Cover Image: Cinders


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Member Reviews

This was a fun retelling of Cinderella! I loved seeing how the fairytale might play out from a queer perspective.
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A very cute and wholesome retelling of Cinderella. I really enjoyed this and would love to read more books by this author!
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This book is a fun read and I love that the author has a companion book that tells the story from the other person's part of view. They are both super cute books to read for both teens and adults.
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Mette Bach's Cinders, tells the story of Ash, a high school senior who's mother just died, leaving her to live on the kindness of her stepfather and the cruelty of her step siblings. In order to escape, she builds an app SendLove, dedicated to helping combat online bullying. Through the app, Ash meets and falls in love with Charming, a musician with her eyes on stardom. Meant as a retelling of Cinderella, Bach's Cinders provides a needed addition to the LGBT YA romance genre. I was provided an e-ARC from Lorimer Children & Teens via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Ashley, Ash for short, is a great lead character. Bach's provided a very real person with concerns and weaknesses. We mourn with her in her loss of her mother, and celebrate her in the success of the SendLove app. As a teenager goes she's relate-able, everyone knows that kid who's working so hard with everything they have for something.  

Overall, Cinders is a cute book, very sweet and you root for Ash and Charming. However, it is a short book, and that unfortunately is one of its greatest weaknesses. Bach has a great opportunity to and when the climactic moment of the book comes, jumps forward without carrying the plot through. By the last chapter and epilogue, I'm found that I no longer cared if she won or where she ended up because we'd already skipped over any sort of resolution to the main problems she faced. While I'm trying not to introduce spoilers, this is all tied heavily to my other major issue.

My other issue being that I am not a fan of calling this a Cinderella variant. Ted is not an evil stepfather. Mimi and Noah suck, but all the anguish Ash goes through at home could've been avoided with a well timed conversation with Ted about where she stands in the household. We start off the week after Ash's mother died with it clear that there hasn't been any conversation about what would and wouldn't happen to Ash. Clearly, Ted thinks she should be there and is looking out for her, but all of the "I'm out of here by June" comments seem out of place without any sort of prefacing conversation with Ted. Ted is not an evil guy, he goes out of his way to make sure she's getting rides to school and events. At no point does Bach lead us to believe Ted doesn't care about Ash.

I'm going to read the next book, Char, knowing these issues with the book. I'm going to read it because Bach has created sweet characters and a cute story. Bach has the potential to be a really great writer, she just needs to see her characters and story all the way through, rather than just throwing away her ending.
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This book unfortunately missed the mark for me big time- it has such potential to become an amazing book but for me the writing needs work as does the character building and the story.
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I did not enjoy this book. The writing felt flat, the names of every single character were repeated every sentence and it all became too much. It’s not a book for me.
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A cute concept, and a much-needed queer addition to the Cinderella retelling canon. Unfortunately, I felt myself wanting more of everything—more plot, more drama, and more fully fleshed-out characters. The writing also felt like it wasn't quite hitting the YA market, with sentence structure more geared toward young middle grade.
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Before <i>Cinders</i> by Mette Bach I had never actually read a hi/lo title before. As someone who basically loved reading from the first time she came across a book, these sort of books weren't typically on my radar. But I do deeply appreciate the goal to push for increasing reading interest for young readers who've perhaps previously struggled with reading and as a result of that are quite reluctant to pick up any book they see. As someone who works in education, literally dedicating her time to students who have struggled with reading in one format or another I think these books are <i>amazing</i>.

<i>Cinders</i> is a pretty good novel, one that I believe will accomplish its goal of garnering interest in readers who've felt unsuccessful there for one reason or another. I don't think it's personally going to help a great many readers on their own, but rather would be useful in process of learning as I don't see many kids going out and picking up these books simply of their own volition.

The book is a Cinderella retelling, in which Cinders is a programmer intent on building an app to combat the online bullying that occurs so often in a technological world and it is through this app that she meets Charming, a young woman with a desire for a singing career who has recently been bullied via comments on her music videos.

I'll admit, I struggled keeping interest through the vast amount of summary that this book turned out to be. There was a lot of telling rather than showing, though I this can be preferential to a teen who has always struggled with reading. I didn't care for the use of slang language--particularly the repetition of the word "trolls"--but that's really just a personal preference and again I can see a lot of interest garnered from these kids here.

I was a little surprised at how sexual this book became, not in the sense that it discussed sexuality a lot; I frankly would have liked to see that portrayed in a more realistic way and unrushed manner. Rather, the descriptions of kissing and using the internet to flash someone were included and did not leave me endeared to the book at all.

I didn't really care for the characters as they often came across as whiny and there were various instances in which things were thoroughly unrealistic in order to needlessly make situations more difficult for the main characters, like when Cinder's boss--literally a woman working in the school--refused to let her leave a task unfinished even though it meant she would be late to class. A lot of their development felt glossed over, told to you in quick summary format instead of actually shown. And I think the worst instance of this was when the "connection" between Cinders and Charming was built simply by saying that they spoke repeatedly for many nights.

<i>Cinders </i>isn't a terrible book, in fact I admire it's goal immensely. But I do have a pretty strong hatred of books that tell rather than show the story and that piece made it rather difficult for me to remain deeply engaged. It also hindered my ability to connect with the characters. All in all, it's not a book that I'd be quick to recommend a regular reader unless they were working with someone who struggles with reading.

<i>I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. </i>
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