Cinderella Is Dead
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.

Cinderella Is Dead Details

TitleCinderella Is Dead
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 7th, 2020
PublisherBloomsbury YA
ISBN-139781547603886
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, LGBT, Retellings, GLBT, Queer, Fiction, Young Adult Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tales, Fairy Tale Retellings

Cinderella Is Dead Review

  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    I’d pitch this as Black Cinderella falls in love with Merida and together they destroy the patriarchy
  • halfirishgrin
    January 1, 1970
    So this book has been described as queer black girls overthrowing the patriarchy and yep...that's basically what it is!!This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, and it didn't disappoint. It kept me turning the pages, and I loved the main characters, and found the romance to be really sweet as well. I also think this is just such an interesting use of the Cinderella story, so props to Kalynn Bayron for that too. I did find that at times this book could be a little didactic and heavy-han So this book has been described as queer black girls overthrowing the patriarchy and yep...that's basically what it is!!This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, and it didn't disappoint. It kept me turning the pages, and I loved the main characters, and found the romance to be really sweet as well. I also think this is just such an interesting use of the Cinderella story, so props to Kalynn Bayron for that too. I did find that at times this book could be a little didactic and heavy-handed with its messages. I wish that could have been woven in a little more naturally. But other than that, this was a great read, and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a fast-paced book about a queer black girl trying to take down the patriarchy.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Another reviewer used the terms "predictable, important, and frustrating" to describe this book, and I have to wholeheartedly agree. I thought for sure that this would be the easiest 5 stars I'd give in 2020, but I think my expectations were way out of line for what this book intended to be. The idea of a Cinderella retelling that features diverse characters smashing the patriarchy is truly the level of fantasy we need in the world today; however, I really struggled to get past the fact that the Another reviewer used the terms "predictable, important, and frustrating" to describe this book, and I have to wholeheartedly agree. I thought for sure that this would be the easiest 5 stars I'd give in 2020, but I think my expectations were way out of line for what this book intended to be. The idea of a Cinderella retelling that features diverse characters smashing the patriarchy is truly the level of fantasy we need in the world today; however, I really struggled to get past the fact that there is hardly any world building in this story, which caused me to feel a disconnect to characters that were keeping me at arms length. The narrative here felt heavy-handed, as the bringing down of toxic masculinity was more "telling than showing", and the plot plays out pretty much as you'd expect, aside from a really excellent reimagining of the fairy godmother. Even though this one wasn't quite what I'd hoped, I highly respect what the author was creating with this book, and I definitely recommend you try this one out for yourself. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • ˗ˏˋliaˎˊ˗
    January 1, 1970
    you had me at "queer black girls overthrowing the patriarchy"
  • Ari
    January 1, 1970
    BLOG | Instagram | TwitterThank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury YA for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine. "I think we sometimes make the mistake of thinking monsters are abhorrent aberrations, lurking in the darkest recesses, when the truth is far more disturbing.The most monstrous of men are those who sit in plain sight,daring you to challenge them." I've never been a fan of the Cinderella fairytale. It's a lovely fairytale, don't get me wrong. And I certainly appreciate it. But it's BLOG | Instagram | TwitterThank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury YA for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine. "I think we sometimes make the mistake of thinking monsters are abhorrent aberrations, lurking in the darkest recesses, when the truth is far more disturbing.The most monstrous of men are those who sit in plain sight,daring you to challenge them." I've never been a fan of the Cinderella fairytale. It's a lovely fairytale, don't get me wrong. And I certainly appreciate it. But it's not one of my favorites. “Why then would you read this book?” I too would ask. Well, it's a retelling, right? Retellings build upon the skeleton of the original and from there, the writer can go anywhere, do anything—create something new on that foundation. It's why I enjoy reading retellings. Cinderella Is Dead went past the early stages of the story we all know, and gave us a picture of the setting 200 years after Cinderella dies.My biggest disappointment with this novel is how shallow it is as far as development. There is not enough depth to the world-building, or to characters, or to their actions. We know the bare minimum so that we can follow along with the storytelling. After Cinderella dies, Prince Charming angrily decides that women will stop having any rights because Cinderella did not love him as he saw fit, men will control them, and he gets his pick of the lot whenever he wants. These rules follow every king hereafter. In