Cover Image: Cinderella Is Dead

Cinderella Is Dead

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Member Reviews

A dark sequel to a twisted fairytale readers have not been told.

Sophia has grown up in a Kingdom built on the fairytale of Cinderella and her devotion to the King. However, life is far from a fairytale for the women in this kingdom. Forced to begin seeking marriage at 16, girls attend balls in the hopes of capturing a man's heart or perish in the factories until death. Sophia not only disagrees with the treatment of women in the kingdom but is deeply in love with her friend Erin which is forbidden. In an act of defiance, she flees from the ball and escapes with a mysterious girl dressed like a man into the woods. Between the two of them, they hope to bring an end to the balls and free the women of the kingdom.

A compact story with many moving parts, but a good adventure throughout it all. Sophia will appeal to many readers from the start with her wit and humor. It is clear from the beginning she is lesbian and that plays an important role in the story. Through her experiences, readers understand the challenges women face in the oppressive kingdom and the lies they are told. The adventure moves at a steady pace with a small cast of characters at the core. The plot has a few twists and surprises up until the very end of the story. The romance is somewhat dramatic but pleasing in the end. The themes of abuse, homophobia, and patriarchy are very present and well addressed.

I enjoyed the story and cannot look at the fairytale of Cinderella the same way! I would readily recommend this to readers interested in strong heroines, fairytale retellings, and wholesome lesbian romance.
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Ya’ll don’t understand how much I needed this! A Queer Black girl meets a woman, who was definitely Merida-esque, and takes down a corrupt, unjust system led by a tyrant. I am living for all of it! 

I do wish we had a little more character development (all around), but all-in-all, I was so overjoyed at the story, the ending, the twists and turns... It is the perfect book to read RIGHT NOW! Here’s hoping for more retellings in this book’s world! 🤞🏼
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Revamping of the classic Cinderella tale that highlights how power can be taken from women....and how they can take it back. Beautifully written with compelling characters.
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I thought this had such an interesting premise and the title and cover hooked me right away! I also loved the twists and turns that I didn’t see coming! What a fun take on this well known and beloved fairy tale!
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This is not your mama's Cinderella retelling. Set in a world 200 years after the death of Cinderella, where annual balls are used as a tool for the King to keep the young woman of the land in check, Sophia and a handful of others like her are discontent with their place in this society. For young women, anything other than marriage to a man (and not the man of their choosing, the one who chooses them) is the only option. Going unchosen more than one time at the annual ball leads to ruin, dishonor, and banishment. But Sophia sees a possible way out. A new friend--a friend no more interested in marring a young woman than she is marrying a man--offers to make a declaration for her hand, providing them both safety in a system that doesn't look kindly on anyone different. But things go disastrously wrong at the ball, and Sophia is left with no choice to flee. With palace guards in pursuit and a death sentence hanging over her, Sophia finds herself in the last place she ever would've expected: Cinderella's grave. But the Cinderella story she grew up with isn't entirely true. And one of her last living descendants is there to set the record straight and maybe, just maybe, show Sophia that there's hope for true love even in this land. But first: they'll have to take on a king. 

Cinderella is Dead is like a chauvinistic dystopia meets fairy tale. It's such an interesting take on the story of Cinderella, which has been reimagined so many times, but never quite like this. I loved that it was Cinderella story used as background for this tale, rather than a framework. It made for a really interesting twist and a lot of room to play on the official, palace approved story vs. the real history of the woman visited by a fairy godmother. Just thoroughly enjoyable and inventive from start to finish. And definitely not like any other Cinderella story I've ever read before!
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the first chunk of this book was amazing, so well done, and everything was great (minus the fact that i felt like the love interest was kind of nit-picky) but after that chunk, everything just kinda went downhill. the worldbuilding, plot, and characters that were so well described in the first chunk completely fell apart, and i found myself losing interest in the story.
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The concept and diversity here are great, but I thought the execution left a lot to be desired. Plainly put, this feels like a debut. The pacing felt off— apparently lots of time passed throughout the book, but it felt like mere days. The resolution felt really easy, like “Welp, guess I’ll have to kill the king then since I’m the main character in a YA novel.” And there were a couple really predictable moments, as well as things that made me go “well, that was lazy writing.” Lastly, I just didn’t vibe with the romance. I’m intrigued to see what Bayron does next, because I love her ideas, but I do hope I’ll enjoy her next book a tad more. Still, if you’re looking for a queer, diverse Cinderella retelling— look no further! 3/5 stars.
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This was not my favorite fairy tale retelling, but there was a lot of good stuff here! It was very feminist and female-focused, which was nice. It did feel a little heavy-handed at times, but I think for the age group it's aimed at, this would not be a big deal. I can really feel that teens, especially teen girls, will connect with this story a lot and really enjoy it, though as an adult I had some trouble connecting to it myself.
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First I got this from NetGalley then I had personal stuff get in the way so I got the Audible version for it too. I also LOVED this book so much I got the physical copy of it from Barnes and Noble to read to my kids. 

