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Ratings & Reviews for

Cinderella Is Dead

5 stars
16,028 (23%)
4 stars
24,282 (35%)
3 stars
19,746 (29%)
2 stars
5,978 (8%)
1 star
1,558 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,340 reviews
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
January 5, 2022
I’d pitch this as Black Cinderella falls in love with Merida and together they destroy the patriarchy.

I had extremely high hopes for this one because the premise is really fucking good. And while I am often tired of seeing the same tropes and stories being recycled over and over again, this doesn't apply when a well-known concept is reinvented through a queer or otherwise diverse lens. When I started reading I was instantly in awe. The writing was piercing, the words sharp like a needle and I loved how the first chapters built this cruel, patriarchal world in which it was impossible for a young, queer woman to strive or live without fear. But then it went downhill. It was a mix of things but my biggest problem was that the plot was all over the place. There were many plot holes and soon the characters suffered too.

In the end it's a great concept with endless potential and a shining beginning but it ultimately failed to convince me.

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Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
July 1, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Renaissance Kate.
245 reviews128 followers
October 29, 2020
2.5 stars

While I was excited about the premise of this book, unfortunately it did not deliver. I loved the representation of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ characters, as this is incredibly important and something we need to continue normalizing and supporting in YA. However, from a story and writing perspective, this book totally flopped for me.

Sophia is another rebellious YA heroine whose reasons for wanting to dismantle a 200-year-old oppressive political system never truly go beyond surface level. We are told her grandmother taught her the king was bad, we are told she loves Erin and would do anything so they could have a life together, but we are never really shown this burning hatred to make it believable. Sophia is rash, talks back to everyone, and is determined to bring down the king without any semblance of a plan. More often than not, I was questioning her actions rather than rooting for her.

Her romance with Constance, while having its cute moments, was very rushed and could have been better developed. Sophia quickly forgets Erin, one of the two loosely established reasons for her rebellious actions, and falls head-over-heels for the fiery Constance. I would’ve liked to see more sparks and yearning between them as we see Sophia realize Constance, and not Erin, is the one she’s supposed to love.

This book is also filled with underused side characters who had so much potential. While I could write an entire paragraph on any one of them, I want to primarily talk about Luke. From the moment he’s introduced, one would think he was going to have a major role in this story:

What I wanted:

Luke had a lot of potential as one of many interesting characters who could have been better integrated into the story.

The SuperEvil™ king was a bit of a caricature, and I didn’t quite understand or buy his motives. The system for choosing his successor made no sense, both before and after the plot twist.

Another major let-down for me in this book was the worldbuilding. The magic system and connections to Cinderella’s tale could have been more deeply explored or better woven into the story. There were some nice touches, such as stores selling knock-off Fairy Godmother potions or girls desiring expensive glass slippers for the ball, but otherwise it seemed the magical elements were only developed when they were important to the plot.

Now, please bear with me for a bit of Francophile nitpicking. The version of Cinderella used in this book can be traced to the French fairy tale. While many place names in this book are clearly French-inspired – Mersailles, Lille, Chione – the author does not stick with this French theme throughout the story. Although a few characters have French names (Édouard, Gabrielle, even Constance. Also Émile, though this is traditionally a man’s name), most of the characters do not. Erin? Liv? Manford? Isla? Morgan? Not to mention Sophia and Luke, who easily could have been Sophie and Luc. For worldbuilding and consistency’s sake, I wish the author would have committed one way or the other because the inconsistencies were distracting.

As I mentioned, the only reason I can really recommend this book is for the inclusive representation. It’s an easy enough read with a fun twist on the classic fairytale and important elements of girls overthrowing the patriarchy. However, the unfulfilling execution of its promising premise left a lot to be desired

Thank you to Bloomsbury YA via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
April 26, 2021

New week, New BookTube Video - all about the best (and worst) literary couples
The Written Review
Two hundred years ago Cinderella lived, and ever since then she's been an obsession of Sophia's town.

She has three chances (one ball each year) to find a husband and then settle into a "comfortable" life as a wife.

But she does not want that. Not. One. Bit.

She is in love with Erin (even though Erin refuses to rebel) and on the night of the first ball, Sophia makes a run for it.

Her life is forfeit and her only chance is to keep running.

And Sophia runs into Constance - the last known descendant of the true Cinderella and her stepsisters.

Together, the girls must find a way to save their town (and themselves) by diving into the true story of Cinderella...but is there time? Or are they already too late?

I quite liked this version of the tale!

I felt like it worked really well and I loved the blossoming relationship between Sophia and Constance - they made such a natural couple!

I loved how every time we heard the story of Cinderella, there was a new twist that completely changed my opinion of the earlier versions. It was really cool (and clever) how Bayron managed that.

The book did require...a bit of suspension of belief...regarding the township.

The society is really, really shifted towards the most misogynistic possible structure...and I don't think there was enough background and world-building to support such a staunchly "traditional" society.

But once I decided to give into the world, the rest of the book worked really well.

All in all, this was the lesbian Cinderella retelling I've been waiting for.

A huge thank you to Netgalley, Bloomsbury YA and Kalynn Bayron for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for halfirishgrin.
288 reviews177 followers
June 14, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,302 reviews43.9k followers
October 9, 2021
If you expect to read to a charming, sweet fairy tale, a hearts and flowers kind of sweet,soft, swoon story, just close the book! And find yourself another read!
Because this is twisty, bloody bleak, harsh, dark, deliciously disturbing and dystopian version of the fairytale, a unique, creative, refreshing retelling! And I truly devoured it ! It was fun, smart, original , great work!

