Cinderella Is Dead - Review
Now that was a retelling! Not that Romeo & Juliet thing I read a couple of months back, but an actual retelling! Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron was a highly anticipated read for me, and (even though it took me almost a year to get to it) I couldn’t wait to get lost in the pages.
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 stepsisters. 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 . . .
Bayron put her foot in the reimagining of this classic tale. Whatever did happen to Cinderella after the happily ever after? Well … she died. And after that, an entire society was ordered to use her story as guidelines to help find their princes. Except that didn’t work well with the main character, Sophia. I loved this story because Bayron gave us a spin on what happened after Cinderella got her man. I would assume it would be the talk of the town for generational traditions to come. Her story was just too perfect! I also loved that it took a dismal Disney Princess to become a martyr for a real heroine to shine. Navigating her way through the patriarchal-led town, a young queer woman was able to shake things up and advocate change by her hands. It’s refreshing to see the “princess” kick-ass without a man’s help. This was not your typical story, and I adored it.
I do have some questions dealing with a couple of plot holes, such as the purpose of Sophia’s neighbor, Luke’s existence, Constance randomly hanging out in a crypt, and of course, what happened to Erin after everything was said and done. There’s a few of them that made me pause for a second, but nothing that will drive me insane. Also, Bayron could have eased up on the man-hating picket line she created. I understand the patriarchal system is oversaturated, but not all men are like this.
I rated this book 4-stars. I adored the retelling, and I can see why it was nominated for so many awards. Cinderella Is Dead is added to my shelves, and it should be added to yours too.