short, he's a spoiled brat and that's his drive. And by his decrees (because in this world it seems that most men are shaped with the same cloth that shaped Prince Charming) almost every male that our lead comes across (with the exception of just three of them) are all horrible human beings who just want to inflict pain on women, use them, and discard them as they see fit. That line never sits right with me whenever an author uses it in a story.Sophia, our lead... Well, I still don't know her. I know that she doesn't want to marry a man just because her king demands it (which is valid) and that she wants to get out of this situation. She's headstrong, and stubborn, and most of the time does whatever she wants without regard for anyone else, or much thought to her actions. That's all that I know about her. I neither liked her, nor disliked her, except to find her instant lust/love towards Constance to be one-dimensional and unbelievable. Sophia swears that she's in love with Erin, her sweetheart, and yet after just one night in Constance's presence, she starts thinking to herself Her body, backlit by the flames, is like a vision. She is tall and strong. She's got her sleeves pushed up; a wide, jagged scar runs over the muscles of her upper arm. They flex as she stokes the flames. I imagine how they might feel wrapped around me, and I wonder if she can tell how enthralled I am with her. You just met this girl. How can you be enthralled by someone that you know nothing about? Sophia's feelings towards Constance's and Constance's immediate reciprocation and constant flirting (see what I did there?) was hammered into me from their first meeting. And during moments when I wanted to be focused on the story, it would rear its awkward head up again and detract from the bit of plot that I wanted to follow. It felt forced.After a few chapters that dragged, and some planning by the characters to figure out how to beat the backwards system in the world of this novel, we finally come to the end of the story. It involved a lot of Sophia (who has run away from the “kingdom” so that she's not killed) waltzing right back into the palace, without any guard recognizing that this is the girl they're chasing after. Once that's done, and the king most obviously sees her among the other girls, the two engage in fairly poor comebacks against each other until she gets locked in a pantry-sized room to await his evil deeds against her. I wanted to like the ending, because it was to be the saving grace at this point. But it was as bland as I found most of the rest of the story and ended in a predicable manner. King Manford doesn't really have a reason to be the way that he is, there's no point to his villainous nature, and I felt like the author kept pulling twists and turns and reveals from her sleeve at random to help make sense of things but they didn't add up. Sure, Sophia and Constance get what they want at the close, but we expect it. Nothing that came before it left a lasting impression.Despite everything that I didn't enjoy, the twist given to Amina's role—our “fairy godmother”—was great. No, she does not have much development either, but I'm glad that her character was different from what we expected. I like that it drew from a darker source and gave her a slightly more sinister veneer. Who she is to Manford came out of nowhere, but I suppose it works. And while the king's history before Cinderella is flimsy at best, the way that he keeps himself going was intriguing, and definitely fits his role of antagonist, even if it's something that has been done many times past.The writing touched the mere surface of the story and a lot more life could have been imbued into every aspect of it. It unfortunately fell very short from my expectations.
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  • Dia
    January 1, 1970
    " queer black girls team up to overthrow the patriarchy in the former kingdom of Cinderella"just take my money
  • Alaina
    January 1, 1970
    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Not going to lie, when I saw that I was accepted to read Cinderella Is Dead I most definitely screamed and geeked out. I was a giddy kid and weirdly enough wanted to watch all the Cinderella movies known to man. After reading this, I will definitely do that very thing.In this, you will meet Sophia who is a 16 year old girl. She is stubborn and in love with a girl named Erin. Unfortunately, their romance is forbidden and the I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Not going to lie, when I saw that I was accepted to read Cinderella Is Dead I most definitely screamed and geeked out. I was a giddy kid and weirdly enough wanted to watch all the Cinderella movies known to man. After reading this, I will definitely do that very thing.In this, you will meet Sophia who is a 16 year old girl. She is stubborn and in love with a girl named Erin. Unfortunately, their romance is forbidden and they are about to be apart of a ball where a man can and will probably claim them. Sophia definitely deserves way better than Erin, friendship and/or romance wise - I'm just saying.I honestly enjoyed the heck out of this retelling. There was just something about this version and how so many little details could somehow blow my mind. One thing I didn't see coming was the ending, well - some of it. Along the way, we do get to know some hidden truths and we get a new character to fall in love with. I definitely enjoyed everything about Constance in this book. She was just a little spitfire and I fell in love with her instantly.In the end, this was such a good book. Definitely a page turner, gives you a couple to SHIP, and it was amazingly addicting to read.