The book takes place in a horrifying, nightmarish world where the abusive monsters govern and the women are properties of them with no free will, independence! You can start screaming! I exactly did the same when I was reading those chapters about the king who is living breathing, detestable monster!

All those innocent women suffer from humiliation, threats and more abuse they can hardly stand for. Only way out for them attending to a ball and being chosen by proper candidate. If nobody chooses them they have to face a terrifying kind of threatening future awaits unwanted women. They get suspiciously vanished into thin air as if they have been never there at the first place.

Our Sophia is straightforward, brave, a true rebellious who is afraid of speaking from her heart is in love with childhood friend Erin but her mother pushes her to choose a boy, finding an appropriate match to marry at the ball. Of course Sophia rejects to be chosen by a guy she will never feel anything serious! She’s proud to be gay! So this is end of discussion!

She runs away from ball, hiding herself at Cinderella mausoleum, meeting with Constance , last descendant of Cinderella and her lovely (okay, I wrote it to make sure you still read my review with full attention, of course they were grumpy and irritating) step sisters. Constance is a bold, risk taker, straight forward, true vigilante who wants to fight against the patriarchy and she finds the perfect companion to complete the mission! Hurray! Girl power!

I loved this twisty version of story with great, thought provoking criticism of patriarchy and Sophia is well crafted, relatable, powerful character we may truly support and chant for!

I’m giving my four dark retelling, moving, great queer representation, riveting stars!
What a fantastic, moving, provocative, powerful ride!
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
December 28, 2020

Bueno, a ver. Esta lectura ha sido un poco montaña rusa... ¿o debería decir puenting? Durante la primera mitad estaba casi seguro de que le iba a dar cinco estrellas, a partir de ahí me chirriaron cosas y al final... uf.

Cenicienta ha muerto ha sido una novela muy comentada y recomendada. Tiene una base muy interesante: Cenicienta lleva muerta dos siglos, la sociedad es extremadamente machista y la protagonista, Sophia, detesta todo lo que sucede en ella. ¡Es que ni siquiera tiene permitido amar a quien quiera! La homosexualidad no entra ni en la conversación en su mundo, y quiere cambiar las cosas. (Porque está enamorada de su amiga, ¿vale?)

Hay tantos elementos a explotar y profundizar en este libro que creo que ese es uno de sus fallos. Realmente la autora hace que veamos un poquito de cada problemática con pequeñas escenas de abusos, maltrato, bullying y homofobia, pero siento que no llega a ser suficiente. Encierra a la protagonista en una burbuja pero no deja ver del todo la maldad y crueldad de Lille, y podría haberse solucionado fácilmente con unas cuantas páginas más de worldbuilding.


Como digo, la primera mitad de la novela me pareció de diez. No solo porque mezcla elementos que ADORO, como una protagonista harta de seguir las normas queriendo rebelarse, sino pequeñas dosis de momentos al más puro estilo La Selección de Kiera Cass, o de novelas de fantasía a las que estamos acostumbradxs, así como a los cuentos clásicos de los Grimm, entre otros. Es una mezcla de tantas cosas que el cóctel resulta transgresor y único y engancha de una manera increíble.

Sin embargo, Cenicienta ha muerto se muere por el camino. La historia pasa a convertirse en algo que sí, me gusta, pero que no tiene la misma garra que la primera mitad. Pero no solo eso: la construcción de personajes se pierde. La trama principal comienza a ocupar demasiado espacio, convirtiendo la acción de la novela en escena tras escena para alcanzar un objetivo que ni queda demasiado claro ni se sabe cómo se va a hacer, pero que la protagonista y sus aliadas se empeñan en perseguir.

Me han faltado justificaciones a actos que realizan las protagonistas. Es como si llegase un punto del libro donde se deja de lado el carácter de estas para solucionar algunas tramas. El problema de eso es que el final es abrupto, pierde un poco el sentido, y como que todo se deshincha. Parecía que iba a ir por algo como el resto del libro: coherente, bien narrado y justificado... Pero los giros del final son clichés a más no poder y es lo típico de "descubro cómo cargarme al villano en una página y a la siguiente ya me lo he cargado". GURL, WHERE'S THE CONFLICT???


Todo esto no quita que sea una novela que abogue por la inclusión y el feminismo de un modo increíble. No deja lugar a dudas de las cosas que tenemos mal en nuestra sociedad, lo muestra de un modo exagerado para que el mensaje cale. Y bravo por eso. Es un libro valiente y que te mantiene en vilo capítulo tras capítulo, y no con un estilo demasiado sencillo, he de decir. Tiene ese toque de cuento clásico de vez en cuando que hace que no sea una novela más.

En definitiva: Cenicienta ha muerto es un libro entretenido que se ajusta muy bien a lo que le exigimos a los relatos del pasado y actuales. Cumple con su función, pero falla una vez se pasa el ecuador de la novela. Y eso es todo, my friends.
Profile Image for Ari.
845 reviews183 followers
July 13, 2020
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Thank 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.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Catherine.
406 reviews136 followers
July 22, 2020
I did it. I finished this book. This rating is painful for me, because I was honestly expecting to at least like it. This isn't an awful book, but I usually follow the goodreads rating system and one star doesn't always mean I hate it. It can also mean that I didn't like anything about the story and the characters. I considered giving it two stars for the representation, which is the only good thing about this book, but I decided that would be condescending instead of supportive - which doesn't mean I don't understand why people gave it two stars instead of one for this reason.

