. It’s such a unique, creative, refreshing retelling! It was fun, original, and unpredictable! In fact, the first sentence had me hooked immediately! This book kept me turning the pages until there was none left, as I loved the main characters and found the LGBTQ+ romance to be really sweet as well; it’s incredibly important and something we need to continue normalizing and supporting in YA. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a fast-paced book about a queer black girl trying to take down the patriarchy.

May 08, 2021

Cinderella is Dead is one of my new favorite novels inspired by a fairy tale. Kalynn Bayron
takes the original tale of Cinderella apart and turns it into a tale that is one entirely of her own creation. Sophia, the main character, lives in a world where girls are expected to go to one ball per year three years in a row to be taken prisoner by men to be their wives. The tale of Cinderella is used to excuse this idea. However, Sophia would rather spend the rest of her life with her girlfriend Erin. On the night of the ball, Sophia escapes and learns about the true tale of Cinderella. Along the way, Sophia meets Constance, the last living relative of Cinderella's stepsisters, and they team up to taken down the king. Bayron takes the story of Cinderella and reforms it into a completely new tale that is captivating and magical. I look forward to seeing what Bayron writes in the future.

Cinderella is Dead is a book that follows our main character, Sophia, as she learns the truth
about Cinderella’s story. It is an interesting story full of secrets, romance, friendship, and adventure. I really liked the plot twists and felt they gave the story just what it needed. Sophia is a character who fights for what she believes, she not only succeeds in her battle against her foes, but she also struggles through it and has challenges along the way, which makes her all the more relatable and an incredible main character to follow. This book includes the perfect amount of suspense to keep the reader wanting more, which is where my only problem with it resides. It feels a bit too fast paced and not all the concepts are as fleshed out as I would like them to be. I definitely think as a duology, it would have been slightly more enjoyable. Seeing as its targeted audience is young, I can understand why it was paved the way it was. I would give it a 4 or 4.5/5 seeing as it varies on the person reading it, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and think it’s a good read to get you out of a reading slump and a great example of good YA.

Mar 08, 2021

Younger YA readers might like this book. It does a good job of representation without making any one identity a character's entire personality. But representation alone doesn't make a good book.

The plot is predictable and not very believable/convincing. I DNFed halfway through unfortunately, though I'd be willing to give this author's future work a read.

Jan 18, 2021

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron is a darker twist on the classic fairy-tale that sadly did not meet the mark. The world building Bayron presents is intriguing, yet isn't explored well enough to build that connection with the reader. What this novel struggles with is, focusing on "telling" the reader aspects of the world, its characters and their internal psyche instead of "showing" that to the reader through events they endure. Though I may have liked the variety in the characters, they were never explored enough as individuals also leading to the romance being fairly mediocre. The ending being very predictable was a "punch in the gut", considering how I felt the first few chapters of the book showed so much promise. As a whole, I was very disappointed in how this novel progressed. 3.5 Stars-@Ruby_Tuesday of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 09, 2021

I thought the feminist message was a bit hammered into the reader. It felt like it was a bit for younger readers too which is fine but you know, not for me. I think the message was just the right amount of complex, focused enough not to be to fragmented and complex enough to give some thought.

I think Erin and Amira's characters show the complexity of feminism and being a woman. They know there is a problem but aren't sure how to handle it. Erin feels like the patriarchy is an insurmountable obstacle and refuses help every time Sophia offers, even when it's proven Sophia has made it to safety. Amira has found a way to exist outside of patriarchy if she wishes, it's not 'her' problem. She's playing both sides.

I like that the girls use knowledge and physical defense to save themselves. Sophia also didn't have to be told the patriarchy was bad, she knew and she stills fights despite her grandmother dying in the fight against the patriarchy.

It was interesting how different men were portrayed. There were men who didn't think the system was correct but stood by and didn't do anything to stop it because they felt powerless or they just didn't think it was bad enough for them to stop. There were men who worked the system being the worst human they could be.

The story also deals with sexuality and in this world both lesbians and gays do not have the same problems. Sophia can't just not attend the balls and not marry someone. Gay men on the hand have the option of not attending the balls and living out their lives as single (or 'single') men.

I like how the book shows the use of story and perspective in framing feminism and the patriarchy. Cinderella is originally told from the princes perspective and then they tell it from Cinderellas. The fairy godmother is also a witch depending on whose perspective you're reading from.

This story definitely makes me re-evaluate all of the fairytales for who is portrayed as the bad guy and how are they portrayed as the bad guy. What message is this story being used to tell? I think we need to question fairytales more.

Dec 08, 2020

While I love the beautiful and much-needed messages in the book, I didn't enjoy many of the key elements that are supposed to be used to make a story intriguing.

Pros -
~ Great message
~ Representation
~ Fun story

Cons -
~ Lack of surprise (Almost everything went as planned)
~ Rushed romance
~ Side characters could have been utilized more
~ Lack of world-building
~ There was a lot more telling than showing

I do love and respect what the author was creating in this book and would recommend it if you are looking for a quick book, a book with representation, or just a fun read.

Nov 19, 2020

This telling of Cinderella's story was filled with mystery and really intrigued my imagination. I was immediately engulfed in Sophia's tragedies and her wonderful upbringing. I loved how dark and detailed Cinderella's story was told, and how new found love had risen in this novel. The connections between Constance, Erin, Sophia, and the town they live in really brought me into their own world; cotillions, strict laws, and brainwashed civilians in all. This novel was the beginning of my dystopian story adventure and I highly recommend reading this book if you want to crawl into a thrilling, new world as well.

ACL_BethB Nov 16, 2020

excellent. a dark ( but ultimately hopeful) retelling of Cinderella.

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