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Our TMS Reads > Jan/Feb Book: Cinder, Chapters 35-38

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message 1: by Hana (new)

Hana b (tzveyah) | 164 comments comment on chapters 35-38, no spoilers please!


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Pavia-higel | 68 comments For those of you who have completed the book. What were your thoughts?


message 3: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendy_miller) | 4 comments I only finished it a few minutes ago, and am a bit stunned at the suddenness of the end. I'm not keen on cliffhangers, I tend to think of them as the least tactful way of enticing readers to get the next book, and usually think less favourably of authors that bash their readers with them.


message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (ribbonquest) | 56 comments I read the book in December, so I'm not rereading with the group. I'm still waiting for my turn at the sequel audiobook from my library, which is apparently about a Little Red Riding Hood type character?

I don't usually read sci-fi. Cinder certainly tested my limits. So much tech talk and icky medical stuff! The romantic stuff was pretty typical but I suspect that's the only reason I made it through. The whole time, with the moon people, I was picturing the aliens from the anime Fantastic Children. Which even has the "missing princess raised by humans" similarity.


message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan (candystripe_legs) | 39 comments I tore right through it, it is a really fast read.

I think I'm probably too old for it. The romance part was really undeveloped; Kai and Cinder had very similar voices and personalities, and it isn't like they really got to know each other. Maybe I'm a grump but I just didn't see what was special, or cared.

I also thought the world building was very poor. How the legal system around cyborgs worked, why the Lunars are such a threat, why the Earth is so weak and defenseless- it's all skimmed over. We don't even know there's food shortages or an energy crisis until the end at a ball because it's in a speech. Otherwise everyone seems to be living pretty comfortably and in total admiration of a monarchy that is failing them. Cinder's family is supposed to be poor but they have androids and seamstresses, and doesn't seem to starve. It was all tell and little show.

I liked some of the techy stuff, like what Cinder's computer brain and scanners could do. Cyborgs squick me out, but I do enjoy reading about them. The book was also easy to breeze through and held my attention, obviously. I would have enjoyed it in high school, I think, but for me it isn't good as a sci-fi or really as a romance. I don't really care enough to seek out the sequel.


message 6: by Holley (new)

Holley | 21 comments I am probably too old for it too, or at least, well beyond the target audience. I might have loved it in middle school/high school. I am planning to have my tween read this book before I return it to the library: she loves Cinderella stories (I'm more of a Beauty and the Beast girl) and had seen this book in one of her magazines.

As I was reading, I predicted just about everything in the book, and perhaps that is because I've read so much. I'm wondering if my daughter will catch the foreshadowing.

I did like that the step-mother, while terrible, was not completely one-dimensional.

I agree that the world building was lacking. I was interested in her jailbreak, but then the book ended. I think I am interested enough to pick up the sequels. Maybe some things will be fleshed out more. What does the abbreviation T.E. mean for purposes of time-keeping?

Overall, I thought it was a nice, light enjoyable read.


message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Pavia-higel | 68 comments Holley and Megan,
Our reactions are very similar. I think that this is a premise that had potential but could have been better executed. Holley, I too was reading this thinking, "I'm a little too old to buy this". Sigh. The ravages of age and overly complex fiction books. :-)


message 8: by Holley (new)

Holley | 21 comments Ha. I will definitely use my twelve-year-old to test our hypothesis and let you know the results.

I do read a lot of young adult fiction and enjoy it, some of them are among my favorites. This one I liked, rather than loved, which isn't too bad. At least I'm not sobbing over the hours lost reading it. I've read a few books lately that I just loathed.


message 9: by Megan (last edited Jan 25, 2015 04:41PM) (new)

Megan (candystripe_legs) | 39 comments I haven't read any YA since junior high (I was an advanced reader so adult fiction was pushed on me at a young age. Sometimes I regret that XD) so I'm just probably out of my element. If I had a tween in my life I probably would give them my copy. It's not that I disliked it, it's more that it was like I was expecting an entree with world building and developed characters and all I got was a garden salad with good ideas that in the end weren't very filling.

ETA: This did make me want to read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson again, so I nominated it for next month's poll. It was my favourite YA but I'm wondering now if I would still enjoy it.


message 10: by Ally (new)

Ally I read the book in the summer so didn't participate in the group read.