Cinderella Is Dead is a book that many people have been talking about before it was released, which is normal: a Cinderella retelling with a twist, girls fighting patriarchy, a black heroine and a f/f romance, of course I was excited to read it too. While Cinderella has never been one of my favorites fairytales, I do love retellings and the whole point of it is that it can make something you weren't that crazy about so much more interesting. Unfortunately, I realized very fast that this book wasn't for me. Literally nothing is working, everything I was expecting and excited for fell flat.

The heroine is totally uninteresting, which is mostly due to the writing. This is the author's debut, which leaves room for improvement and I hope this will be the case. I don't want the author to tell me things, I want the author to show me those things. I don't want the author to tell me why the heroine do this or think a certain way, I want the author to show it to me, to give the heroine a real personality and story that explains her thoughts and actions. It's to the point that instead of rooting for Sophia to rebel against misogyny and homophobia, I found her annoying. Why does Sophia rebel? Because this is an awful society to live in? That would make sense and it was what I wanted, but here it's because I'm told that awful people would never let her be happy. Show me, don't just tell me.

The society Sophia lives in is also a caricature. Like, honestly, I was supposed to be revolted, right? But instead, I was just rolling my eyes at how every man in this book (except three of them) was so misogynistic and homophobic. I think that since we already live in a society full of that discrimination, the caricature wasn't needed to understand how awful it is. And the villain is no exception when it comes to the caricature. It would probably make a good Disney movie, and I love Disney movies, but that's not what I wanted from this book. In fact, the writing, the plot, the characters: I felt like I was reading a MG book, not a YA book. There's absolutely nothing wrong with MG of course, they're just not my favorite books and not what I was expecting when I picked this book.

Is it saved by an amazing f/f romance? Unfortunately, no. Sophia forgets her first love interest as soon as she meets another girl, and bam, instalove. Said love interest has no more depth than Sophia or any other character in this book, and I didn't care about them. In fact, the only characters that seemed to be interesting (Luke and Fairy Godmother) are barely there. The other point that got on my nerves was the french names of characters and places mixed with others names that are definitely not french. I don't really see the point, and it just serves to make the world-building even weaker.

Probably my biggest disappointment of the year, I know this book is already loved by many readers and I'm glad they had a great time reading this book. I don't think many people will be happy with my rating, but that's okay, I'm prepared.
Profile Image for ☆Pelumi☆.
265 reviews324 followers
July 2, 2021
“Do not be silent. Raise your voice. Be a light in the dark.”

Wowwww this was so amazing that i cant even put it into words😭😭
It engages feminism, homophobia and lies in such a way that it's not only intriguing but beautiful!

I loved the main character and I could relate to her throughout the story. She grows up seeing her world through a perspective that is proved to be made up. She's fighting every form of prejudice put her way but will she succeed??
What's the price to knowing the full truth??

I love this retelling because there's absolutely no prince charming! Instead we get a wholesome Sapphic romance because Kalynn is that queen!
Our main character is feminist, lesbian and bad ass, what's not to love?

Tbh, if you loved Cinderella don't read this. It might disturb you a bit because this Cinderella retelling is dark and deep.

Once again, this author has given me a beautiful story and a beautiful cover. I stan!
Profile Image for Lex Kent.
1,682 reviews8,871 followers
July 6, 2020
3.50 Stars. I’m a huge fan of fairytale retellings so this was one of my more anticipated books of the year. I noticed that the early reviews seemed to be a bit mixed. People either loved the book or didn’t seem to like it much at all. I was wondering where I was going to fall and it looks like I came in right in the middle. I liked the read but I didn’t love it like I was hoping to.

I thought the premise was great and I liked this unique spin on Cinderella. The problem I had was that I was hoping for more world building. Maybe it’s the fantasy geek in me but that is always important to me. Because the world building was lacking, the world seemed so small. A Kingdom, and some woods and that were basically it. There is talk about a book that one of the character’s families made on their travels. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really lead to anything which is a shame because I loved the potential there.

I also thought that the characters could use some meat on them. I liked the main Sophia and I liked that she wanted to take down the evil patriarchy, but why? Just because she doesn’t like how crappy things are. I wanted to know what really drove her, where her inner strength came from and I wanted to see her character grow more. This was so very similar to the world building because what was there about the characters were nice, but I wanted and needed more.

I was very happy with the pace of the book. Even at times when I was a little frustrated or I thought something was too predictable, I was still flying through the pages. The story is very easy to read and it never bogged down anywhere. Any fantasy fan knows how fantasy can slow way down, so this pace was a pleasant surprise.

There is a WLW romance in this book. I don’t know why but every romance in a YA fantasy I have been reading lately has been too insta-love. This is a fairytale and I expected quick, but this was too fast. One look and our main is over her ex in a heartbeat. On the good side, if you can get past the insta-love, I found the romance to be sweet. If only it had more time for a connection to build I would have enjoyed it so much more.

My favorite part ended up being a person and that was the fairy godmother. I loved the twist from the story of what she actually was. I won’t go into much here since I don’t want to spoiler anything but she was the best part of this book for me. Finally, the book didn’t seem so predictable and she was by far the most interesting character. There was some good stuff in this book with tons of potential, but it just didn’t all come together.

