• Michelle

Book Review: Cinderella Is Dead

3.5/5 Stars.

Cinderella Is Dead by debut author Kalynn Bayron is a uniquely twisted retelling of the original infamous fairytale. The story takes place 200 years after Cinderella passed, and it's been 200 years of believing a fairytale that ends up being twisted and tattered from what actually happened.

I’m a big fan of retelling and I really enjoyed the author's interesting and fresh spin on the story, especially with the fairy godmother. With a Black lead, lesbian love interest(s), and queer characters, it just kept adding to what made this beginning so great. The story's setup was done well with introducing a fairytale dystopian world and adding in already established friendships and rocky relationships.

For how interesting the plot was, it struggled from the midpoint on with a lack of world building. The world felt very small, with only the main kingdom, quick mentions of nearby kingdoms, and the White Wood. Given that the characters are not permitted to travel outside their kingdom, unless they are a man with a permit, it makes sense that the world wouldn't be vast since the characters couldn't go beyond where they weren't allowed to go. However, I can't help but feel that it hurt the storytelling with keeping the world so small.

The f/f romance had its sweet moments, but I didn't feel there was much development between the two characters for it to make sense. While it was a bit insta-love with the ex kind of forgotten, the soft and tender moments were still enjoyable and added some light to a dark world.

This book was an enjoyable and unique retelling, and I look forward to more books from Bayron.

Cinderella Is Dead is out now!

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