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  • Vicky Again
    January 1, 1970
    This was so engaging and exciting, and I sped through this in less than a day! Cinderella Is Dead was fierce and a twisted fairytale of girls taking down the corrupt system they live in, even when everyone else thinks their efforts are fruitless. If you're looking for a super fast-paced read of queer girls overthrowing the patriarchy, Cinderella Is Dead should absolutely be on your TBRs.
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  • faith ✨
    January 1, 1970
    We love to see books being sapphic from the first page!!--Me, tearing up over a book with ownvoices lesbian black representation and a beautiful cover? Never in my life
  • Miranda Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Happy Pride Month y'all! Click the link to check out my favorite PRIDE books Ahhh! This one was so much fun.Full Written Review to Come. Happy Pride Month y'all! Click the link to check out my favorite PRIDE books Ahhh! This one was so much fun.Full Written Review to Come.
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  • Angela Staudt
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.Cinderella is Dead was a highly anticipated book for me, I absolutely love retellings and was quite excited when I was approved on NetGalley for an eARC. Well, it wasn't what I had hoped for, I thought the plot was very bland and reminded me of every other YA fantasy plot. I didn't see anything unique about the storyline and the main character drove me up the wall. Like, I get that she wants to over throw the patriarchy and I'm all Thank you NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.Cinderella is Dead was a highly anticipated book for me, I absolutely love retellings and was quite excited when I was approved on NetGalley for an eARC. Well, it wasn't what I had hoped for, I thought the plot was very bland and reminded me of every other YA fantasy plot. I didn't see anything unique about the storyline and the main character drove me up the wall. Like, I get that she wants to over throw the patriarchy and I'm all for that, but it just wasn't believable and she was not that developed. I wasn't angry with her about what was going on like I should have been. I mean this world is super messed up, and the idea of women going to this ball to be picked by old men to marry is gross. It just didn't wow me though.Another thing that immediately threw my off and made me roll my eyes was the insta love that goes on. I'm not for it and now I'm really irritated with the main character. I get that insta love is a thing and it's my opinion to love or hate it, but at least make it somewhat believable. Our main character loves her best friend and wants to run away with her before the ball happens, but the minute she meets another girl she is smitten with her. No thank you.I really think a lot of people will like this book, I think after reading so many fantasy books, this one just fell flat. It needed so much more world building and characters being fleshed out. It also needed to be a little more believable throughout the story.
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  • charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
    January 1, 1970
    “It’ll be me,” I say. “I will find myself.” On my blog. Rep: Black lesbian mc, lesbian li, gay side characterCWs: misogyny, domestic abuse, racism, homophobia, implied suicide of a side character, deathGalley provided by publisherCinderella is Dead is a book that basically cements my belief that YA fantasy is not for me anymore. This book, for someone who is still into that genre (and maybe a few years ago that would have been me), is perfect. I am not that someone.So. Firstly. Why you mig “It’ll be me,” I say. “I will find myself.” On my blog. Rep: Black lesbian mc, lesbian li, gay side characterCWs: misogyny, domestic abuse, racism, homophobia, implied suicide of a side character, deathGalley provided by publisherCinderella is Dead is a book that basically cements my belief that YA fantasy is not for me anymore. This book, for someone who is still into that genre (and maybe a few years ago that would have been me), is perfect. I am not that someone.So. Firstly. Why you might want to read this book.• It is a book that uses a fantasy world to critique misogyny and homophobia and it does it well. I’ve read so many books that have worlds that are both misogynistic and homophobic and don’t even think to confront it. This one definitely confronts it.• There’s a really creative retelling of the Cinderella story, I actually enjoyed that a lot.• It’s sapphic! I mean, obviously, given the blurb, but it’s worth saying again. It. Is. Sapphic.But if you’re interested in why I didn’t get along with it, here goes.• There is almost more attention paid to using the story as a vehicle to critique misogyny and homophobia than creating an engaging world. To be honest, it’s bland. Except for the whole Cinderella-as-a-creation-myth aspect, there is nothing that really stands out about the world compared to every other YA fantasy.• It wouldn’t have been a problem, but the plot didn’t really stand out for me either. I mean, I guessed pretty much everything that went down. I started playing a game with myself to see if I could guess right to keep myself interested.• I’m not a massive fan as putting a bigotry in a story to critique it. I definitely prefer creating worlds where it’s not even an issue and critiquing it that way. But. Each to their own.• The villain had zero motivation beyond he did it because he could. And okay, maybe that’s realistic, but I wanted more from him. He was very two-dimensional overall.• There’s not a whole lot of tension in the book. Not that there was no danger, but that I never felt particularly like they were in that danger. Like they went for a walk around town and they didn’t even try dodging guards or anything. There was never any chance they would get captured.So yeah. While the premise and execution of it weren’t for me, they may well still be for you, so please, feel free to just ignore this review.