This ended up being a slightly above average YA fantasy read for me. There are issues with this story but I think I would still recommend this to fans of fairytale retellings. It’s very readable with a nice fast pace, just be prepared for some bumps.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.
October 17, 2021

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DNF @ 15%

I'm sorry to say I didn't really care for this book and maybe part of that is because I read THIS POISON HEART first, which I really liked. By contrast, CINDERELLA IS DEAD comes across as woefully unpolished and boring. I do really like the idea of a dystopian society that has essentially made the Cinderella fairytale their doctrine in a bizarre Bachelorette like ball culture, but this story mostly feels like it's all ideas and no execution. I didn't find the story or the characters compelling enough to continue. Her follow-up is much, much better, which is only testament to the author's skills as a writer.

1.5 to 2 stars
Profile Image for AbbysBooks.
78 reviews2,974 followers
August 16, 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed the first few chapters of this book, I was instantly captivated and moved by the authors powerful words that held true not just within the story.
I did feel as though the story began to fall a little flat after the initial world building and character constructions (which were fantastic) but I enjoyed the narrative and the inclusivity of the story. I loved the re-imagination of the classic tale and was left feeling inspired.
Profile Image for Kezia Duah.
391 reviews342 followers
July 5, 2022
This was so exciting!! I want to get alternate stories of all the popular Disney stories, where like this one the villains are completely unexpected. Sofia found out the hard way that Cinderella’s story is not the happy fairytale we all know. They live in a kingdom where women are treated so horribly, and she has recognized this for basically all her life. I could feel her passion for trying to change this and this made the adventure a really fun one to read. I also enjoyed the twists we got here and there throughout the book. There was definitely a lot of creativity exuding from this book and we love to see it!!

Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
July 4, 2023
Cinderella Is Dead is set in a stark-Fantasy world, 200-years after the legendary Cinderella's happily ever after with Prince Charming.

We follow 16-year old, Sophia, who on the eve of her first Ball, can think only of how she wants to be with her girlfriend, Erin, forever after, not with some man, or boy, she doesn't even know.

Even though it's risky, Sophia pleads with Erin to run away with her. Erin refuses. In their society it is treacherous to be different; to want something different for their lives. Erin is scared to be caught, to put herself and her family at risk.

Within the kingdom, all young ladies of a certain age are required to attend the King's Annual Ball, where they are paraded around in the hopes of being selected to be a man's wife. They are given a limited number of chances. If not selected, it's sort of unclear what becomes of them, but many forfeited girls are never heard from again.

The girls are chosen for completely superficial reasons, so it's important to look your best; to be seen, but not heard.

On the night of their Ball, one of Sophia and Erin's friends isn't as prepared as she should be. The King reacts harshly and the poor girl's fate is sealed.

After witnessing the King's cruelty, and the citizens impotence in the face of such evil, Sophia can't stand it anymore. She makes up her mind that she needs to get away. Feeling she has no other option, refusing to bow to these ridiculous traditions, Sophia runs.

Now a wanted criminal, on her own for the first time, outside the grip of the kingdom, Sophia begins to learn more about the kingdom's history and finds that the lore the society is based upon is nothing but a bag of lies.

Together with her new friend, Constance, Sophia vows to return to the kingdom and dismantle the hurtful, unfair and savage system. It may not be easy though, as the King's power stems for a formidable and unusual place.

While this started strong for me, with an intriguing premise and set-up, the further I got into the story, the more it lost my interest.

By the end, I was ready to move on. I still think this is a solid idea and build-up, however the final execution just didn't match my tastes.

As the story opens, I was intrigued by the system and I still find that interesting. I also like how Bayron framed the society around the legend of Cinderella. It was a clever plot device for setting the stage for some serious examination of a patriarchal society.

I also really enjoyed and appreciated how well the dystopian tone blended with the fantastical backdrop. That was nicely done.

I think where this started to lose me was the melodramatic interactions between Sophia and Constance. I didn't like Constance at all. I was disturbed at how quickly Sophia shoved aside her once-proclaimed super powerful feelings for Erin the second she met Constance.

That didn't feel genuine. It kind of turned me off to both characters. I also didn't vibe with how quickly and easily the girls seemed to be able to overpower, or influence, others. This was especially evident in the final scenes, although I don't want to say too much here because, spoilers.

Overall, I think this was creative and had a very solid set-up. The ideas explored were interesting and I loved the use of the actual fairy tale to set up the basis for the functioning of this system.

Even though the execution of this didn't quite blow me away, I am still definitely looking forward to reading more from this author!!
Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,221 reviews868 followers
August 27, 2023
On my blog.

Rep: Black lesbian mc, lesbian li, gay side character

CWs: misogyny, domestic abuse, racism, homophobia, implied suicide of a side character, death

Galley provided by publisher

Cinderella 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.
Profile Image for Romie.
1,093 reviews1,269 followers
October 12, 2020
I want you to understand that giving this book such a low rating does not make me happy. I thought the first 1/3 was very engaging, fast paced, and I really liked all the characters introduced.
but the other 2/3 simply did not do it for me. I thought the story was extremely predictable (not one plot twist shocked me) and everything was too much on the surface. the characters felt very much 2 dimensional, and some of their actions did not make sense. some characters were vilified simply to make other characters shine brighter; and the insta love was too much.
it’s a nice story, it reads quickly, but I kept thinking ‘what the fuck did the editor do? nothing.’ it was painfully obvious that this book needed a lot of editing.
I will be reading the other books Kalynn Bayron will write, because I definitely see the potential (2.5)
Profile Image for Angela Staudt.
396 reviews107 followers
June 18, 2020
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.
Profile Image for stu .
127 reviews382 followers
July 28, 2021

1. DO SOPHIA AND CONTANCE END UP TOGETHER? They have to end up together or i might go on a murder spree👀

BR with Bonnie! <3

“Do not be silent. Raise your voice. Be a light in the dark.”

