ARC Review: Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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ARC Review: Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Cinderella Is Dead

3.5 Stars

Book Info

Released: July 7, 2020
Genre: Young Adult
Published by Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 400
Format: eARC

” Bayron has created a sophisticated and well developed world, but the story itself was a little too simple to fit that world comfortably.”
~ Under the Covers

Set 200 years after Cinderella’s death, the happily ever after has turned ugly. Teenage girls ae now required to attend the annual ball to be judged by male suitors and married. Whether they like it or not. It’s Sophia’s worst nightmare. Even if she wasn’t in love with her best friend Erin, the thought of people – men – having such absolute power over her life and death infuriates her. So she flees the ball and straight into the arms of Constance, a descendant of one of Cinderella’s ugly step sisters. Only the Cinderella tale espoused to the Kingdom isn’t exactly the truth and no one is exactly as they appear…As Sophia and Constance soon find out.

The young adult genre isn’t usually my thing, however, occasionally a blurb will pop up that intrigues me enough that I decide to pick up the book. I want to expand my reading horizons and there are a couple of things that I haven’t read much of that are contained in Cinderella is Dead: a fairytale retelling and a f/f romance.

I wouldn’t say I actively avoid fairytale retellings, but they don’t often appeal to me. But, one of the things that I enjoyed most about this book was the way Kalynn Bayron had used the tale of Cinderella. In Cinderella is Dead the fairytale is used a tool of propaganda to subjugate the populace, especially if you are female. Women are expected to know the tale inside and out and conform to the ideal of femininity and heterosexuality that it portrays. There is no room for non-conformity. It was such a fantastic set up to plonk our headstrong heroine in.

But, I don’t feel like this dark and oppressive setting was utilised to its full potential. The solution came to easily and the more I got into the book the more obvious some of the plot twists became. Perhaps I am being too harsh on a standalone book aimed at a young audience. However, I did feel myself losing interest as the book went on and all the complex problems involved in such a repressive and patriarchal society were swept under the proverbial rug.

This was a fun adventure story though and I really enjoyed Sophia’s character, she knew who she was and had the courage to stand up against what she thought was wrong. I also really liked the romance, this may actually be my first f/f book! There was fantastic chemistry between Constance and Sophia and I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop.

Overall I liked this book, the story was fast paced, the romance was sweet and the world was great. It just didn’t quite hit the spot for me, Bayron has created a sophisticated and well developed world, but the story itself was a little too simple to fit that world comfortably.


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Sophia sounds awesome and the blurb is intriguing, but Fairytale retellings usually aren’t my thing either.

Amy R

Thanks for the review.