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  • Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    THIS SOUNDS AMAZING
  • Jacqueline (Jbooklover)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 STARSMy first read for the queer blackathon! My only "cons" was I wished for more development from our characters/relationships and the ending felt rushed to me. The world building was well developed, I could see connections from plot elements in the story compared to real life issues, and I couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. It was overall, such a unique twist on Cinderella that I can't wait to reread!Was sent an eARC from the publishers through N 3.5/5 STARSMy first read for the queer blackathon! My only "cons" was I wished for more development from our characters/relationships and the ending felt rushed to me. The world building was well developed, I could see connections from plot elements in the story compared to real life issues, and I couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. It was overall, such a unique twist on Cinderella that I can't wait to reread!Was sent an eARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    A subversive, feminist take on the Cinderella myth, Cinderella is Dead is part queer love story, part resisting the patriarchy. There is a lot to like in this debut. It isn't perfect, but the ideas are on point and the execution is reasonably good. Not to mention, I love that this gives a gay Black girl a ball gown and a dagger. 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, girls are required to attend a ball every year starting at 16 where they will be chosen as brides for any men who are intere A subversive, feminist take on the Cinderella myth, Cinderella is Dead is part queer love story, part resisting the patriarchy. There is a lot to like in this debut. It isn't perfect, but the ideas are on point and the execution is reasonably good. Not to mention, I love that this gives a gay Black girl a ball gown and a dagger. 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, girls are required to attend a ball every year starting at 16 where they will be chosen as brides for any men who are interested. Laws are heavily misogynistic, mandating strict curfews for women and children, requiring modest dress for girls, placing all power in the hands of men, including all finances and ability to abuse their wives without recompense. Meanwhile the Cinderella fairytale is a required text that girls must model their behavior and dreams after. Deviation results in swift and brutal punishment by the king.Sophia is 16 and nearing her first required ball where her parents hope she will gain a husband. But she would rather marry her best friend Erin than any male suitor. If she truly wants to change things, she must uncover the true history of Cinderella and take down the king. I have to say, I was completely riveted for about the first 40% of this book. We get a world that is horrifying and a MC who wants nothing to do with the life she is supposed to want. All the way up through the end of the ball and transition that follows, I could not get enough and blew through the story. There is teen angst, lots of very creepy men, and characters who are forced to hide who they are, including a cinnamon roll of a gay guy.After that point, things get admittedly more messy at times. The way we learn about the history of Cinderella is a little clunky, there is a plot twist about the king that becomes painfully obvious pretty early on, at least (view spoiler)[ the part about him sucking the life out of girls to stay young, (hide spoiler)] some of the messaging is a bit on the nose, and the way the romance goes moved a little fast for me to be fully invested. That said, I really like what this book is doing in asking questions about how fairy tales can be problematic, how history can be rewritten by the victors, why some people are so afraid to stand up for what's right, and the power of women who come together for a cause. It offers a different sort of fairy tale where the girl defeats evil and gets her princess. While it definitely reads like a debut, I think this is one worth trying and I look forward to seeing more from Kaylynn Baron in the future. Content warnings include murder, misogyny, homophobia, violence, death of a loved one, rituals, necromancy, domestic violence
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  • May Regan
    January 1, 1970
    I love all of these 2020 releases that are like:Let's take a beloved classic....Maybe a dystopian world.....Some romance.....AND MAKE IT GAY.I'm so down for all of these books - my bookshelf is not ready.