Trigger Warning
Animal death, Arranged marriages, Corpse description, Death, Domestic abuse, Homophobia, Kidnapping, Misogyny, Murder, Physical assault, Selling people and Sexual assault (nonconsensual kissing)

BEWARE: there is gonna be a lot of the knife emoji around so don't mind! 🔪

okie now lets start!

~4 Stars~

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron, my first cinderella retelling I think, i liked it. I LOVED THE PLOT TWISTS!, THEY WERE LIKE YASSSS! I also loved all the characters!, they were awesome! except for prince charming! 👀🔪 U'll see why! 👀

~The Plot~
The book started with Sophia and Erin somewhere near the palace i think. They ran when they thought the guards were after them! Sophia went to town to get her dress for the ball fitted. Some stuff happened in the middle that i don't think was that important. Sophia went to the ball with Erin, and they had a fight in the carriage! (ALL ERIN'S FAULT!) They got to the ball, and this guy Sophia's mom had asked to take to lace shop before said that he'd marry her, and then they would runaway. BUT that didn't work out, cause Sophia's friend Liv was taken away by the king because she was underdressed (later she was killed🔪🔪) Anyway the guy she was gonna marry was taken away, and Sophia ran away. Where she met Constance ❤️ and Sophia and Constance went places to try to figure out how to stop the king aka prince charming, on there there way they also met Amina aka the fairy godmother.

IT'S AWESOME!, THE PLOT'S AWESOME! i couldn't find the right gif (it's suppsed to say this is awesome right?), so this is apparently the closest i could find or not idk

~My Thought's on the Plot~
I really enjoyed the plot!, it didn't go too fast or too slow which I liked cause nowadays i seem to read books where the plot starts by going slow and then it keeps a good pace which annoys me a lot!, so this is was good cause the plot went at the same pace throughout the book! And overall the whole story was enjoying and engaging!, the characters were all awesome too!, except for one person!, who hopefully know's who he is 🔪 (This so weird it's prince charming!)

~Plot Twists~
I'm adding this for some reason! :) this is one reason this review is in the full spoiler thingy! DO NOT READ THIS PART IF U HAVE NO READ THE BOOK PLS!

1. PRINCE CHARMING'S EVIL! (WOAH, i want to kill him so bad)
3. The evil step mother's are not evil (This was not the most surprising plot twist but it still surprising)
4. PRINCE CHARMING killed Cinderella's mother (when i found out it left me hanging like why did cinderella marry prince charming then? why cinderella? she was charmed into marrying him

“It's risky...But sometimes that's the only way to get things done. Take the risk, light the fuse. Onward.”


SHE'S BADASS!, I LOVE HER!, SO BRAVE! (I need to chill with the caps since there will be a lot more caps are u read along) I really, really love how brave she is!, i love it so much!, (I also need to chill with the love!, because she's not the only one who's supposed to get that!) I really liked that she was outgoing, and didn't like being confined, to a destiny she didn't want!, I admire that bout her a lot!, it was one of the quality's i extremly liked!

“And you're not lost?"
"Maybe I am. But the difference is that I want to be found. I'm not happy pretending everything is fine when I know it's not."
"And just who is it that you suppose will find you?"
"It'll be me. I will find myself.”

I PRETTY MUCH HATE HER! She's so annoying, and just because she is not brave enough to run away doesn't mean she has to pull Sophia down with her! Ugh! ERIN I'M SORRY ACTUALLY I'M NOT BUT U DON'T DESERVE SOPHIA! U PULL HER DOWN. Plus Erin wants to be normal. DOESN'T SHE KNOW NORMAL IS BORING ERIN STAND UP FOR URSELF! pls don't make me pity u

“We are all trapped here, our stories already written.”

I LOVE HER!, I LOVE ALL OF HER!, HER PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING, okay i need to chill, she's is very brave, and i really like that about her like so much!, I love her energy!, and how she kinda helped Sophia after she ran from the ball. that was so sweet!, btw i starting shipping them form that part! ❤️ She went through a though-ish childhood, and there she was being so good, and cool! SHE'S AWESOME!, LIKE SERIOUSLY AWESOME!

Prince Charming

Amina aka Fairy Godmother
(PLS SAY THIS HER NAME, IM GONNA BE SUPER EMBARRASSED IF I FORGOT HER NAME) I have no idea how to feel bout her. dO I like like her? do i not like her? i have no idea, i also have no idea why i included her, i have no idea how i feel bout her. let's try again. I always had this weird sneaky feeling that she wasn't really telling Sophia and Constance who she fully really was!, and i was right! SHE WAS PRINCE CHARMING'S MOTHER, when they reunited

The ending was brilliant and also sucked at the same time, it was mostly those last 20 pages of the book!, that made me feel things, that were not supposed to be felt. like seriously it broke part of me, but it also me, want to throw the book as far away as i could throw. such a weird feeling, so weird.

From the beginning, for some reason this never happens, but i never shipped Sophia and Erin, usually if someone likes someone i ship them and if one of the someones changes i change my ship. I'm pretty sure barely made any sense but pls go with it, but in this book it never happened cause i never shipped Sophia and Erin! I WILL ALWAYS TOTALLY SHIP SOPHIA AND CONSTANCE! THEY WERE MEANT TO FIND EACH OTHER!<3


“I don't want to be saved by some knight in shining armour. I'd like to be the one in the armour, and I'd like to be the one doing the saving.”

