Cover Image: Cinderella Is Dead

Cinderella Is Dead

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Member Reviews

This sapphic Cinderella retelling was *everything.* It turned the fairy tale on its head in the best way and had the perfect ending. Highly recommend!
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This book is amazing! I love the idea of examining our fairy tales and what they do to us as people. And the girls in this are kickass! Are you ready for the revolution?
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This book has such a cool premise, I really loved the idea of this spin on a Cinderella retelling! For me the pacing was a bit off and I didn’t get as invested in the characters/world as I wanted to though! I’m excited to see what the author comes out with next as maybe I didn’t like this as much because it was a retelling.
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A new take on the tale of Cinderella, "Cinderella Is Dead" is an interesting retelling of a classic tale.
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I expected more out of this. It was well written, but it was not what I was expecting at all. The book was decribed as queer black girls, overthrowing the patriarchy, and I applaud them for standing up for themselves. However the plot was not what I was expecting, and I expected it to go differently.
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Cinderalla is Dead was a re-telling I didn't know I needed. Bayron has to be one of the most creative minds to create this world. Feminist have long considered fairy tales problematic but she takes it a step further and imagines what type of legacy the story of Cinderalla might leave on a society. Then, she makes it evil. 

I really enjoyed Sophia, her attitude and strength will stand as an example for girls everywhere. The character development for her as well as Constance and Amina was so well done. However, the "villian" needed more of a back story for me. I believe that it was crucial to the plot. 

I would definitely recommend this book.
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Honestly, this was such a fun retelling (? extension feels like a more fitting word) of Cinderella. It tackles some topics that I think are really important for young women to read about. And who doesn't love a sapphic romance with a Black female lead?? Excited to give Kalynn Bayron's next book a go! 

4.5 stars
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Ahhh this book was EVERYTHING! I loved this retelling sooo much! What great creativity the Author has, and the cover is stunning!!!
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Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy of Cinderella is Dead. While I had extreme high hopes for this novel, unfortunately they were shattered. The main character Sophie comes across as reckless and disregards the worries of those closest to her. I did love the idea about the world being built around the Cinderella fairytale; this gave the novel a wide range of possibilities to grow and develop the story. However, the story began to fall flat after Sophia meets a new friend on the road and goes to her first "ball", then that same newly introduced character never reappears again in the story until the very end.

I felt as though the story itself needed more work on the plot's timeline, how the series of events began to connect with each other rather than jumping from one thing to the next. In addition, I felt that Charlotte could have been the main character instead of Sophia since she was the one with the significant background into Cinderella's story and the mystery of how the king stayed in power for so long. The more I saw of Charlotte, the more Sophia became the side character instead of the main. I wished the story contained a more serious undertones and dangerous situations than the pair being told what to do and what to find. the story definitely felt like more of a working draft, than a finished novel.
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Cinderella is dead, but her story lives on as a national treasure 200 years later. In the kingdom of Lille, little girls dream of their own balls, fairytale books of Cinderella's story reside in every household and trinkets relating to the tale are sold in the marketplace. But the mirroring of her story is not a game for her kingdom's citizens; it's actually a matter of life or death. There are many retellings of fairy tales today, but not many explore what a nation might look like if it lived under the tyranny of a legend.

For young women like Sophia, a majestic ball where you'll meet your future husband is not a dream, but a future set in stone. Every young woman from the age of 15 upwards is required to attend an annual ball held by the king, where men of various ages and stations will select brides. Each girl gets three chances in three years to be selected, and if they are not they will be considered "forfeit" and generally consigned to a life of labor in workhouses. All of this is done to supposedly honor the former queen Cinderella, who the first king of Lille fell in love with at a ball and chose to make the symbolic goddess of the rest of the kingdom's love lives. While many of the girls act like dutiful followers to this kingdom-wide practice of systemic mating, Sophia has never been one to blend with the crowd and, secretly, doesn't have an interest in any man. She dreams of a future of freedom with her childhood friend, Erin, and when the book opens she's living the last moments of youthful freedom before her first ball.

Sophia, Erin, and their friend Liv all show different reactions to the ball, based on their circumstances and personalities. Sophia dreads the day it comes and speaks out to any who won't harm her for doing so, while trying to obey her parents' wishes as they risk debt to ensure her a lifetime of security; Erin seems to return Sophia's feelings of romance, but has resigned herself to her future and knows the risks of even verbally defying it. Liv is eager for her second year at the ball and hopes to win a good match by virtue of being "like Cinderella", good and faithful to the kingdom's edicts and an obedient daughter. Sophia feels the pressure on all three of them even when her friends don't speak of it, and her view of things is quite different from most heroines facing a ball; rather than dreaming of waltzes and the gaze of a true love, the sense of polished walls closing in on a wild bird becomes stronger with each passing day in her life. When the night of the ball finally arrives, it becomes clear to Sophia as well as the reader that the opulent palace is hiding something more evil than most of the kingdom's citizens could imagine. 

The night of the ball changes the lives of Sophia and both her friends, in ways very different from the fairytale they were taught. Sophia is confronted with the worst of the monarchy's tyranny and abruptly separated from everything she knows, forced on a path that even her rebellious nature hadn't prepared for. As she finds herself fleeing for her life in every sense of the word, she's led to forbidden places few have ever witnessed, each of which reveal dangerous truths about the history behind the fantasy story she and every girl she knows has been forced to live. Abandoned tombs, forgotten chambers and wild forests all become important keys to any hope of survival Sophia might have, for both herself and many others. 

.Author Bayron builds her characters as well as the plot masterfully, making Sophia's journey resemble a climb through steep hills or a descent down a dark staircase at different times. I was distracted a few times by the dialogue, which was occasionally too modern for the setting, and my only annoyances with Sophia were how easily distracted she became from Erin when another girl came into her life (this was compounded by her acting like a lovesick boy a few times, most jarringly while she was training to use a weapon). Another young girl in the story grated on my nerves a bit by picking a fight with an older character almost every time they were in the room together, an immature and petty trait that contrasted with her usually measured personality. Overall, though, this is a masterful and carefully built novel that presents vital questions and issues every human being should consider.
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This was a unique and interesting take on a Cinderella retelling! I enjoyed the plot twists and the way this ended! I recommend this book to fans of a darker retelling of classic Disney stories.
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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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