  • Becca (Horners_book_corner)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed reading this fun alternative take on the Cinderella story that takes place 200 hundred years after she has died. Nothing is as it seems and the main character, Sophie, is struggling against patriarchical repression of her gender and sexuality. She discovers that there is not an ounce of charm left in the royalty, and finds a way to get rid of the rot slowly destroying Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed reading this fun alternative take on the Cinderella story that takes place 200 hundred years after she has died. Nothing is as it seems and the main character, Sophie, is struggling against patriarchical repression of her gender and sexuality. She discovers that there is not an ounce of charm left in the royalty, and finds a way to get rid of the rot slowly destroying her city and ruining the lives of the women and girls around her. Along the way there is a witch, a love interest, necromancy and even a magical dress. This tale is adventurous, modern and features characters who are interesting and fun. In my opinion, this is set at the younger end of the YA spectrum but is totally enjoyable as an adult and broaches topics of gender, identity, sexuality and morality in a relevant way.
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  • Renaissance Kate
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsWhat I loved: two girls falling in love; poc and lgbtqia+ representation; smashing the patriarchy What I disliked: amazing premise, poor execution; lots of repetitive exposition; unnatural-sounding dialogue; underdeveloped magic system; nonsensical worldbuilding; Shrek 2 villainsSadly I was disappointed with this one :/. Full review to come!
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  • Maggie [storme reads a lot]
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so good. Review coming soon!
  • Bee ♡
    January 1, 1970
    ─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───Synopsis:Sophia Grimmins is a 16 year old girl living in Lille fed up with the rules of an oppressive patriarchal society. Every year the teen girls in the town are forced to attend a ball to offer themselves to eligible suitors for their hand in marriage, but Sophia has always had dreams of running away with her friend and love Erin. When and incident at the ball leaves Sophia with no other choice but to run and leave everything behind or forfeit or life, she meets a d ─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───Synopsis:Sophia Grimmins is a 16 year old girl living in Lille fed up with the rules of an oppressive patriarchal society. Every year the teen girls in the town are forced to attend a ball to offer themselves to eligible suitors for their hand in marriage, but Sophia has always had dreams of running away with her friend and love Erin. When and incident at the ball leaves Sophia with no other choice but to run and leave everything behind or forfeit or life, she meets a descendant of Cinderella who’s willing to help uncover the truth behind the legends of the Beloved Cinderella and what really happened the night of the ball.In this Fairytale retelling of Cinderella you’ll follow a dangerous journey of two girls fighting for what they believe in no matter the cost.─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───My Thoughts:Thank you Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. I was overly excited to receive an ARC of this novel because I love reading YA fantasy retellings and when I saw that it was a sapphic fantasy with a Black Female Lead you best believe I hopped on the opportunity to read it as soon as possible.The story is set 200 years after Cinderella and Prince Charming have lived their “happily ever after” and Sophia is fed up with the rules that women and queer people alike have to live in order to survive King Manford’s rule. When Sophia has no choice but to leave her family behind after running from the ball she happens upon Constance, a direct descendant of one of the Ugly Stepsjsters, Gabrielle. Constance reveals that the King has been lying about everything that has transpired since to keep his rule over the kingdom and the two venture to find the revered Fairy Godmother.I absolutely loved the original twist that Kalynn Bayron provided to Cinderella. There were multiple queer characters, and great feminist representation. The values that Sophia stood by really stood out to me because she never stopped speaking up for what she believed in, even when her own family didn’t believe in her. Sophia was also unapologetically queer and in love with her secret girlfriend Erin, and the way that she poured her heart into Erin time and time again broke my heart. However, the slow burn love interest provided was the tops. It was genuine and sweet and completely appropriate for a YA setting. The antagonist was your standard YA Villain but really stood for a lot of things that we see in our society in the present. I truly believe that this book could speak to a lot of readers from different backgrounds and that as a reader you’ll be able to fall into the dark and brutal atmosphere of the book. ─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───Wrap-Up:I really admired how the author was able make the story severe without making the focus solely on the character’s trauma, it made it so I was able to enjoy the elements of the story but still focus on Sophia’s journey. I would absolutely recommend this story to anyone who loves fairytale retellings.─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───
