This review is spoiler-free!
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling
Release Date: July 7th 2020 by Bloomsbury YA
Format: Hardcover, 389 pages
Find it here: Goodreads
Man, I love this cover. I love this cover so much. From the art style to the dress to the way Sophia is scuffed up and torn and looking absolutely badass, I love this cover to bits. I just wish I had loved the story as much.
So, it took me a while to get through this one. Or, rather, it took me a while to get through about the second half of it, because the start was so phenomenal that I read straight through it and didn’t bother putting it down until I hit a point and just … lagged. And I’m still not sure what exactly happened. I don’t want to say the quality of the story dropped, but that’s kind of what happened? The start was so well put-together and flowed in a way that kept me glued to the story, and then all of a sudden it just. I don’t know. Didn’t. At one point, even, I was completely confused regarding the plot, and I don’t know if that was on me or if there was genuinely a disconnect and it ended up scrambling me up.
Maybe I just expected more. The concept was so cool, and the endgame did not live up to what I had hoped it would. I mean, come on. Queer rep in a Cinderella retelling with a protag that seems to be the character of my dreams with her attitude towards how her world treats her? Say no more, because I want nothing more. But then I did, because it wasn’t what I was expecting.
However, I do want to say that the twist near the end of the story was great, and it ended up being a much-needed plot point to keep me from being utterly and completely disappointed. THAT was a great twist. I absolutely loved it. If the rest of the book had been written like it had started off, I think I could have been absolutely blown away by this story. The potential was 100% there.
Maybe it just needed a little bit more work or something, I don’t know. The ending really did, because it kind of just stopped short right where I didn’t want it to. It wasn’t a terrible ending, but it, again, was just lacking. The story itself definitely needed some more attention to certain characters, though! I was so intrigued by most of the side characters and was excited to see what became of them by the end of the story. That didn’t really happen. I wouldn’t really consider that a spoiler, either. Just more of a forewarning.
So, at the end of it all, it was kind of a meh read. A meh read that started off as a YES! read and just went downhill from there. The author has another queer retelling coming out this year, though, and I’m deadset on picking that one up. Give me more queer retellings!
Thanks for reading!