Book Review: Cinderella is dead by Kaylin Bayron

Genre: Fantasy/YA

Plot: 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 …

An electrifying twist on the classic fairytale that will inspire girls to break out of limiting stereotypes and follow their dreams!

Rating: 5/5

My verdict: FINALLY AN LGBTQ CINDERELLA RETELLING! It’s totally worth the hype. Not only does it deal with LGBTQ issues and have a main strong independent heroine that happens to be a person of colour but it looks at the darkness behind the original Grimms tales. On the surface it seemed like a Romeo and Juliet story but once you scratch the surface it touches on dark magic, misogyny, a power hungry tyrant and how sometimes we aren’t told the truth behind especially by politicians. It reminded me of 1984 by George Orwell. Especially as all the girls were supposed to be obedient and submissive, obey and how they were oppressed and kept in line because that’s what the king thinks best for them. The women were treated as property of the kingdom and having no free will and once they’ve served their purpose they are disposed of and never heard of again, quite similar to themes found in the Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood. They don’t expect women to fight back until we meet Sophia and Constance and because they are broad minded knowing that to be married off to men, the seed is planted in them and that is how the kings reign begins to unravel. Ultimately this story is about not taking things on face value and the majority of the time people have secret agendas whilst only presenting one.

To simplify it; The hero May not always be the hero and the villain may not as be so monstrous as they make out and it is in fact the other way around. As we know their are two sides to a coin and this will question everything you thought they new about fairytales. I would say, almost like a feminist retelling with themes of rebelling against society rules and expectations. If you loved A Curse so dark and lonely, The Princess will save you and Bring me their hearts, you’ll adore this novel with its kick ass heroines sticking two fingers up at the patriarchy. I read it in a day. I hope there is a sequel, I’d love for Constance and Sophia to uncover the truth behind more of our fairytales. Overall, stunning debut for Kaylynn Bayron questioning our history and societies expectations. This book is aimed at teens but can be enjoyed by adults too with some very prevalent themes relating to these troubling times. I cannot recommended this book enough.

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