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  • Alleah
    January 1, 1970
    Predictable. Important. Frustrating.I was so excited when I got approved for this ARC. It sounded like a book I'd absolutely love, but unfortunately this was not the case.What I want to start by saying is how happy I am that a book like this was published in today's world. The representation for queer characters is something we do not see enough of in literature, especially within the fantasy genre. The themes of misogyny and starting a revolution are so important to read about, especially in th Predictable. Important. Frustrating.I was so excited when I got approved for this ARC. It sounded like a book I'd absolutely love, but unfortunately this was not the case.What I want to start by saying is how happy I am that a book like this was published in today's world. The representation for queer characters is something we do not see enough of in literature, especially within the fantasy genre. The themes of misogyny and starting a revolution are so important to read about, especially in this day and age. Alas, the execution of this story was something I simply could not get behind.Too many of my personal reader pet peeves were in this book. Too much telling and not showing? Yup. A main character who is far too stubborn and doesn't bother to think before blindly trying to save the world because she's not like other girls? Yup. List like descriptions that blend and blur into each other and describe things you really couldn't care less about? Yup. A predictable plot to you but none of the characters seem smart enough to see what's obviously coming? Yup.I understand that this book, in the end, was not for me. I ended up marking it as a DNF 20% through because I held zero interest in how things would shake out, and our main protagonist was simply too infuriating to follow along with. Since I never technically finished, it I can only hope Sophia ended up receiving some much needed character development. Would I recommend this book? Actually, I possibly. It really does depend on the person. These gripes of mine are frustrating enough to drop a book immediately, but that may be a different case for someone else. I think this book is so important to be published into the world, and I love to imagine the light it might bring to some other reader.
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  • Ava
    January 1, 1970
    Freaking amazing.This book really is queer black girls overthrowing the patriarchy and *flails* I am HERE for it. Sophia is supposed to show up to an annual ball, unofficially to have some man decide that he wants to marry her. She has three seasons to get "picked," else she's deemed a spinster for life and is basically dead to society.WELL SOPHIA DOESN'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT.She wants to live a beautiful, free life with her girlfriend, dammit, and she'll be damned if she ends up the property of s Freaking amazing.This book really is queer black girls overthrowing the patriarchy and *flails* I am HERE for it. Sophia is supposed to show up to an annual ball, unofficially to have some man decide that he wants to marry her. She has three seasons to get "picked," else she's deemed a spinster for life and is basically dead to society.WELL SOPHIA DOESN'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT.She wants to live a beautiful, free life with her girlfriend, dammit, and she'll be damned if she ends up the property of some man.So what does she do? She flees the ball with gorgeous, intelligent, badass Constance, who may have some special connections to Cinderella's family (and specifically the "evil" stepsisters), and she definitely wants to take down the oppressive king alongside Sophia.Together they must dabble in witch's potions and magic, summon the ghost of Cinderella to find out what her "happily ever after" really looked like, and deconstruct a toxic, oppressive regime of men - starting with their wicked king. Sophia is fierce and unrelenting, but painfully relatable in the moments where she experiences doubt, and her desire to be loyal to her first love while fighting for the right to be with the girl who might be her last love is such a human struggle. I loved her tenacity and determination, and her need to help all of the women who will come after her.There were so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming, and I loved the effortless way Bayron turned this classic fairytale on its head to make it a modern anthem of feminism and empowerment.
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  • Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
    January 1, 1970
    Every single part of this summary is correct."a YA fantasy in which queer black girls team up to overthrow the patriarchy in the former kingdom of Cinderella."
  • Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!CW: sexism, patriarchy, young marriages, arranged marriages, physical abuse, homophobia, deception, selling people, and general violenceWell, this turned Cinderella on its head. Never was a big fan of that movie or story, but I love it when people take the fairytale and turn it into something different, almost going back to the darkness that the Grimm brothers first had.Basically, Sophia lives in a world where Cinderella is all I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!CW: sexism, patriarchy, young marriages, arranged marriages, physical abuse, homophobia, deception, selling people, and general violenceWell, this turned Cinderella on its head. Never was a big fan of that movie or story, but I love it when people take the fairytale and turn it into something different, almost going back to the darkness that the Grimm brothers first had.Basically, Sophia lives in a world where Cinderella is all. She died 200 years ago but every girl of marriageable age go to a yearly ball to see if a man will choose them as a wife. They basically have no rights and a man can leave them for a new wife if he so chooses. A woman has three years of balls to go to and if she can't catch someone's eye, they disappear. And it's even worse for Sophia since she's gay and has no interest in marrying a man.The book is dark and I really liked how it framed it. I liked the darkness within this, as well as the diversity of a Black and queer teen overthrowing a highly patriarchal society. That was great and I liked it a lot! It was fun for those things alone.But, other than that, I found it average. I wasn't that into the romance and it felt forced, as well as contrived. Then, the writing was a bit average and I could see where the story was going in some ways. A lot of this, I feel, comes down to the ARC. The formatting wasn't great and I find it hard to follow along because I'm busy trying to order paragraph breaks, chapter breaks, and dialogue.This is definitely one I'd recommend and want to reread once it's published so I can get a better grasp of it.
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  • Jules ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss and Bloomsbury YA for the ARC.black, queer girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this fresh retelling of Cinderella — perfect for A Curse So Dark and Lonely fans.i mean what else do i really need? honestly? honestly? okay maybe right now I need other things first but let's not go into the abyss of dark thoughts this period is giving us all for a hot second.we all know i'm a sucker for retellings, but I haven't found a cinderella one I actually care about. but if a book is Thank you Edelweiss and Bloomsbury YA for the ARC.black, queer girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this fresh retelling of Cinderella — perfect for A Curse So Dark and Lonely fans.i mean what else do i really need? honestly? honestly? okay maybe right now I need other things first but let's not go into the abyss of dark thoughts this period is giving us all for a hot second.we all know i'm a sucker for retellings, but I haven't found a cinderella one I actually care about. but if a book is pitched as a revisitation of a classic that will make me question the tales I've been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them i can't help but want it.
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  • The Artisan Geek
    January 1, 1970
    30/9/19"queer black girls team up to overthrow the patriarchy in the former kingdom of Cinderella". BRUH. I'm SO here for it!!You can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website 30/9/19"queer black girls team up to overthrow the patriarchy in the former kingdom of Cinderella". BRUH. I'm SO here for it!!You can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
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  • Anniek
    January 1, 1970
    This book was off to a rough start for me. It took a very long time for the story to be set up, when at the same time the world building felt very straightforward. And it wasn't until around halfway into the book that I felt like the story was really kicking off. That was too late for me to really become invested in the story, but I did start to feel intrigued because an exciting plotline was introduced.Unfortunately, that plotline ended up less exciting that I hoped, and even though it pains me This book was off to a rough start for me. It took a very long time for the story to be set up, when at the same time the world building felt very straightforward. And it wasn't until around halfway into the book that I felt like the story was really kicking off. That was too late for me to really become invested in the story, but I did start to feel intrigued because an exciting plotline was introduced.Unfortunately, that plotline ended up less exciting that I hoped, and even though it pains me to say this, I just found this a really boring read. The main character was so flat, I could hardly tell you anything about her. And the rest of the book just felt so bland to me.Overall, I feel like this book could have been structured better to pull the reader in earlier on. I did think this take on the Cinderella story was promising, but I just found the execution to be lacking.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    **Review coming soon**
