ARC Review: Cinderella is Dead

I received a copy of Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start off by saying – there are some big themes in this book that the author covers. If you want more POC LGBTQIA+ representation, fierce female main characters, fighting the patriarchy energy, and overall discussion on oppression – Welcome! You’re going to appreciate this book. Cinderella is Dead will release on July 7th, 2020 so be sure to preorder this amazing retelling!

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

First off, I love this feminist anthem. An all encompassing feminism sweeping through the land, in a place where women are seen as property. I thought the plot was not only unique, but exciting, because it’s every woman for herself (kinda). I read this book in a single afternoon – I couldn’t put it down.

The twists and turns of this story just prove how versatile the story of Cinderella can be. And I thought this was a great tale to tell. We have a POC main character who is also LGBTQIA+, because representation (woo!), and she is not a demure girl. She is ready to change the world.

I really enjoyed this new take on a classic fairytale, because sometimes it’s too male dominated. And this book proves that men are trash. Well, most men are trash. In this world, men have all the power. Women have no rights and are property owned by their husbands – if they can manage to be married. The king hosts a ball every year allowing suitors and girls to come together and get engaged. Except it’s mandatory for the women to attend while it’s optional for men. Also, women only get three years to go and find a husband before they are forfeited and forced to work in the castle as a spinster.

Yeah – these men are TRASH.

I thought the writing was great, the message was great, and we have some awesome representation for girls everywhere. I don’t think there was anything I disliked about the story, except maybe Sophia’s obsessed with her crush Erin at the beginning. It was borderline creepy how pushy she was, but it’s as indicative of a man as any might be with a girl, so maybe just proves once again that men are trash. AKA, guys do a similar thing and are called persistent – but it’s not, it’s just creepy. Though I do want to point out that Sophia doesn’t pressure Erin to love her or be with her, she’s pressuring her to leave with her. Which is a different dynamic that still felt not good because Erin is not down with the idea.

Erin tells her multiple times to leave her alone and stop trying to push her to leave. Sophia is not taking no for an answer and for the first quarter of the book is trying to persuade Erin to leave with her because they love each other. While I get her want to be with her, especially since she technically can’t, it was a bit uncomfortable to see Sophia so pushy and not listen to Erin’s wants. Even if it went against Erin’s true feelings.

Besides her pushiness at the beginning, and her quick ability to fall in and out of love, this was an awesome story and I am going to scream about it for a while. The imagery is amazing, there are twists and turns that you won’t see coming, and it’s an overall fantastic book.

Also men are trash lol

So with that being said, my review is a solid starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars! I mean there wasn’t anything huge, too upsetting, or bad about this book. There was no strong reason for me to downgrade it and I loved the story. So it gets a perfect score from me. I mean, I couldn’t put it down physically so it’s a top read for me. This book is filled to the brim with representation, so if you’re looking for gay, POC, feminist, patriarchy smashing characters (and that’s just the main character) – welcome to your next favorite read!

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If you like this book, check out The Court of Miracles (out on June 2nd) by Kester Grant or Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin.

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

May 2020 Mid-Month Update

May has been a very good month so far for my TBR! I’ve currently read 7/10 books I wanted to read this month, which is insane for me. Because I’ve been reading so much I decided to add some extra books to my TBR. We’ll see if I can actually get through all of them this month, but I have hope I’ll get through most!

I also wanted to provide an update – because I have been reading more and have more content, I am going to try posting five times a week, Monday through Friday. This is a change from my normal blogging timeline, but I wanted to give it a try. If it doesn’t work, I’m going to go back to my typical posting schedule, but if I can maintain it, then we’re heading towards five days a week!

What I read

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For the books I’ve read, I blew through some of them it wasn’t even funny. I’ve read two duologies, The Bone Charmer/The Bone Thief  by Breeana Shields and The Storm Crow/The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson so far and will have finished another duology by the end of the month! Reviews will be up for all of these books at some point in the coming days. After reading Forest of Souls (the eARC), I realized I probably should have waited to read and review it. I received a physical ARC of the book this past Saturday and I think I’m going to do a reread of the physical book to make sure my thoughts are in order. I find that sometimes I’ll rate a book differently based on format (especially for ARCs) and I really want to give this book a fair chance, especially since it has huge Wicked Saints vibes and there were moments I was freaking out about. So, review for that may be delayed. But for the most part, I adored all of these books and I can’t wait for you to read my thoughts on them!

What I’m reading

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I’m currently almost finished with Thorn by Intisar Khanani and it is so good! I’m buddy reading this book with my friend Grace and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a Goose Girl retelling, which I’ve never read, but I like it! Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst is a bit of a struggle. It’s not a bad book, but I am definitely not in the mood to read it right now – maybe I’ll have to stick it back on the TBR pile for a while. I started reading The Boundless and I am almost 50% through. I wanted to make sure I had enough time to read for the blog tour and have my post ready for June. So far, I’m really liking the sequel and can’t wait to see what happens next. I know that this is a duology, so I’m wondering who Selah is going to end up with, if she ends up with anyone, and if she’s going to be able to get home to her father soon. There are so many unanswered questions!

What I plan to read

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I’ve added five books to my TBR (not including the two I added and I am currently reading) since I’m getting through books very quickly. I haven’t read this much since January 2019 when I read almost twenty books in the month. It was awesome! I’m really happy I get to read books that have been on my TBR for forever, as well as new books for review or for fun. I managed to win a copy of Empire of Gold (City of Brass #3) from Goodreads too and now I have to read the other two books. Why did I enter the giveaway when I hadn’t read the other two books? – because I never win giveaways so I didn’t think it would happen.

But here we are! And now I have motivation to read the first book, The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. I actually have a signed copy that I received for free at BookCon 2018 as part of the VIP package. I got City of Brass and The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – which I haven’t read either yet, though I’ve heard they are AMAZING!

So here is my mid-month update! I’ve currently read 7 seven books, I am reading 3 books, and I want to read 7 books. I’m sure I won’t get to all of them, but it’s good to have strong goals, right?

How is your TBR reading going? Any books that surprised you?

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