Jun 02, 2021aly_wang rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
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.