  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper. ”Do not be silent. Raise your voice. Be a light in the dark.” I was so excited to read Cinderella is Dead because I love me a good retelling, and I haven’t read many Cinderella’s, and after knowing it was gay I immediately added it to my TBR. I had such high expectations, and overall I have to say that even though it didn’t meet my expectations, it was a fun and fast paced read.The main issue that I had with this book was that the pl You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper. ”Do not be silent. Raise your voice. Be a light in the dark.” I was so excited to read Cinderella is Dead because I love me a good retelling, and I haven’t read many Cinderella’s, and after knowing it was gay I immediately added it to my TBR. I had such high expectations, and overall I have to say that even though it didn’t meet my expectations, it was a fun and fast paced read.The main issue that I had with this book was that the plot was pretty generic and basic. I felt like I read a few books that had a similar distribution of the story, and because of that I found that I wasn’t as engaged as I wanted. Most of the time I couldn’t tell what the book was about, because I think there were a lot of subplots that it disappeared at one point. Also, because it had the same structure as other YA books I’ve read, I didn’t find anything surprising, and the little revelations made towards the end were pretty predictable.The world building was a bit lacking, and though there was a bit of a history lesson at one point in the story, it didn’t seem integrated with the other parts of the book, and it felt more like the author was telling us what happened with Cinderella because that was going to be relevant later on. I think if we’d known a little bit more about the world and the magic, the story would have been much more unique and complex. ”All fairy tales have some grain of truth. Picking apart that truth from the lies can be tricky, though.” On the other hand, I really enjoyed the spin the author did of the original fairytale. I think that made the book much more unique and interesting, and I enjoyed how the original story blend with the new one.One thing I just wasn’t a fan of was the characters. They were all pretty bland and generic, and we didn’t get to see a lot of them throughout the story. Though our protagonist had a solid development and I could she how her arc grew as I kept reading the book, there wasn’t anything about her that made her stood out to me. She was such a simple and lackluster character and I was pretty disappointed with how rushed her interactions with other characters were (also, that romance literally came out of nowhere and there was no build up or chemistry between them).Another issue that I had was with the pacing and the ending. I feel like the middle of the book was so uneventful and not much was happening that was relevant to the plot, and once we reached the ending, everything was so incredibly rushed that the climax of the story that was supposed to be shocking and intriguing flew by, and I wished the author would have taken a little more time to build that climax so the reader would be pretty surprised.Overall, Cinderella Is Dead was a very fun and fast paced read. It wasn’t the best book I’ve read, and I definitely had my issues with the world and the plot, but I think if you’re looking for something light and that you’ll fly through, I think this might be it.I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.....Thank you Macmillan and Bloomsbury YA for the ARC.Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’
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  • Isabel ✰
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all this book is the feminist dystopia I've wanted for ages.There's a hole in my heart, a The Grace Year shaped hole, that stems from wanting a YA dystopian novel about a girl who dismantles a deeply misogynist society with heroics and swordfighting, and failing so abysmally to find it thus far. People of the internet, that hole has been filled.Cinderella is Dead follows Sophia, a girl born into a post-Cinderella nightmare, in which Prince Charming transformed the country into a misogynist's f Y'all this book is the feminist dystopia I've wanted for ages.There's a hole in my heart, a The Grace Year shaped hole, that stems from wanting a YA dystopian novel about a girl who dismantles a deeply misogynist society with heroics and swordfighting, and failing so abysmally to find it thus far. People of the internet, that hole has been filled.Cinderella is Dead follows Sophia, a girl born into a post-Cinderella nightmare, in which Prince Charming transformed the country into a misogynist's fantasy. She is forced to attend the annual ball, where a man may claim her as his bride. If a girl is not engaged after three years, her life is forfeit. Rather than allow herself to be claimed by an abusive bully, Sophia flees the ball and encounters Constance, a descendent of one of Cinderella's step-sisters, and the last remaining guardian of the true Cinderella story. Together, the two seek out the truth about Cinderella and their country, and fight for the freedom of all who live there.It is admittedly true that the book industry is slowly diversifying, but that doesn't mean that this story of a black lesbian saving the world from an entitled white man isn't 100% necessary and 100% appreciated by this reviewer. I'm a sucker for retellings, so I loved that Bayron managed to write a truly unique retelling that provides commentary on modern issues while still retaining the magic of the original story. Yes, Sophia gets a magical gown that disappears at midnight, and yes, she kicks ass in it. The action was exciting, and Sophia was such a fun, strong, lovable heroine. I really only have one complaint about this book, and that is the romance. Sophia and Constance spend very little time getting to know each other, and while they are both really fun characters, I honestly didn't feel like there was much development for their relationship. That would have been fine -- there were about a million other things going on -- but it was very instalovey and honestly I kind of wished Bayron had focused on the main plot, and left the romance at its beginning, as a step towards a hopeful future. Nonetheless, I could not recommend this book more. And was Bayron teasing us with the hint of other stories in the same world? Because I feel like I caught a whiff of a Snow White retelling coming next, but who knows.ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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