Overall, this book was awesome!, and this was a very awesome cinderella retelling, and it was within my standards, cause cinderella is my favorite fairy tale, so i kinda did have high expectations for this, and it pretty much hit them. Also the plot twists were awesome, like so much!, LASTLY GO READ THIS BOOK IS AWESOME, U'LL LOVE IT HOPEFULLY U WILL! PLS LOVE IT!

btw i like putting reactions, cause i find the gifs soo funny, and i have a gifs on reviews obsession and i need to feed it somehow!

This kinda also has spoilers, so u probably shouldn't read this part either if u haven't read the book yet pls, this is for u not to get spoiled

Prince Charming's Evil

Cinderella Married Him Even Though He Was Evil

Prince Charming Killed Cinderella's Mother

The fairy godmother aka Amina is prince charming mother

Cinderella's evil step-sisters weren't really evil

When prince charming was trying to hurt Sophia




(It’s 1 am, and apparently everything’s in caps so don’t mind)

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Julezreads.
229 reviews913 followers
October 20, 2022
Potenzial, Potenzial, so viel Potenzial. Was vor allem an der originellen Grundidee einer düsteren Cinderella-Neuschreibung und der unterschwelligen feministischen Botschaft liegt. Das Buch und ich hatten unsere Startschwierigkeiten, vor allem weil meinem Eindruck nach viel gesagt wurde, wie das Leben für Sophia ist und wer ihre Bezugspersonen sind, aber wenig davon nachvollziehbar !gezeigt! wurde, sodass ich emotional involviert worden wäre. So muss ich leider insgesamt sagen, dass zu viele Charaktere mir zu zweidimensional erschienen, nur wenige konnte ich wirklich greifen. Insbesondere die Männer im Buch werden als grundlegend schlecht charakterisiert - einige Graustufen, hätten der Geschichte eventuell Tiefen verliehen. Einige Plottwists sorgten für Spannung und später auch, dass die Geschichte mich in ihren Sog ziehen konnte. Grundsätzlich war sie nämlich durchaus logisch konzipiert. Als eine neue, dystopische Sicht auf eine alte Geschichte wartete sie mit Überraschungsmomenten und vielen neuartigen Elementen. Bis zum Schluss wollte der Funke bei mir nicht überspringen, aber das Potenzial und der Grundgedanke hinter dieser Geschichte hat mir extrem gut gefallen.
Profile Image for Ferhora.
73 reviews5 followers
March 29, 2023
Kolejna toksyczna książeczka, ucząca młode dziewczynki nienawiści do mężczyzn.

W zeszłym roku czytałam "Pod Taflą" o syrenkach i mordowaniu mężczyzn za samo ich plugawe istnienie. Tutaj jest podobnie. Płeć męska to brutalne, bezmózgie sku*wysyny, do których można czuć jedynie odrazę i nienawiść. Biją, poniżają, molestują i wykorzystują kobiety, które tyrają na swoich mężów i winne są im najwyższe posłuszeństwo. Szczególnie wobec króla, bo to samiec alfa samców alfa. Nie ma tu dobrych postaci męskich, ponieważ ci bohaterowie, którzy przejawiają jakieś minimalne ilości empatii i człowieczeństwa, są jednocześnie albo bezwolnymi golemami pozbawionymi własnej opinii albo rasowymi podnóżkami, bezradnymi wobec okrutnego systemu. Jednocześnie nie grają absolutnie żadnej roli w tej powieści, są jedynie szufladkowani pod hasłem "może gdzieś tam są dobrzy mężczyźni, ale ciężko mi w to uwierzyć" (parafraza przemyśleń protagonistki). Jedna z dwóch chyba pozytywnych postaci męskich jest gejem, bo wiadomo, że w świecie feminizmu to szczebel wyżej od heteronormalików. Kobiety są silne, a ich złośliwość czy agresja wynikają wyłącznie z zastraszenia, bo tak naprawdę byłyby super babkami o krystalicznych charakterach.

Książka w nadmierny sposób pokazuje przemoc i całkowitą bierność wobec niej. Główna bohaterka, Sophia, buntowniczka z urodzenia, zakochuje się w Constance, bo podziwia ją za to, że mogłaby zarżnąć mężczyznę jak prosiaka w miejskiej alejce. Podobnie jak w "Pod taflą" tutaj o sile kobiety decyduje jej morderczość wobec płci męskiej, a nie determinacja do obalenia systemu.

W skrócie, wszyscy mężczyźni są źli, więc trzeba się ich pozbyć.
All men must die.

Na domiar złego zakończenie książki ma bardzo niebezpieczny wydźwięk. Mianowicie po obaleniu patriarchatu (poprzez zabicie władcy, bo przecież wiadomo, że dekapitacja głowy państwa kończy wszystkie problemy, czyż nie?) główne bohaterki obejmują władzę, znoszą obowiązkową lekturę oficjalnie zatwierdzonej bajki o Kopciuszku, a zamiast tego wprowadzają "prawdziwą historię" do ogólnego dostępu, w której jest napisane, że - UWAGA! - od tej pory Constance przewodziła radzie i działali wyłącznie na korzyść obywateli. Czy to nie brzmi znajomo? Władza, która sama o sobie mówi, że jest sprawiedliwa i działa wyłącznie w imieniu dobra obywateli i jest to oficjalny dokument? Z pewnością wszyscy mieszkańcy od tej pory żyli w wiecznym szczęściu, pod nowymi dobrymi rządami pełnych nienawiści kobiet?... Oczywiście jest też wzmianka o tłumieniu buntu przez nową królową na czele. "I żyli długo i szczęśliwie, choć nie wszyscy". Tak się właśnie rodzi kolejne ekstremistyczne państwo.