I didn't love the book as a whole but I did like a lot of the concepts and I think I would have adored this book a lot when I was younger. And this is from someone who still reads a couple of YA novels a month and enjoys most of them

I might skim through the sequels because I think they're at my library.


message 11: by Holley (new)

Holley | 21 comments It is never too late to add some YA to your reading list. I was advanced too, but with my job and my kids, I've read more good children's lit and YA lit in the last few years. Now I try to mix it up a bit and alternate children's/YA with adult stuff to keep me balanced.


message 12: by A (last edited Jan 25, 2015 05:52PM) (new)

A Grayham | 15 comments I mostly agree with ya'll here. Most of the book I could figure out easily as I went, so there weren't any amazing surprises for me. I enjoyed the book, however, and would like to read the rest of the installments (I believe there are two sequels and one, if not more, prequels that build the world/story up a little bit more. There was one short story at the end of my copy that explained a little bit of Cinder's backstory with the family).
I'd like to see if the rest of the books flesh the world out even more...maybe explain the whole guardianship/Protection Act thing...because I'm still not sure about the owned/adult guardian concept (there seem to be good arguments for both sides).
I think the author could have been able to make the story a bit more entertaining and built up the world and the cyborg concepts a little bit more, but for the middle school/ high school readers it seems to be for, I think it's a good book.
By the way, I wasn't a fan of when she got all googly-eyed over the Prince. As someone else mentioned, she lost her agency and I thought maybe that was a little out of character...but thought it was really awesome to have her come to the ball as a complete mess. Just my two cents :)

EDIT: A co-worker saw me reading the book and asked if he could read it after I was done. I work in a very alpha, "macho" male dominated field, so I was quite surprised when he asked me that. I'm quite interested to hear his thoughts on the book...


message 13: by Megan (new)

Megan (candystripe_legs) | 39 comments I think I'm going to headcanon that she was using her glamour on Kai all along, unconsciously, since they didn't have much in the way of chemistry or build up. I can forgive her a bit for going gaga because it's the first time a human guy paid her attention, and if it was her doing all along that gives her back some agency and brings up a whole new host of problems.


message 14: by Ally (new)

Ally Holley wrote: "It is never too late to add some YA to your reading list. I was advanced too, but with my job and my kids, I've read more good children's lit and YA lit in the last few years. Now I try to mix it u..."

Definitely. There are a lot of YA Fantasy books that have just torn me to shreds in the best way possible.


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Pavia-higel | 68 comments Megan,
I equated the romance to Anikan and Padme in the second Star Wars prequel. "Well, the narrative says it's time..." but the idea that her glamour might have been kicking could explain it better.


message 16: by Hana (new)

Hana b (tzveyah) | 164 comments Ok. Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet. My big trip up in this book is a grammar based one. Throughout they use cyborg as an adjective. "She was cyborg." instead of as a noun (she was a cyborg). And for some odd reason this bothers me every time I see it. It's valid and actually interesting, but well... Guess I'm just not used to it. Throws me off my reading game and I want to add an "a" every time I see it.


message 17: by Megan (new)

Megan (candystripe_legs) | 39 comments I didn't notice! Another language nit pick was that everyone said "Stars!" as an exclamation. Cinder and Kai, despite class distinction, spoke exactly the same, and even the Lunar on the D-comm said "My stars,". There wasn't any individuality in the way anyone spoke.


message 18: by Megan (new)

Megan Mackay | 4 comments It was okay. It held my attention until the end and I think I'll add the sequels to my reading list, but it was just okay. The world building was a bit sloppy especially around cyborgs (apparently being a runaway cyborg is a crime? That's not second class citizenship, that's slavery) and the foreshadowing was about as subtle as being hit over the head with a bag of bricks. Also I think Ever After spoiled me a bit, because I wanted a more socially active Cinderella arguing with her prince.


message 19: by Holley (new)

Holley | 21 comments Megan wrote: "Also I think Ever After spoiled me a bit, because I wanted a more socially active Cinderella arguing with her prince."

Absolutely. Ever After is my favorite Cinderella movie and I was hoping for something similar. Since it is the first of a series, maybe she will progress a bit more now that she is not focused on dealing with her step-mother.

