Book review | Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Author: Kalynn Bayron

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy Fiction

No. of pages: 400

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing

Published on: 28th August 2020

Format: Paperback

My rating: ★★★★☆

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 .

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

Cinderella has been dead for 200 years now. In the kingdom of Mersailles, there have been rules imposed on the people that has only grown stricter throughout the years. The rules have been mostly  imposed on the girls and women of Mersailles, by making an example out of Cinderella and her dedication to Prince Charming. Every year, girls who become 16 must attend the annual ball, and if they are not selected for marriage, they are forfeited.

All the girls of Mersailles think that the fairy godmother can save them. They still cling on to a little hope for magic, that following the steps of Cinderella will save them and their families from the cruel King Manford. That attending the ball and being selected is the only answer.

Sophia must attend the ball too, but she's sick and tired of the way women in Mersailles are treated. She does not want to marry and end up getting treated like an old rag by her husband. Moreover, she's already in love... in love with a girl. Her trip to the annual ball goes out of her control when she sees her best friend being arrested for 'dressing up too plainly.' All hell breaks lose and Sophia escapes the ball.

From then on, Sophia is on her own to discover the ruthless truths about Cinderella's story. What deception lies behind Cinderella's beautiful and magical story?

Cinderella is Dead takes a dark and twisted turn in the fairy tale classic that we all grew up knowing. Now everytime I'll read or come across the original Cinderella, I would constantly think of Cinderella is Dead. Cinderella is Dead is the new LGBTQ rep and feminist fantasy that we need. We see a headstrong Sophia fighting the whole system just to be able to freely love the person she wants. And this is what drove me towards the book.

I loved the plotline. It was fast-paced and every chapter ended with either a revelation or a plot twist. It had the right amount of magic, but I guess I wanted a bit more of it. Sophia's character was what drove me from the start of the book to the end. And I really liked how the author churned out a whole new world with the original Cinderella. I would never have imagined a happy-ever-after tale like Cinderella could become this! 

I must admit that the end felt a bit rushed. It kind of spiralled down and seemed to easy to achieve. But after all it's a fiction that has magic, so anything can be possible. 

Sophia was the heart of this story. We get to see impulsive and cheeky side when she's in love with Erin (the first love interest). She was kind of, the dominant one in this relationship. But when she falls in love with the main love interest of the book it's interesting to see her become a more subtle version of herself and the author gave our main love interest the impulsiveness and cheekiness. But Sophia's headstrong nature remained throughout the book, and her character became even more motivated with the introduction of the main love interest. It was really interesting to see this dynamics in Sophia's relationship.

Kalynn Bayron is a debut author and a classically trained vocalist. She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. When she's not writing, you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, going to the theatre, watching scary movies and spending time with her kids. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her family.

I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review. 



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