Pomijam już fakt, że rewolucja dokonuje się błyskawicznie za sprawą uprzedniej dekapitacji władcy oraz późniejszej płomiennej przemowy głównej bohaterki. Ot, szesnastolatkom najwyraźniej się wydaje, że wystarczy trochę pokrzyczeć, żeby zmienić świat. To tylko świadczy o poziomie dojrzałości autorki i jej kompletnym braku zrozumienia, co się właściwie dzieje na świecie.

Podsumowując, warto uświadamiać ludzi o panującej nierówności i zagrzewać ich do walki z krzywdzącym systemem, ale NIE W TAKI SPOSÓB. Jedyne, co ta książka może zdziałać, to krzewić nienawiść, pokazując świat w krzywym zwierciadle.
No i najważniejsze - PATRIARCHAT SZKODZI WSZYSTKIM, również mężczyznom, od których wymaga się konkretnej postawy, często bardzo krzywdzącej dla nich samych, a matriarchat wcale nie by��by lepszy, bo to wciąż ustanawianie wyższości jednej płci nad innymi. Tego typu treści ukrywane są pod płaszczykiem rzekomego feminizmu, a nierzadko bliżej im do neonazistowskich idei.

Chyba zrobię oddzielną półkę na toxic booki. Przyda się jako ostrzeżenie.
Profile Image for Lamaleluna.
296 reviews1,185 followers
October 19, 2022
Esperaba un poco más de este libro, eso sin duda 😬🙃

Cinderella ha muerto es un Retelling de Cenicienta, de fantasía, autoconclusivo y LGBT. Es decir, tenía todo lo que tiene que tener un libro para que a mí me guste.
Y la verdad es que me dió bastante igual.

En este reino la historia de Cenicienta es como la biblia. Ya pasaron 200 alos desde que Cenicienta murió y todo lo que hace la gente está bastante en su relato. Todos los años el rey organiza un baile dónde las mujeres deben ser elegidas por un hombre que será su marido. Para ellas es obligatorio asistir y si después de 3 bailes seguidas no son elegidas la desgracia eterna les espera.

Sophia no quiere asistir a los bailes, quiere revelarse y escapar del reino junto a la chica que ama. Pero romper las reglas no va a ser tarea fácil porque está estrictamente prohibido no obedecer las órdenes del rey.

Mi mayor problema con el libro es que todo le salía fácil a las protagonistas. Se proponían algo y casi que no tenían impedimento y al capítulo siguiente ya lo habían conseguido. La trama la noté muy débil y el final también. Demasiado poco creíble.😬

Si hubieron cosas que me gustaron y fue entretenido. Pero no mucho más. Seguro que en un mes ya me olvidé los nombres de los personajes. No fue un libro que me haya dejado nada, fue como si nunca lo hubiera leído. 😔

En general lo recomiendo si quieren algo pasajero para leer o quieren practicar leer en inglés (lo leí en inglés y eso estuvo genial). Pero no es la gran cosa.. si quieren leer un buen Retelling de Cenicienta lean Cinder y si quieren un libro de fantasía autoconclusivo LGBT lean Carry on.

Si me gustó la incorporación del personaje del hada madrina. Es el primer Retelling de Cenicienta que leo que le da importancia al hada y estuvo bueno lo que contaron sobre ella acá.☺️
Aunque todos los personajes me quedaron un poco planos y sin mucha personalidad o muy estereotipados 😬

Yo leyendo Cenicienta ha muerto: 😬🙃😔🤔🙄
Profile Image for Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨.
1,097 reviews673 followers
April 20, 2021

I am an absolute sucker for any kind of fairy tale retelling, especially one that promises to turn the fairy tale completely on its head like this one did. And on that promise it did deliver, I'll give it that much. But there was nothing else that appealed to me whatsoever, sadly...

👎 What I Disliked 👎

Characters: First of all, I didn't really like any of the characters in this book aside from Luke, who is only a minor character. Second of all, none of the characters have any particular arc, they don't evolve, they don't grow, they don't learn. The were just static all the way through, no development at all.

World building: I really wished the world had been build a lot better. It's an intriguing premise - a world that revolves around the idolization of a fairytale. But that's just about all we know of this world. We don't know much of the history, of the geography, of the demography, of the magic. It's all just a blank space, where a few bits and pieces are thrown at us randomly without any explanation or context. It felt disjointed.

Sophia: Sophia really rubbed me the wrong way. She had a superiority complex, especially when it comes to her 'friend' Erin. Erin tells her loud and clear what it is that she wants, but Sophia chooses to ignore everything she says because she thinks she knows best. That really irked me multiple times. Like, how can you think that's okay? How can you think that's love? When the one you love tells you, she doesn't want the same thing you want, why are you still pushing her to go against her own conscience and wishes? I really did not like Sophia...

Chemistry: Sophia ends up shifting her affections from Erin to the mysteries stranger, Constance. For no apparent reason that I could find, except for the fact that they are both queer. I didn't feel any attraction of any chemistry between the two. It felt completely out of the blue, with no preamble or build up.

The king: Our antagonist is the king of this underdeveloped world. He is diabolical and tyrannical, holding the women of his kingdom on a tight leash. once it's revealed why he behaves like this, I was stunned. Because it made absolutely no sense. I couldn't follow the reasoning, it seemed to lax and illogical.

