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Book Review: Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Rating: 3.5/5

Cinderella has been dead for 200 years, but her story lives on. Under a harsh, misogynistic, dystopian-like society, that is. Sophie is a queer teenage girl, who wants to run away with her best friend Erin before the royal ball where girls are forced to find a husband.

Okay, I LOVED the concept of this story. The set up and unique take on Cinderella's story. While the feminist/social issue themes felt a bit heavy handed at times, (TW domestic abuse, homophobia) it worked well and gave me a reason to root for Sophie and the demise of the King. But there were other issues with this story that prevented me from giving it 4 or 5 stars. Sophie's character felt a bit one-dimensional. Being gay & rebellious were her only personality traits. Her motivation for leaving the Kingdom was her love for Erin, which I liked. But all that gets thrown away when she meets Constance? A very cringe and unbelievable insta-love subplot that I could've done without. And Erin was written as such a mean person towards Sophie. While it made sense due to fear and brainwashing, it felt more like a lazy attempt for Sophie to pick Constance. *Please YA authors of sci-fi/fantasy, it's OKAY for your MC/heroine to be single or have platonic friendships. Stop trying to force insta-love where it isn't needed just to meet some YA trope quota.*

Anyway, most of the twists were pretty easy for me to figure out. But still, they were good twists that made the story different. So if you can't guess them too early, it'll make for a nice surprise. I wanted to love this book, because it's all the representation girls like me wanted in our younger years. I think most will enjoy it for what it is, and I'll still recommend it to teens (Especially Black girls) because that's who it's for.

You can find it here on Amazon, or other online apps like your local library.

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