This review is spoiler free.
“It’s risky… But sometimes that’s the only way to get things done. Take the risk, light the fuse. Onward.”
Published: 2020, by Bloomsbury YA.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT, Retellings, Romance, Fiction, Queer, Fairy Tales, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Contains: Death, Murder, Violence, Anger
‘Cinderella Is Dead’ tells the story of Sophia, who doesn’t want to be chosen. Cinderella’s fairy-tale might be over, but her legacy lives on. Sophia knows the story off by heart, because every girl has to recite it daily, from when when she’s small until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. Sophia, however, doesn’t want to be chosen, because she’s in love with her best friend, Erin.
This book has been a highly anticipated read for me, finding it recommended to me everywhere online since its release earlier this year. That meant, however, that expectations were high, and overall I think they were mostly met.
As a character, Sophia was a breath of fresh air. She doesn’t want to be the princess who gets saved by the knight in shining armour; she wants to be the knight. From the beginning of the novel, Sophia is adamant that she’s not going to find someone to choose her at the ball, she wants to go against the King and the city’s rules and be a free person. However, no one seems to agree with her, and yet she still doesn’t falter. It’s inspiring to read, witnessing someone so passionate about something she believes in regardless of everyone else’s opinions on the matter. However, that’s where my admiration for Sophia ended. It wasn’t that she was a terrible protagonist, quite the opposite, but she’s a little too ready to overthrow the government and take down the King. There’s no inner turmoil or conflict in Sophia, she simply does what she wants without fail.
Constance was an interesting character, being introduced quite suddenly and Sophia accepts her without question. Although, I was quite cautious of a character offering to assist Sophia straight away, I needn’t be because she was a delight to read about and I found her character and Sophia’s fascination with her understandable.
The writing itself is quite simplistic, seeming to be aimed at Young Adult readers who are a little younger than most, however, that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the piece as a whole. The concept was deeply fascinating, wanting to learn more and more about this world as the story progressed, however, there was a lot of information brought upon you in large portions rather than spacing it out. The pacing was quite slow at first, and I don’t found myself enjoying the story when there was only around one hundred pages left, which was a little disappointing, but the ending made the entire experience worthwhile.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. Yes, it’s simplistic and seemingly rushed, but there are plenty of magical elements to this story that makes it worth the read.