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Profile Image for Claire ✨.
284 reviews56 followers
November 22, 2020
Sloppy execution of every facet of CINDERELLA IS DEAD will disappoint.

You had me at Black queer girl in pretty dresses within fantasy fairy tale setting.

You lost me at shallow world-building, superficial characters, and a generic villain.

In a dystopian world ruled by the parameters of the two-hundred-year-old tale of Cinderella, sixteen year old girls attend the grand annual ball, where they either surrender to the claim of a man, or become forfeit. Cinderella cynic Sophia escapes the ball at risk to her own life to find a way to overthrow the tyrannical king, at risk of a fate worse than death...

With a cool premise like that, and a cover so pretty, I couldn't say no; I have a track record with girls in dresses AND illustrated covers, and this hits both out of the park. Kudos to the artist and designers. Unfortunately, the content therein is not as pretty or as promising as the cover makes it seem. In fact, I'd go as far to say that frankly it was downright awful.

Sadly CINDERELLA IS DEAD rushes through anything and everything that would be interesting in favour of a half-baked plot, underdeveloped characters and a tiring number of convenient coincidences that attempt to propel the stale story. Want to know more about the world? Well, it's misogynistic, homophobic... probably inspired by France... and that's it. Otherwise it's Generic Fantasy Land #365. Absolutely nothing goes to bat for it besides its fairy tale inspirations, and so it isn't a lofty goal to expect it's wondrous, glittering premise to pull you in, but even that is executed sloppily.

As a warning to anyone thinking of reading, if you're looking for a YA fantasy where sexuality is a non-topic and gay people can do cool stuff and wear pretty dresses without having to explain their existence, this is most definitely not the read for you. Because the world-building is so piteously non-existent, it almost seems like there's nothing to this world but misogyny and homophobia, like it's a prop to fill the gap where world-building should be. The entire culture of the city of Lille is based around a hatred of women and LGBT+ people, and not at all escapist, if that's what you're looking for.

On a related note, all the male characters in this story, bar three (one of which is gay, the other two of which are fathers to good characters), are absolutely awful, to hilariously bad levels. They're foaming their pig-headedness from the mouth. Look how awful these characters are! They hate gay people! And women! They say and do horrible things! Yes, I don't need this to be anvil-dropped on me, thank you.

All right, so maybe the world is meh, but good characters can save a world... but not in this book. Sophia is simply mediocre as a protagonist. I didn't love or hate her; her voice will eventually blend with other 1POV voices (you can tell this is Bayron's YA debut by the writing style). The side characters were equally, if not more, one-dimensional. Love interest pseudo-Merida Constance is super beautiful and quick to anger, and lacks any kind of depth or development. The evil king as the main antagonist is absolutely laughable; take every single bad trait in the personality dictionary and roll them into one character, give him a motivation as solid as a soggy loaf, and bibbity-bobbity-boo, here's your slapdash, run-on-the-mill villain. No nuance or depth to him whatsoever. No point talking about Luke or Sophia's friends, because they, too, are fodder for the plot. Fairy godmother Amina is probably the one character who could've been interesting, but is unfortunately squandered as there's no deeper exploration of her character or motivations.

Sophia's aspirations are a lonely one: take down the king and change the kingdom. However, you cannot convince me that she was the only person in the entire city who didn't have ideas of dissent. The way she was written, experiencing isolation and ostracism for her ambitious goals, made it sound like that even at her young age, she was the only smart person, in a sea of sycophants, who wouldn't prostrate to the king with the slightest provocation. Later on a 'resistance' is quickly tacked onto the story, but they needed a more present role. The way it stands, Sophia inadvertently seems like she's Not Like Other Girls instead of the unintentional leader of a revolution.

The romance between Sophia and Constance was so tepid, instant and lacking in chemistry that I have nothing else to add there. The plot, meanwhile, isn't so much a plot but a linear walkway riddled with conveniences. "We need to find the fairy godmother's cottage, which hasn't been seen for hundreds of years... oh, found it!" "We'll never know the original tale of Cinderella... ah, never mind, Constance had the true story all along!" Come. On. At least try to make it sound like the characters had agency and discovered things through their own merit. Sophia also often makes questionable decisions, like deciding, despite the giant bounty on her head, to risk going into town to see someone, which was all for nothing anyway. I will say that the twist at the end surprised me, but honestly, I started to skim-read about halfway, so I probably missed all the hints and foreshadowing, if there was any at all.

Overall, I really wanted to like this, but sadly the only thing CINDERELLA IS DEAD has going for it is that it's a standalone, and there's no more books to come next from this underdeveloped, bland world.

A sad one star. I still think I'd rather read this than INFINITY SON again though.

WILL I READ MORE BY THIS AUTHOR? On the fence. I think I'll wait until Bayron has a few more books out before trying her work again.

eARC received from Bloomsbury YA via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This title released 6th August 2020.

Profile Image for Lucy Tonks.
503 reviews741 followers
July 17, 2021
I have a very deep hatred for these characters.


Cinderella was one of my favourite stories growing up, so this better be good.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
September 3, 2021
This was such a fun take on Cinderella! From the beginning, I was hooked on this story and this society that was so obsessed with Cinderella's tale. I loved Sophia and how she was trying everything in her power to get out of following in Cinderella's footsteps and being with the one she loved. There was plenty of action in here and I loved the twists at the end of the book. The pacing wasn't perfect and some parts moved too fast while others were too slow, but overall I really enjoyed this story! This reminded me how much I love YA fantasy and how I really need to pick up more!
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