Sophia is a queer black girl who seeks to escape from a society that prevents her from being her true self. 

I really loved reading this book. The world Kalynn Barron made is beautifully written. I found the narrative amazing. Sophia is a very likable character. I loved that she’s this independent free thinker who has the ability to stand up and fight for what she believes in even when she’s the most vulnerable or “weak” compared to the bad guys she faces. She’s for sure a great strong female protagonists.  

But I really loved the twist of retelling Cinderella were you need to think who really were the “good” guys in the story.

I would recommend everyone to read this book.
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Such a great and unique Cinderella retelling. Feminist and powerful and queer and black. Can't wait for more from Kaylnn Bayron.
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I am a big fan of all things Disney and fairy tales, so I was really excited to read this twisted version of a classic tale. Only I did not enjoy it, at all. I started months ago and just couldn't get into it and struggled with the motivation to pick it back up. While I will admit that it got better towards the end, I was still not a fan of this one.
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I absolutely LOVE retellings, and this one is no exception. This reimagined tale is a feminist forward addition to the YA genre, and I absolutely loved the main character - and that cover, WOW! I loved the patriarchal society built by the author, and found many correlations - albeit, more fantastical - to our own society in America.  The world building was exceptionally handled here, and it made this so enjoyable! There's a lot of action here, and the pacing is pretty quick - expect to get sucked in by the book, and make sure you're ready to lose a few hours, 'cause it won't let you go 'til it's finished with you!
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This was a great, quick read with a very important message! Featuring both LGBTQ+ protagonists and themes of feminism, this was a really unique way of telling Cinderella’s tale mixed with new ideals. I read this so quickly due to the easy language, storytelling and likable characters. The end did feel a tad rushed but I think this book does well as a stand-alone versus a possible duology or series.
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I couldn't put this book down. It was truly an incredible read from start to finish. I am all for re-tale-ing fairy tales, but this one outdid itself. It was as if the story of Cinderella that we all knew never happened at all and made me rethink how other fairy tales I've grown up with may have been misconstrued (and honestly may inspire some fan fiction of the sort). This ranks right up there with The Lunar Chronicles for me, and nothing else in this genre has ever touched that. 

It went so much further than just a retelling, though. It realized almost immediately into the book that I have never read something with a black, gay female lead - and I couldn't wait to join this adventure. Additionally, the power that Sophia shows from start to finish will inspire any female, regardless of age. There were so many things that spoke to me (as a female) in this book. So much of the misogyny she faces is just normalized in our society, and this book made me want to fight back against it rather than accept it as the norm. I cannot recommend this book enough. I usually am pretty good at figuring out endings, even when there are twists, but this one got me good! Read it. You won't regret it.
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I really expected to enjoy this one a lot but it kind of just let me down. I didn't really enjoy the concept as much as I hoped, and honestly it just didn't make much sense to me.
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As a result of my various committee appointments and commitments I am unable to disclose my personal thoughts on this title at this time. Please see my star rating for a general overview of how I felt about this title. Additionally, you may check my GoodReads for additional information on what thoughts I’m able to share publicly. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this and any other titles you are in charge of.
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A fairytale retelling. A corrupt king that badass girls are dead set on taking down by any means necessary. Two girls in love ready to go down the ship. This Diverse Cinderella retelling is fun, exciting, refreshing, and totally worth a read!
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Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron needs to be in every middle and high school classroom. A twist on Cinderella, with a little HandMaid's tale thrown in, plus some dictatorship from North Korea, the story demonstrates to use the power of girls and women breaking down the constructs around us. The female love story was a nice addition as well. Bayron could have developed the character's motivations more throughout the story, but overall, this is a must have in classrooms.
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This is a great book! I loved the badass main character and the LGBT twist on the traditional story. I love a fairy tale retelling and Bayron does a great job with this story.
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CINDERELLA IS DEAD is the queer taking-down-the-patriarchy story that makes living in this world worth it. If you enjoy fairytales, queer girls loving girls, and taking down the cliches, please read this novel!
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