Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
I can’t believe I forgot to post my review of this after I read it. Major fail for me.
This will definitely be a favorite this year. This is the book I needed to read right now. It’s hard not to compare it to the US right now. I got angry a few times. Not at the book. But how women and lgbtqia+ were treated in the book.
Cinderella died 200 years ago, but her story lives on. She loved Prince Charming so much and wanted other girls to find their matches at the ball. The story was written and it’s what all of Lille believe. The king, currently King Manford, has a ball every year. All eligible girls (16) must attend by law. They are paraded around in gowns and chosen by men to become their wives. The girls that aren’t chosen after a couple balls are never heard from again. This is the way it is and no one really questions it. The ones that do know what they risk their lives if the king hears them. Women have no rights at all. The man is the head of household. A woman can work, but all the money she makes belongs to her husband. Each house has to keep a copy of Cinderella and they must know the story. Girls are expected to be perfect with hopes that the Fairy Godmother would appear to them. Women have to be inside their homes by 8pm every night. It’s just really disgusting.
Sophia, Erin, and Liv are best friends, but Sophia and Erin have been more for the past few years. Girls are not allowed to be with girls. They have to marry the man that chooses them. Erin and Sophia have mostly hidden their feelings for each other. Sophia’s parents know, but they tell Sophia that they can’t be together. She has to marry a man. Erin has basically accepted her fate, but Sophia won’t accept it. She goes to the ball, but manages to escape. She goes to the woods and meets Constance, a distant relative to Gabrielle. The stories passed down to Constance are not the same as the Cinderella story. She’s tired of everyone saying that her great (x many) grandmother was bad. Constance and Sophia believe that there has to be a way to change how things are. The people of Lille need to know the truth and the king must be stopped. Everyone needs to have rights and they need to be able to love who they want. Both girls are fierce, but they know that they may die trying to change things.
The story is pretty fast paced and I really enjoyed the writing. It’s impossible not to love both Sophia and Constance. I also loved Luke even though he’s not in the book a lot. This will be a great story for young girls to read.
I gave this book 5 stars. Thank you to Bloomsbury and Edelweiss for my review copy.
Warnings for abuse, forced marriage, captivity, and fire. The book is pretty dark with women basically being property.
Have you read this yet?