I would note that minor runaways are committing an offense (where I am it is called "Unruly") and they charged in court with that offense, thought the punishment is not that severe. I think that they whole issue regarding the status of cyborgs, versus Cinder's status as a minor is very muddled.


message 20: by Heather (new)

Heather Lynn (realheatherlynn) | 29 comments Megan wrote: "It was okay. It held my attention until the end and I think I'll add the sequels to my reading list, but it was just okay. The world building was a bit sloppy especially around cyborgs (apparently ..."

I completely agree with your assessment. I don't understand how it came so highly recommended by so many people when it was this predictable.


message 21: by Ell (new)

Ell Eastwood (ellociraptor) | 14 comments Personally I love YA, but I agree that the worldbuilding was very sloppy in this one. I don't think the target audience can be used as an excuse, last year one of the best books I read was targeted to kids basically, and it had the most amazing world. And there are fantasy YA that do better than this.

I liked it, it was a quick red, and I am a sucker for alternate takes on fairy tales, but there are too many questions after finishing for me to love it. That said I'll totally read the other books in the series.

OH, and of course I borrowed the second book, Scarlett, as I was getting this one and began readig the blurb which outright stated Cinder would end up imprisoned by the end of it. So I knew, and that's possibly the only plot point I wouldn't have guessed beforehand. Sigh.

But it was fun, and I'd recommend it to people even though I didn't love it.


message 22: by Megan (new)

Megan (candystripe_legs) | 39 comments You know it's funny, I started The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley earlier this month and took a break to read Cinder. I only just picked it up again, and I had to Google something because I forgot how it was explained. Turns out it is YA! And it has really strong world building, so yeah, definitely can't blame the genre XD


message 23: by Rowena (last edited Jan 30, 2015 05:45AM) (new)

Rowena | 7 comments I see a lot of comments about sloppy world building and predictable plot lines here, and yet, it also seems that most of us enjoyed it enough to want to get the sequels. Sometimes I wonder what it is about books that makes us want to keep reading even if we know it's not that good. Why do we enjoy it anyway? Maybe it helps that it's YA, and is an easy, fast read. You can breeze through it for the enjoyable spots and let the things that bother you slide. Because I did enjoy it, although it was predictable. And it never bothered me enough to disrupt my suspension of disbelief.


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Pavia-higel | 68 comments It's like watching TV/movies to me. There are some shows that I love because the plots are amazing, the characters are well rounded and developed and the visual design. They challenge engage and thrill you.

Then there is media we consume at the end of a long day to unwind, disengage and relax. It does not challenge us, and is only minimally engaging. But it's familiar and interesting enough to keep watching.

Books are like that. This was junk food. Familiar and interesting but nothing that will stay with me long. It was comfortable, predictable and familiar with enough entertainment value to keep reading until the end.

Books serve different and wonderful purposes in our lives... (wow hows that for waxing philosophical early in the am


message 25: by Hana (new)

Hana b (tzveyah) | 164 comments Megan wrote: "You know it's funny, I started The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley earlier this month and took a break to read Cinder. I only just picked it up again, and I had to Google something because I forgot ho..."

LOVE Robin McKinley. Bad world-building isn't a marker of YA. I just picked up a China Mieville book I wasn't familiar with (so excited)in the YA section- Railsea- and I can tell you already, before having opened the cover, that the world building will be excellent. Some authors got it, some don't.


message 26: by Megan (new)

Megan Mackay | 4 comments Rowena wrote: "I see a lot of comments about sloppy world building and predictable plot lines here, and yet, it also seems that most of us enjoyed it enough to want to get the sequels. Sometimes I wonder what it ..."

There's a couple of reasons why I'd like to continue the series. I've read series that have started shaky and later improved greatly. I love fairy tales and I want to see what the author will do with Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel and maybe others, and I want to see them all interacting. Also it's a light, fun read that I can complete between heavier, harder reads.


message 27: by Sara (new)

Sara | 46 comments I'm pretty happy with this one, now that I've finished it. It was an easy, fun read that brought together familiar fairy tale and sci-fi concepts in a unique way. Even if it's not a fully fleshed out world, there's enough in the concept and enough to empathize with the characters to keep me interested. I'm a little irritated at the ending - would have preferred more resolution - but I'll be adding the sequels to my list, and would have even had this story concluded more fully.


message 28: by Megan (last edited Jan 31, 2015 12:37AM) (new)

Megan (candystripe_legs) | 39 comments I think part of the reason I won't continue with the series is that I'm just finishing my undergrad and still view elective reading as a precious thing. When I can only read a few novels a year just for fun, I feel like I really got to make it count. Even the fluffy light stuff I read was stuff that stayed with me, like Agatha Christie or Cherie Priest. And now that I have more time for reading, there's sooo much stuff that was sitting on my to-read list and books I bought but haven't touched yet, so I still feel a sense of urgency.

