Review: Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

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Goodreads | Waterstones

It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.
Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball . are forfeit.
But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world.

I’ve heard mixed things about this but I honestly really enjoyed it. I read most of it in a day and if I didn’t have so much going on, would have probably finished it in the same day rather than two days. I loved the characters, I found it easy to read, fast paced and couldn’t put it down!

We follow Sophia, a Queer Black girl in a world dominated by men. Taking inspiration from Cinderella’s story, who died 200 years prior to this book, their world is very focused on marrying a man and settling down. Women are oppressed and being Queer is not seen as an option. But Sophia is ready to fight back.

I don’t want to be saved by some knight in shining armour.

I loved the way this book twisted the fairytale of Cinderella and gave it a whole new meaning, while also creating a whole world and patriarchy inspired by the tale itself. The retelling of Cinderella is quite dark and creepy, but I enjoyed the twisted side of it. This book as a whole was very powerful and some of the scenes in particular I loved and could picture very vividly. I really felt for the women in this world and I loved the main character of Sophia.

Sophia was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in and I really admired that about her. Seeing a strong, female, badass, Black main character is so amazing to see in YA and I love her as a role model for younger readers. My only criticism is this book did lack a little character development and didn’t make full use of the side characters, which was a shame as I found some of their dynamics really interesting.

 I’d like to be the one in the armour, and I’d like to be the one doing the saving.

However, it is worth remembering this book is fairly short and almost doesn’t have the space to deep dive into characters or setting. I actually enjoyed how punchy it was and flew through it. I would highly recommend this one for an accessible fantasy read with kick-ass Black women taking down the patriarchy!

4 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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One thought on “Review: Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

  1. Pingback: June Wrap-Up + July TBR – The Books are Everywhere

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