Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (4/5)

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I bought Cinder from B/N on a book store haul a while ago. I’d been trying to get my hands on a copy of the book for a while, and I knew it was a book I’d have to own. I had been told that a novel I’m working on currently (a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin in a futuristic world) sounded like Cinder — Check out its blurb on my writing blog: Tangled Inkspills.

The premise of Cinder is basically this: Cinder is a 16-year-old mechanic working in the city of New Beijing. She’s talented, hardworking and self-sacrificing — She singlehandedly supports her stepmother and two stepsisters. But Cinder happens to be a cyborg and therefore a second-class citizen. (She’s often reminded of that by her stepmother.)

Pros:

  • The futuristic Eastern setting brings a fresh twist to the timeless Cinderella tale.
  • The house robot, Iko, has a very unique, quirky and girly personality. It’s impossible not to love her. She adds flavor to the dialogue.
  • Cinder is a mechanic and a relatively strong female protagonist.
  • The story is very well-paced.

Cons:

  • Prince Kai is a very stereotypical love interest, and all throughout the novel (evil me) I was screaming, “Don’t fall for him, Cinder! Don’t fall for him!”
  • Cinder is kinda self-deprecating…She doesn’t see her own value and often refuses to believe things…
  • The plot twist is quite predictable.
  • Deep themes are not fully exposed.

Overall, Cinder is a nice action-packed story for teenage boys and girls alike. I can’t imagine this spreading into the adult market since it’s somewhat limited in the scope of “deep themes.” I feel like there are themes/issues that are only briefly touched on…But that’s ok. I liked Cinder anyways. It was a very fun, well-written and well-paced read.

I’m actually extremely happy that this is a quartet of books. I know I will definitely be reading the next 3 just to see how Marissa Meyer works 3 retellings of different fairytales into Cinder’s world.

Bookstore Haul

I have some 40+ books on my to-read list…but I just had to get more from B/N on Saturday. I had some gift cards accumulated from writing contests. 

Books for me:

1) Tuesdays at the Castle (a children’s book that seems really good, I’d love to write MG of this premise)

2) Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales (read “The Little Peasant” to my brother last night. It was quite dark, satirical and funny. A whole village commits suicide…)

3) Cinder (I have been told that the novel I’m working on for NaNoWriMo seems to have elements inspired by this book)

Books my little brother picked:

1) Warriors book (I used to love this series)

2) How to Train Your Dragon #2

3) Ship in a Bottle Building Kit (his fourth choice of kit, which I finally approved of…)

Book for the parental units:

1) How to Make Sushi Kit (I love sushi and want to eat sushi. 😛 So I suppose it’s really for me…)

Book Review: Parallel Heart by J.L. Robinson (1/5)

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From page 1, I did not get along well with Parallel Heart. The prose contained glaring grammatical errors and the voice  just seemed off. It felt stilted and dense — as though it was trying too hard to be witty, descriptive and aloof. I would know. I wrote similarly (although in a more child-like tone) several years ago, toying around with big words and awkward sentence structure. Writing needs to flow, and when it flows well enough, it will make the reader comfortable enough to stay for about 50,000 words in the novel’s world.

Parallel Heart could not make me stay. It had a potentially very interesting premise — an unhappily married man longs to escape into a parallel world with a lover who may or may not be real. I thought, “This is interesting,” in my head when I read that the novel is based on the author’s love of quantum mechanics and explores the concept of parallel dimensions and blurred realities. All of this sounded new, fresh and different.

But I just couldn’t get into it. I tried very hard…the voice (as well as plot, characters and developed) just came off as stale. I’m sure Parallel Heart, given a liberal editor, time and a different direction, could’ve been something real special. But it just wasn’t for me… Again, all this is my own opinion. Perhaps you will think differently!

Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think of this review/book.

Update: ALL the books on my list

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Netgalley Titles

  1. Thin Space
  2. The People in the Trees
  3. Peregrine Harker and the Black Death
  4. Parallel Heart
  5. The Boy Who Could See Demons
  6. Aimless Love
  7. For the Good of Mankind
  8. Born to Blog
  9. Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself
  10. The Heart of the Matter
  11. Unexplained Fevers
  12. Gene Keys
  13. Sons of Liberty
  14. Amandine
  15. The Goddess in Every Girl
  16. Eat Move Sleep
  17. The Best of Connie Willis
  18. PS – You’re Invited

Creative Kids

  1. The Books of Elsewhere #1
  2. The Dark Unwinding

Leisure Books (Not Obligated to Review)

  1. Timeless (won from Figment contest)
  2. Timekeeper (won from Figment contest)
  3. Change Anything (library book)
  4. Dragon Slippers (library book)
  5. Leviathan #1 (library book)
  6. How to Find an Agent (library book)
  7. Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning (ordered from Amazon)
  8. Reckless (ordered from Amazon)
  9. another library book…I forgot the title of…
  10. The Tragedy Paper (won from Figment contest)
  11. The Wind in the Willows (recommended by a friend)
  12. Angels and Demons (recommended by a friend)
  13. The Da Vinci Code (recommended by a friend)
  14. The Lost Symbol (recommended by a friend)
  15. Inferno (recommended by a friend)

NaNoWriMo: Transferring to My Writing Side-Blog

I think I’ll keep Remembering Wonderland as chiefly a book review and book blog. I’m transferring my NaNoWriMo July 2013 journey over to my side blog, Tangled Inkspills — my poetry, prose and writing journey blog. Follow me on Tangled Inkspills and watch me write furiously/have fun/lose sleep/increase my caffeine intake over the month of July!

Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s July 2. *gasps and checks the calendar* It is July 2!

I forgot about Camp NaNoWriMo! I registered with my writing buddies a week or so ago…and I’ve forgotten all about it. Now it’s the second day! I’m two days behind!

But I don’t think I can stay up tonight. I’m beginning to feel the effects of sleep deprivation. They manifested throughout my day in the form of clumsiness and slower thinking, and I’ve been feeling half-brain-dead. I need sleep.

Camp NaNoWriMo’s goal is: write a 50,000 novel in a month. The month of July. What a wonderful month, very summery and relaxed (but not this summer).

But I must persevere! I must be a happy camper! I can do this: less reading, less Jimmy Kimmel, less worrying, less anxiety, less whatever it is I do with my time.

That was a very motivational post. I should implement some of this energy into planning for writing.

Follow my blog and my journey this month! Tell me about yours and leave me a comment below!