Still, I do read comics as a light read, and sometimes it takes me a while to drop a series I'm not enjoying much because I just like squeezing a quick ten minute read in.


message 29: by Holley (new)

Holley | 21 comments I'm with Sara and Megan from message #26.

I liked it well enough to want to see where it is going. I love fairy tales and re-tellings. I'm not so into cyborgs, but the book sold the premise well enough that I am curious to see where this goes.

It is a decent light read and enjoyable enough to keep me coming back. Cinderella is not my favorite fairy tale anyway so I want to see who else is brought in and what the author does with them.


message 30: by Amity (new)

Amity Hana wrote: "Ok. Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet. My big trip up in this book is a grammar based one. Throughout they use cyborg as an adjective. "She was cyborg." instead of as a noun (she was a cy..."

This also bothered me! I felt the same, where it was an interesting choice, but for some reason I couldn't get used to it.

I don't know that I will continue with this series any time soon, but I might pick up the rest somewhere down the line. I enjoyed reading it, but found myself wanting to read it faster just because I was more interested in reading these discussion posts.


message 31: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 13 comments It was fun, fast, and enjoyable, but I really could have used more world-building (like a lot of people have said). I'm not sure how much I want to keep reading the series, but hey. If my library has them in stock, why the heck not?


message 32: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (ribbonquest) | 56 comments It took me four months to get the second book from my library, due to a long waiting list (and I wanted the audiobook...) It's now been so long I'm not all that interested. :/


message 33: by Ell (new)

Ell Eastwood (ellociraptor) | 14 comments I gotta say book two is better because Cinder isn't the only character anymore (aside from Kai I mean), and I'm hoping book three will be even better dealing with three fairy tale girls. It has potential to improve as the series goes along, so if you're thinking about reading the sequel I'd say go for it. In Scarlet I also couldn't guess everything that would happen which was also an improvement.


message 34: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rebajay) I thought it was a cute, fun read. I had some issues with it. But liked the idea and it hooked me enough to finish it, partly because it was a fast book. But I doubt I'll read the other two.


message 35: by Carole (new)

Carole | 1 comments It wasn't a bad read; definitely aimed at the YA audience. That being said, it's refreshing to read sci-fi/fantasy that I don't have to wade through 3 pages of soft-core porn to find the next plot point.

It was a very fast read, and since I picked it up over the weekend, I did move on to the sequels. Not one of my favorites, but not nearly as bad as others I've read.


message 36: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Pavia-higel | 68 comments Carole:

Nice. :-)


message 37: by Shelly (new)

Shelly | 51 comments I liked it. It was good fun and even though I am officially old I am pretty good at suspending a little for YA fiction. I feel like there could have been a little more subtlety with the foreshadowing, and I agree that Cinder and Kai's relationship needed a little more development. Though to be fair, as a teenager I fell in love like that once a week. I've ordered Scarlet from the library. If the reads keep being enjoyable and easy I will finish out the series, but I have a feeling this premise will get old quick.

Also, am I the only one who didn't really understand what was so bad about being a cyborg? If it is how people are saved from accidents I am not sure why it would become such a crazy taboo.


message 38: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 13 comments Shelly wrote: "I liked it. It was good fun and even though I am officially old I am pretty good at suspending a little for YA fiction. I feel like there could have been a little more subtlety with the foreshadowi..."

I agree. As another Old, I think I actually handle YA fiction better now than when I was a teenager. Back then, I kept trying to prove to everyone that I was too smart for YA fiction. (Yes, I was the girl reading Sylvia Plath, Anne Rice, and Arthur Rimbaud in the corner. How did you guess?)

I really would like it addressed how being a cyborg would automatically make someone a second-class citizen. If it makes people eligible for a death draft and they basically become property of their family, then wouldn't most people prefer to die after an accident? You would have to really trust your relatives to give them that level of power over you.

My main issue was that it wasn't clear how much of Cinder's issues were from her being a cyborg as opposed to being a minor. Clearly, there are larger political issues stemming from being a cyborg, but I'm wondering how much of her step-mother's control over her had to do with her being underage.

Also, why so hard on cyborgs? By their rules, Luke Skywalker is a cyborg, and that's just silly.


message 39: by Terpsgrl32 (new)

Terpsgrl32 | 56 comments I read the book quite a while ago so while I was super stoked to see that it was the chosen book (I know I mentioned it as a recommendation), I didn't really follow along & I can see some of the comments & why people made them. I'm trying super hard not to be spoiler (but possible warning) the Kai/Cinder thing plays out in the rest of the series. Scarlet & Cress were both mentioned in this story (Cinder talked to Cress!). Basically, everything will tie together this was more like the first arc of a show where the main protagonist gets their set up & the rest of the character development comes in the second arc/season.

I'm giving the writer the benefit of knowing it was her first novel like this & while I enjoyed her writing very much & the q&a at the end, she has progressed a lot through the next 2. I can't wait to start Fairest!


message 40: by Hana (new)

Hana b (tzveyah) | 164 comments Huh. I read all three but it's true what Nina, above, is saying. The characters were all seriously 1D flat and each had their person type and stuck to it. Even the androids- like her android (can't remember her name) was ditzy and obsessed with looks and guys and that was it. A bit sad, that she didn't bother making them more complex than that. I've been reading Marillier and Scalzi lately and wow, yeah, the dearth of world building is pretty dang shocking. I never thought about that aspect of a book until it just wasn't there...


message 41: by Jen (new)

Jen (jwhittz) Though it was a quick read and an interesting premise, this book was really not my thing. Like most people, I was unimpressed with the world building, finding the setting poorly defined. Likewise, the characters were one-dimensional and the love between Kai and Cinder difficult to believe.
What bugged me the most, though, were the author's attempts at foreshadowing, which to me crossed the line pretty quickly to fore-bludgeoning. A little more subtlety and trust in the reader would have been nice.
I definitely won't be picking up the sequels. I hope we select a better book next time!


message 42: by Jen (last edited Feb 09, 2015 07:42AM) (new)

Jen (jwhittz) edited because double post! Stupid mobile app


message 43: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 13 comments Jen wrote: "What bugged me the most, though, were the author's attempts at foreshadowing, which to me crossed the line pretty quickly to fore-bludgeoning. A little more subtlety and trust in the reader would have been nice. "
That damn pumpkin car.


message 44: by Jen (new)

Jen (jwhittz) Rowena wrote: "I see a lot of comments about sloppy world building and predictable plot lines here, and yet, it also seems that most of us enjoyed it enough to want to get the sequels. Sometimes I wonder what it ..."

For me with this one, it was to feel smart when that thing I figured out in the first 50 pages wound up being true...because I am a brat who likes to be right, haha.


message 45: by Jen (new)

Jen (jwhittz) Jessica wrote:"That damn pumpkin car"

Ugh, yes!


message 46: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Pavia-higel | 68 comments "Forebludgeoning" is my new favorite word.


message 47: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Pavia-higel | 68 comments A bit of a gush for your afternoon. This has been the best book discussion group I've ever been part of (online or face-to-face). Y'all (I'm from Missouri, I'm allowed) are thoughtful, respectful, insightful and interesting. I love how we've all been able to level real criticism at the text without diminishing it or those that like it.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a bit of a hat-tip. Cheers.


message 48: by Megan (new)

Megan (candystripe_legs) | 39 comments You guys I feel really dumb because I didn't pick up on the pumpkin car at all until I read it here XD I just kept thinking "that's an extremely bizarre and unusual colour for a car" and thought she described it as such to emphasize how ugly it is.

Also, definitely using "fore-bludgeoning" in the future.

And Lisa, I agree! I mentioned it to the other mods too, so far the group has been great and I am so glad we can disagree civilly.


message 49: by Terpsgrl32 (new)

Terpsgrl32 | 56 comments I've read all 3 & I also got the audiobooks to listen to on my long commute & I really enjoyed the woman that did the reading. She was great with the voice work. If you do the audio book thing, give the others a try that way.


message 50: by Holley (new)

Holley | 21 comments I had my twelve year old read the book. She really loved it so definitely, this book works best in its intended demographic. She told me that she liked that Cinder became her own fairy godmother with respect to getting ready for the ball. When she said that I could see part of the appeal of the story for a girl her age. She is interested in reading the rest of the series as long as I do too.


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